FIRST Lady Christine Kaseba’s decision to contest the Patriotic Front (PF) presidency is to save the party from total collapse, late President Michael Sata’s sister, Emmah Mwila Chibesakunda, has said.
Ms Chibesakunda said Dr Kaseba needed the support of all family members in the race because she had been forced to stand a few days after burying her husband due to the sad happenings in the party.
She appealed to the moral conscience of all her family members to rally behind Dr Kaseba’s decision to contest.
The Sata family was not pleased with what was happening in the ruling party and wished to state that the nation was now centred on what was happening in the PF and to see how the family was handling such issues.
Speaking on behalf of Dr Kaseba at Nkwazi House yesterday, Ms Chibesakunda said the contesting of four family members against one another spoke a lot of what was happening in the PF.
“How can 10 people stand on one ticket? This is why I am saying she has been forced to stand up and contest this position because if not now, this party might not even finish one term,” Ms Chibesakunda said.
Asked whether Dr Kaseba and the family had spoken to Lusaka Mayor Mulenga, Commerce Minister Bob Sichinga and his deputy Miles Sampa to support one candidate from the family, Ms Chibesakunda said the decision to withdraw was for an individual to make.
She said Mulenga and the two others should take personal decisions to withdraw after realising that Dr Kaseba had also made a decision to contest the presidency.
“Each person has a democratic right to stand and if they have to withdraw, it has to be on an individual basis. Mulenga can make a personal decision that since mum has stood let me withdraw, naba Bob, Sampa can do the same thing, its not her to do that. They have a democratic right to stand, but it is a family at hand here who should rally behind ba Kaseba,” she said.
Ms Chibesakunda said there was no other time for her to stand after seeing that the party was slowly being torn apart by people who did not suffer for the party since inception.
“She wants to serve the party, the country and the people of Zambia whom her husband loved so much. He died for his people, so please I beg you, do not traumatise her more by writing contrary stories about her. I feel bad for the members of the family, let us get united,” she said.
Iress Phiri from the Zambia National Traditional Counsellors Association (ZNTCA) said her heart was bleeding following accusations levelled against Dr Kaseba in the online media concerning the manner she had handled the post-funeral tradition.
On her contesting eight days after burying her husband, Ms Phiri said it was the right time for her to do so because circumstances were beyond her control, seeing that so far there was no one capable of handling party matters better.