Intelligence officials yesterday had a tough time breaking the news to president Michael Sata that the candidate he is supporting in Malawi will lose the elections.
Sata and his friend Omar al Bashir of Sudan have been financially funding Atupele Muluzi in today’s elections in Malawi.
Using the OP, Sata has spent more than $600,000 (K4 billion or K4m PF money) to support Atupele in his campaigns against the incumbent president Joyce Banda.
A team of the Zambian OP was therefore in Malawi to ‘monitor’ the elections.
Last evening, (Monday, May 19, 2014), the team arrived in Lusaka and went straight to State House to present their projections.
The team told Sata that the project has failed, as his candidate is likely to come a distant fourth in the elections.
Atupele is the son of former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi, a friend of Sata.
Sata fell-out with the current president of Malawi Joyce Banda after she rejected an invitation to travel to Zambia to officiate ate the Agricultural and commercial Show in 2012. She had initially accepted to jet in and Zambian officials even went to the airport to receive her but she cancelled at last minute. A few months before that, Sata had donated fuel using Zambia Tax payers money for free to Malawi.
Sata is generally isolated in the region, as no other president apart from Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has ever visited Zambia from the time Sata became president. Even Mugabe has stopped travelling to Zambia now. It is whispered in diplomatic circles that most presidents fear to be embarrassed by Sata’s lack of manners.
Lieutenant General Ian Khama, the president of Botswana is said to have been particularly shocked and embarrassed by Sata’s behaviour when Sata lastly visited Botswana.
Khama went to officially open a school within Gaborone with his visitor Sata. But without warning, Sata reached for his pocket and retrieved a huge envelope containing US dollars and gave it to the headmaster of the school telling him that this is the contribution from Zambia. The correct procedure would have been for Sata’s officials to handle the donation and inform their Botswana government officials in advance.
In the Malawi elections, Sata was also using the Atupele project to see if Malawins can accept the son of a former president to take over so that he could also use the same formula on his inherently corrupt son Mulenga.
One intelligence official told the Watchdog that ‘Atupele Muluzi like Mulenga Sata, have achieved very little in their own pedigree and voters in most Southern African countries look at individual and not parental achievements. Sata was advised on this possibility but he rubbished it. It seems he wanted to gauge Atupele’s performance and acceptability to that of Mulenga given that Malawian politics are identical to Zambia’s.’
Accroding to the report the Zambian intelligence gave Sata, Peter Mutharika is likely to win the elections but other reports suggest that Lazarus Chakwera and incumbent Joyce Banda also stand very good chances.