President Edgar Lungu says the Patriotic Front does not believe in the ‘wamuyayaya (sole leader)’ principle.
Reading a written speech in Kabompo when he officially opened the North Western Province Conference today, President Lungu said no one person in the party could hold a position forever.
“The values of exclusivity, unity of purpose and a certain resolve to create a better Zambia for all, especially the poor, must remain our purpose because that is who we are. We are a party with pro poor ideas.
This conference is testimony that we in PF do not believe in wamuyayaya, no one position is for one person forever. All positions are elective. We in PF do not believe in the existence of single genius, we believe in collective genius,” President Lungu said.
“When a term of office is over, we subject ourselves to an election. And that is exactly what we are going to do here today. That is the significance of this Kabompo Conference. It is open and a democratic journey that we are embarking on in the party as we prepare for the 2021 general elections. I am very happy to be opening this North Western Province conference. This Kabompo conference must be the biggest democratic exercise since the formation of the party. No other party present or past has demonstrated a resolve to choose their leaders in the most honest and transparent manner like we are doing as PF. We in PF lead by example because our beliefs in democratic practice is not lip service.”
He said an undemocratic party could not form a democratic government.
“That is why we in government are very committed to democratic tenants because people trust a democratic party to form a democratic government. There is no party which is undemocratic which can form a democratic government. Therefore, this conference provides us with an opportunity to revisit the values which led to the formation of the PF by the great son of the African soil, our beloved hero, our patriarch, our father, batata ba Michael Sata. The people of Zambia will trust our democratic candidate because they can see for themselves the intraparty democracy we are practicing here,” he said.
And President Lungu, who yesterday warned ConCourt judges that there would be chaos in the country if they ruled him ineligible to contest the 2021 elections, said his party was committed to upholding the rule of law and separation of powers.
“I expect you after the election is over to walk out there and tell all our members across the country that the PF remains Zambia’s most democratic party, incomparable to none. Go tell them, even those that are not PF that we in the PF are committed to good governance and constitutional democracy which includes upholding the rule of law, separation of powers, respect for human rights, free and fair elections as well as political stability. Tell them the PF has demonstrated that accountability and transparency are key elements in fulfilling our people given mandate,” he said.
“We have continued to show our commitment to promotion of dialogue and peaceful coexistence of political parties. We have consistently held a firm belief that democracy is about engaging in robust and healthy political discourse and not unhealthy provocations without substance.
We believe too that once politics is a competition to serve and this competition can turn to be fierce but no one should seek political office on the back of political failure or chaos. That is why we in PF disapprove of any engagement that seeks to undermine the core values of the nation.”
He called for issue based politics.
“That is why we in the PF are making a clarion call for issue based politics from all sections of the political section. We refuse to be brought down by mudslinging and divisive actions aimed at stalling development. Zambia at 53 years can do well by migrating to issue based politics. I can assure you that the PF will lead the way in that endeavor. I expect this conference to reinforce intraparty dialogue which enables us to always go back to the people to renew our mandate at all party levels. Let’s work together to change the tide in North Western province. We are the ruling party so I don’t expect any theories of ‘no, North Western Province is a no go area’. There is no area which is a no go area for us,” said President Lungu.
“Our supporters countrywide are looking forward to the choices this important conference will make. If we want to turn PF into a strong and vibrant party which will win support in this province, attention must be paid to the caliber and character of those we elect…we have no luxury of time and we have no room for passengers. To those who will be elected, be ready to serve and not to be served…if you are a leader who always want to be followed but you cannot follow others, you are not fit to lead.”