MIKE Mulongoti feels mistreated by the Patriotic Front, says Lameck Mangani.
And Mulongoti has reiterated that all he wants is a “thank you” from the Patriotic Front for helping in last year’s election campaigns that saw the MMD ousted from power.
Commenting on Mulongoti’s intentions to form a political party on which he would stand as presidential candidate in the 2016 general elections, Mangani, the former home affairs minister in the MMD government said Mulongoti’s recent interview on ZNBC gave a clear indication that he felt ill-treated by the leadership of the PF.
He said he did not think that forming a new political party could help solve the problems that Zambia was facing.
“One thing that is sure is that from the interview that Mr Mulongoti gave, he feels he has been mistreated by the Patriotic Front, but in my view, there is still enough room for him to sort out his differences with the leadership of the PF,” he said.
Mangani said Mulongoti should realise that marketing a political party was an expensive venture.
“We have seen the political players that are there right now. In fact, he (Mulongoti) will need so much money to market his political party. There are a number of political parties that are not very, very strong but have been there for some time because of resources.
Now to form a political party, unless you have enough resources to go round the country, which I doubt that he (Mulongoti) can do within the next four years to run for president,” he said.
Mangani said Mulongoti needed to consult widely before forming a political party.
Asked about Mulongoti’s plans to stand as a presidential candidate in 2016 for his yet-to-be-formed political party, Mangani said that was his constitutional right, adding that “dreaming is one thing and reality is another”.
Mulongoti, in an interview last week, hinted that he was considering forming a political party on which he would stand as a presidential candidate in the 2016 general elections.
And when asked to comment on Mangani’s statement, Mulongoti said he expected President Sata to show some gratitude after having campaigned for him.
He said he put his life at risk and used his money to ensure that the MMD was kicked out of power.
“I expected him to at least say thank you. We risked our lives; we used our resources. We did not campaign using PF money. We used our own resources, our own motor vehicles; our own money; and our own time,” Mulongoti said.
“Just to show appreciation by saying thanks was good enough because my intention, like I keep insisting, is to become president, the job he is occupying now and I am mindful that he is in the job so I must prepare myself to take over in 2016 if possible. So the question of being sidelined is on the basis of that. I am not looking for a job from them.”
He insisted that he campaigned for PF out of principle and in good faith.
“…PF secretary general Mr Wynter Kabimba said it himself, that ‘I campaigned on the matter of principle and good faith’ and that position is not changed,” Mulongoti said.
Kabimba last week said Mulongoti would have to wait for 50 years before he can become president of Zambia.
He said he appreciated the fact that Mulongoti would have been useful to MMD, but said it was unfortunate that he was not part of the team that President Michael Sata had picked to work with, a decision that was the President’s prerogative.
“When these people were in MMD, we did not go to him and seek recognition, even when there were better people in the MMD,” said Kabimba
But Mulongoti, in response to Kabimba’s statement, said the justice minister had no moral right to accuse him of seeking recognition.
“Mr Kabimba has on three occasions contested as member of parliament on three different political party tickets all of which he lost that is Lima party, National party and the PF…I have contested twice in Lufwanyama Constituency, 1995 by-election, 1996 general elections and I have won in both instances,” said Mulongoti