Acting President Guy Scott is under pressure to de-link himself from Fred M’membe, Rajan Mahtani, and other members of the cartel, but is unable to do so because of compromising materials they hold against him, a source tells Zambia Reports.
According to an impeccable source inside State House, top level security officers are advising Acting President Scott to keep his distance from the cartel following the failed dismissal of Edgar Lungu as party secretary general, but efforts have so far proven futile with President Michael Sata’s former press secretary George Chellah illegally attaching himself to the Office of the Acting President.
The cartel leader Fred M’membe, the owner of the Post newspaper, continues to wield tremendous control over Dr. Scott because he has allegedly threatened him with releasing “compromising materials” that would destroy the acting president’s reputation.
According to the source, M’membe has blackmailed Scott into acting for him by threatening to release photographs of him “with young girls.”
The security officers are not certain if the photos really exist or are a bluff by M’membe, however they say that Scott may believe the threat, given his past record of alcohol abuse and carelessness. Scott once gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper while he was intoxicated, and insulted South Africans, causing a diplomatic incident.
“I hate South Africans,” Scott told the Guardian in May 2013, allegedly during a drinking binge. “The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development. (…) I have a suspicion the blacks model themselves on the whites now that they’re in power.”
M’membe, who was also an enthusiastic champion of President Sata in the 2011 election before falling out, has a known reputation for collecting dossiers of corruption and other alleged immoral acts of politicians, which he uses against them to gain leverage and make himself a kingmaker within the ruling party.
When M’membe last tried to force through his preferred candidate to the top of the PF, former Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, he was stopped short by President Sata when he summarily fired Kabimba for plotting behind his back. The firing of Kabimba was greeted with popular celebrations among the PF faithful, including a riotous group of cadres who approached the headquarters of the Post to deal with M’membe. The newspaper owner was forced to chase them off by firing shots in the air.
It has now emerged that the dismissal of Edgar Lungu and the offer of the appointment of Davies Mwila and later Nixon Chilangwa was done in a meeting attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, Deputy Minister of Commerce Miles Sampa, DPP Mutemb Nchito, Attorney General Musa Mwenye, and George Chellah, with Fred Mmembe directing matters from a conference call.
In fact, the appointment of Nixon Chilangwa was done at the Post Newspaper headquarters on Bwinjimfumu Road. The State House source says that Guy Scott only became aware of the appointment of Chilangwa via the newspaper announcement the following day.
Following the failed dismissal of Lungu, the Cartel is also harrasing journalists from ZNBC accusing them of disobeying orders given to them by George Chellah, the source says.
The security officers have advised Guy Scott that as Acting President, the “System” will protect him if only he engages himself in activities that promote public interest instead of the private interests of private persons he has been advancing.
Earlier in the day, Scott fired 11 officers from the Office of the President (OP) in a bid to gain more influence in the administration.