Zambia’s Sampa Announces Candidacy, Urges Respect for Scott

Zambian Deputy Commerce Minister Miles Sampa urged ruling-party members to respect Acting President Guy Scott as he announced his own candidacy to stand for the Patriotic Front in January presidential elections.

Sampa, 44, will seek selection by the ruling party at its general conference, he told reporters today in Lusaka, the capital. He said he opposed a petition by some members of the PF yesterday that endorsed Secretary General Edgar Lungu as its sole candidate.

Scott, who took over as interim leader of Zambia and the Patriotic Front when President Michael Sata died in London on Oct. 28, has clashed with Lungu. Scott earlier this month removed Lungu from his party position, reinstating him the next day after rioting in Lusaka.

“Guy Scott was the right-hand man of the president,” said Sampa, who’s a former deputy finance minister and previously worked in banking. “If you attack Guy Scott, it is as good as attacking the late president in his grave.”

Scott has called a cabinet meeting for later today to consider a date for the presidential election, state-owned broadcaster ZNBC reported, citing Scott. A party central committee meeting on Nov. 17 will determine the “road map which will be followed to arrive at a presidential candidate,” Lungu said in a statement he handed to reporters.

Newton Ng’uni, also a former deputy finance minister, has asked the High Court to reverse the handing over of instruments of power to Scott, in favor of Lungu. The court today adjourned a hearing on the challenge to Nov. 28. Scott remains acting president and no order has been made against him, Attorney General Musa Mwenye told reporters outside the courtroom.

“The court has issued a directive to both parties to advise their clients not to make any statements that are prejudicial to this matter,” Mwenye said.

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