PF succession wrangles spills blood

One of the cadres injured during a fierce PF battle

One of the cadres injured during a fierce PF battle

By Martin Mubita

With the 2011 elections safely out of the way, the Patriotic Front party is now engaged in an unofficial and premature battle of succession – and the machetes are out!

The President is under pressure to heal the party divisions caused by the succession issue. A top level Central Committee meeting resolved nothing but further exacerbated the rift.

A long-awaited meeting of the Patriotic Front’s Central Committee last month was expected to see President Michael Sata end the succession wrangles once and for all.

Yet nothing was resolved and bitterness has deepened in the dispute between two feuding factions which stand for or against PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba.

The faction against Kabimba is led by one Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba a renowned businessman cum politician and the other by Kabimba himself widely perceived as the president’s blue eyed boy or locally chola boy. The president’s delayed action or inaction couldn’t have prepared even him for what happened today.

Hordes of machete and bludgeon wielding agitated mostly youthful Patriot Front cadres were this afternoon stopped by Police in full riot gear from disrupting the ground breaking ceremony of the expansion of the Kenneth Kaunda International airport at a cost of about US$300 million which President Sata was officiating.

There was mass carnage comparable to the Middle East wars along Great East road today where two distinct groups of PF cadres butchered each other with some reportedly dying on the spot while others have been hospitalized at the Levy Mwanawasa general hospital and University Teaching Hospital.

Those reportedly in critical condition among others include renowned party cadre Komaki while many others anguish with grievous bodily injuries.