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Zambian Opposition Leader Accuses Ruling Party of Campaign to Discredit Him

  • Peter Clottey

The leader of Zambia’s opposition Patriotic Front (PF) said the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) has been spending millions of Kwacha to discredit him ahead of next year’s election.

Veteran opposition leader Michael Sata expressed confidence to VOA he is growing in popularity despite the ruling party’s repeated attempts to thwart his presidential ambitions.

“MMD, in the last two years, has spent lots of money to try and discredit me, but they have failed. And, every attempt they make, they make me much stronger. Now they are using renegades from UPND (United Party for National Development) who are going round trying to show the people that the pact is cracking when the pact is not cracking.”

Sata has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the (UPND) ahead of next year’s election. But, the UPND national youth organizer accused Sata of being a “tired old man who should never be allowed to rule Zambia.”

Michael Sata, Zambia's veteran opposition leader

Michael Sata, Zambia's veteran opposition leader

Sata said the ongoing accusation and insults are part of the ruling party’s plan to undermine the confidence Zambians have in him.

“What about the young men in Zambia who have been ruling Zambia? What do we have? Plunder, corruption. For example now, the young men are diluting the Anti-Corruption Commission where they are saying an abuse of office is not an offense. It’s the young men who have sold ZAMTEL (communications giant), who have increased fuel and without considering the people.”

The 73-year old Sata also said the reason “you find all the malaise in Africa today, and Zambia in particular, is because of the young rulers because the young men, all they enjoy is to be in the aeroplane every day.”

Political observers have questioned the stability of the pact signed between the two opposition parties after recent spats between supporters of the UPND and the PF.