RULING party members have started speaking against the party because they are not being given room to express themselves, says Patriotic Front foreign policy chairman Colonel Gerry Chanda.
Speaking when he featured on Pan African Radio today, January 9, 2017, Col. Chanda observed that there was too much pressure in the ruling party.
“Intra-party conflicts or factions are healthy but, what is not healthy is if you mishandle them, it becomes a big challenge, it becomes a source of concern. If you I have dissenting views within the party, I must be heard, I must be listened to, if I say something against the party, I express my opinion against the party, that is a pointer that the bottle is blowing up, there is too much pressure and the membership is not being given enough room to breathe in the party so that they can leave their pressure in their set organs of the party like central committee,” Col Chanda said.
“If this (conflict) is tackled and handled within the same parameters, the same programme, the same laws that we have set by ourselves, it is very healthy but people now tend to go and blow anger outside because we are not giving them space to say what they want to say about the running of the party.”
Col Chanda, who is also former PF Kanyama member of parliament, cautioned party not to expel Roan member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili.
Last year, President Edgar Lungu fired Kambwili from his position as Minister of Information and Chief Government Spokesperson and he is now being probed by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Kambwili has in the past few months been very critical of President Lungu, forcing PF secretary general to call for a ‘disciplinary meeting’ this Friday January 13, 2017.
But Col Chanda advised the party against expelling Kambwili.
“Chishimba Kambwili is an essential member of the party and has said so that he would with outmost ensure the party remains strong were it is supposed to be, the firing from Cabinet position I have no quarrel about that as I have said, but let not nobody think of expelling… like I read in the press recently,” he said reminding the party that Kambwili was one of the oldest serving members of the ruling party.
Col Chanda urged President Lungu to call a central committee meeting to discuss all the differences in the party.
“His Excellence the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu who also presides over our central committee should convene a central committee meeting quickly so that we deal with these issues as an in-house matter not as matters to be dealt with in the press. These are issues we can quarrel, agree, and disagree in closed door and ultimate at the end of the day come up with some semblance of agreement, because that is important, failure to which we are heading for self-distraction which is not healthy for the party,” Col Chanda said.
And Colonel Chanda expressed ignorance at certain questionable senior appointments in government.
He also questioned the appointment of MMD members to key Cabinet positions. “Are we in alliance with MMD, the answer is no, I don’t know, maybe it has been done at some levels I don’t know. The central committee is the organ that is supposed to endorse certain decisions of the party as it relates to other parties, we fought hard to remove MMD, now to find that MMD are the ones championing the governs, it begs a lot of questions than answers,” said Col Chanda.