Ex-President's son resigns as minister, joins main opposition party
04 May 2016, 13:30
Lusaka - Late Zambian President Michael Sata's son, Mulenga Sata, has resigned as Lusaka Province Minister and joined the main opposition UPND, ahead of this year's general elections.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Sata announced his resignation and that he had joined the United Party for National Development (UPND).
He called leaving the governing Patriotic Front (PF), founded by his father, "a difficult decision but necessary," criticizing the PF of being "hijacked".
He alleged the PF had been infiltrated by senior members from the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), a former ruling party until the 2011 elections.
President Edgar Lungu has appointed some senior MMD members to jobs in his government, which has riled founder members of the PF.
Sata also said Zambia's economy had "deteriorated" and that the country needed a leader who could turn the economy around, in a rebuke to Lungu's administration.
Chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has said Sata's resignation will not have any impact on the government, local media reports say.
Sata joins a list of former and sitting senior government officials who have endorsed the UPND as the election due in August nears. Among them is former Vice President Guy Scott.
Some analysts say Lungu will face a strong challenge from UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to his re-election bid in the August election.