Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Davies Mwila has directed his Eastern Province executive committee to deal with the youths who demanded the removal of civil servants for allegedly giving government contracts to the opposition.

Last week, PF officials in Eastern Province rose against senior government officers, demanding their immediate transfer from the region because they are giving government contracts to members of opposition political parties.

PF provincial secretary Joseph Kolosa demands that President Lungu removes Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo, Deputy Permanent Secretary Patrick Mwanawasa and Chipata District Commissioner, Kalunga Zulu because they are “giving contracts to people who are not in good standing with the party”.

“We are already poor, so we are ready for any consequences of our demands. We joined PF so that tikazipezako pamimba. We are in the ruling party to eat but our stomachs are shrinking,” Kolosa said at a highly charged gathering attended by PF supporters.

“We are demanding the removal of Chanda Kasolo, Deputy PS Patrick Mwanawasa and Chipata District Commissioner, Kalunga Zulu from their respective offices. Bayende, they must go! we need to eat. As a ruling party in the province, we are pleading with massive pain and sorrow that these must go. They have not been working and supporting the party in any way. This has pained us, we are not happy, they are not working with us, but they have continued to occupy these offices.”

But in an interview with News Diggers yesterday, PF Media Director Sunday Chanda said the protests were an act of indiscipline as they had no blessings from the party.

“For youth to protest and demand for the removal of civil servants in Eastern province has no blessings from the party, it was an act of indiscipline. And the secretary general of the party has directed that the provincial executive committee deals with that matter as per procedure in the party hierarchy. So the provincial executive committee in Eastern Province will deal with that matter considering that the organ involved is a lower organ, it is a district executive committee. And from there depending on the recommendations from the provincial executive committee, the report is going to come up to the central committee,” Chanda said.

Chanda advised the party structures to use proper channels of communication in order to ensure that discipline was maintained.

“It is total indiscipline for structures to conduct themselves in the manner that the district executive committee did. One of the reasons why we emphasize is that we have clear channels of communication so as to ensure there is discipline in the party. Any of those statements issued minus the clearance or authorization of the secretary general of the party are null and void. They must not be treated as statements coming from the party but from members of the party and elements of indiscipline in that regard will have to be dealt with as provided under the party regulations,” he said.

“To say that contracts should only be given to PF youths is a misrepresentation of what the party stands for, the Patriotic Front is not a party in the opposition, it is a party in power, it is a ruling party and this government is a government for all irrespective of what political party they belong to. In terms of economic opportunities, it is the same approach that his Excellency the President and his government have taken that development is not just going to PF strongholds because if that were to be the mindset, we would have seen the opposition strongholds deprived of development projects. But you have seen clearly that the mind of the party is that development at national level should go to all parts of Zambia because we are in government and we are supposed to ensure that we take development to all corners of the country.”

Chanda emphasized that citizens’ empowerment was not just for members of the party but for all citizens regardless of their political affiliation.

“The same thing comes to levels where government has to empower citizens, empowerment of citizens is not just for members of the Patriotic Front, its citizens in general and so irrespective of what political party one belongs to, if they have a viable project and they compete for it, let them be given that opportunity. And I think that is what the president and the Patriotic Front in government is emphasizing on,” Chanda added.

“Talk about the cashew nut project in Western province, talk about the development that has gone to southern province, the bottom road etc, talk about the investment going into North Western province, anybody would say why don’t you take these developments to Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and these places that give you so much votes? But the President is very very clear, he is the president of all Zambians, those that voted for him and those that did not vote. Even at the level of economic empowerment, the President wants to emphasize that in terms of empowerment, he wants to empower Zambians irrespective of what political party one is coming from, he wants to empower Zambians.”

Chanda also bragged that some people in opposition would vote for President Edgar Lungu in 2021 because of the massive developmental projects he had rolled out in the country.

“And you never know, some of the people who are in opposition now, might just vote for this President or this government in 2021, so it is not about what political jacket one is wearing because that is what goes to compromise service delivery in most African states that instead of looking at someone’s capacity to deliver! You have other considerations such as political belonging. And that is the equitable distribution of resources that we are talking about,” said Chanda.