Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila has warned party cadres engaged in land grabbing saying no one will be protected from criminality.

But on January 16, Mwila told Kabwe party officials to share land amongst themselves before advertising the rest.

“Yalya ama plot ba mayor, nimwe mu kwete amaka. Ama plots nga yali 500, ba councilor, nimwe mu kwete amaka kweba ati aweh, mwachita advertise 300, mwafumyapo na 200. Namu kwata amaka. 200 mwafumyapo, 300 mwatwala ku chintu bwingi and 200 mwa akanyamo naba ward chairman naba nani (Those plots Mr Mayor, you are the one with the power. If those plots are 500, you the councilors are the ones with the powers to say ‘we shall advertise 300 and remove 200. You have the powers to remove 200 and take the rest for others to access and you can share with the ward chairmen and others),” said Mwila.

“With me, I have told you, that PWD [in reference to the Planning, Information system, Community development and Social welfare committee (PISCDC)] the chairman is PF. Just in there pa pa pa, it’s mathematics, bwali bwa mbusa, [bwakulya akachenjele] [a discreet meal for the wise is only shared among the clever ones]. You throw 300 to the general public, then you know that this 200 even our people should benefit as long as you have followed the law so that tomorrow you are not arrested. Are we together? Chomba’s mother [figuratively speaking] will even be boasting to the neighbour, because the neighbour [who are] the UPND members laugh at our people, because they tell Chomba’s mother [figuratively speaking] that you have come back without even one plot. Now if you can have a plot, you would know because you will point at it.”

Mwila did not retract his statement despite wide criticism from opposition leaders and civil society organizations but instead suspended the party’s Kabwe district chairman Mulenga Chela and his secretary Bostin Mpende who were suspected of leaking the video and audio recordings of his infamous meeting.

However, in a statement issued by PF Media Director Sunday Chanda yesterday, Mwila warned cadres to avoid using the name of the party to engage in criminality.

“The Patriotic Front Secretary General would like to warn party cadres engaging in illegal land grabbing that it will not shield anyone from criminality as the party does not and will not support criminal behaviour or anyone using the party name to engage in criminality. The party as received reports alleging that people calling themselves PF party cadres are involving themselves in illegal land grabbing in Lusaka. The Party will not promote such criminality by individuals identifying themselves as members of the Patriotic Front,” Mwila said.

Mwila called on law enforcement agencies to act on such incidences.

“Political belonging does not immunize criminal offenders from prosecution. President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front party is very clear that we are a party order. We do not support barbaric acts such as illegal land grabbing or illegal land allocation. The party recognises that they are civil leaders and government officials tasked with these duties and as such their offices should be left to carry out these duties without any political interference,” said Mwila.

“Let me emphasis that we shall not entertain criminals using the party name to engage in criminality, we are a party committed to serving the Zambian people and we shall serve them with honour and dignity.”