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Tutwa begs Lungu to withdraw threat against aggrieved membersBy Mirriam Chabala on 12 Jan 2018
Tutwa Ngulube says the President must immediately retract his statement that all PF members who do not agree with the ruling party policies must leave.
And Ngulube says he know Kabwe PF officials are meeting to expel him today.
On Monday when he swore-in Nkana PF member of parliament Alexander Chiteme as Minister of National Planning and Kwacha member of Parliament Joe Malanji as Foreign Affairs Minister, President Lungu challenged PF members who were unhappy with his leadership to leave the party.
“The political party that people voted for is PF, so if you can’t serve under my leadership [as] President of PF, then leave. But I can tell you that the reason why people still believe in us is because we are still attractive, the only party of choice for the Zambian people is PF. That’s why [some] people who have left the government have said they won’t leave PF, they have even gone to Court to remain PF,” said President Lungu.
But Ngulube who is PF Kabwe Central member of parliament said the President’s statement was against tenets.
“I want to plead with the President to retract that statement and also reconsider it because he is the father of the nation and he is the one who is actually supposed to look after all of us. If the President can allow us to talk for some of us who have something then the democracy of this country will be renewed. In the event that we are not allowed to freely talk, it will be difficult for the President to know the problems we are facing on the ground. For now I think everyone who has a complaint must register it and they must do so in a dignified manner without showing disrespect to the President or any kind of bitterness so that our issues can be meaningfully addressed,” Ngulube said.
“So I am on my knees right now pleading with the boss to reconsider that statement because it might not go well. If he meant that all of us who are complaining must leave, he must reconsider it because for now what is important is for us as a party and as his followers to be heard. He is our leader and as our great leader, even all those of us who don’t look normal in the eyes of the critics or in the eyes of his (President Lungu)’s supporters, we should be given a window were we can actually air our views. And in my language we say ‘Chisilu chinaona nkondo’ meaning a mad man was telling people to say ‘I can see guns coming from this direction and people are running away’ but people just said ‘this one is a mad man, he always talks like that’ and when the war came, everyone remembered what the mad man was saying. So even those people we don’t consider to be normal should be respected.”
He said if President Lungu wanted those with minority views to leave the party, then he was stealing democracy.
“The most unfortunate part is that when people talk and then you tell them to leave the party then there is no democracy in the party, it steals democracy. Maybe the President didn’t mean that all of us who are talking must vacate the party. You see democracy entails us that we have the majority and the minority but if you only want the majority to remain in the party then it may mean that we have killed the democracy of the party. So my request is that the President must call us and listen to us, not telling us that leave the party. He should call us and listen to all of us who are crying because you can imagine if you are to leave the party every time you don’t agree, how many people are we going to have? There will be no body,” Ngulube said.
“There are a lot of people who don’t agree with a lot of things [in the PF] but unfortunately they can’t come out in the open. There a few who don’t agree and are able to come out in the open. So we are really pleading with the boss to just embrace us all, we all want to be embraced so that we can also feel part of the family in spite our differences.”
“Asked what he would do if the party expelled him, Ngulube said: “I would challenge the decision. If I am expelled today, I will challenge the decision of the party to expel me because then the party would have gone against the constitution because it allows us to air our views and to criticise policies of the government, policies of the State and of the party itself. If you look at Article 14 of the constitution of the PF, its very clear and it gives us that will.”
“I am not going anywhere, I can not leave. We are here to offer checks and balances, we are not going to leave. Me personally I think I am happy in the PF because it’s a healthy party, look at how we are talking and they are listening and a lot of things are changing as a result of what we are saying. So it’s healthy for us to talk the way we are talking and it’s only fair that we are allowed that window so that we continue talking and criticising party policies.”
And on his Facebook page Wednesday, Ngulube wondered why the ruling party wanted to create by elections when they had signed laws to prevent them.
“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other” George Orwell in his book Animal farm. 1. WHILE churches are banned from meeting and the public gatherings are suspended including issuance of National registration services, a public gathering has been planned for Friday at 14 hrs in the boma hall to expel an MP. As usual no police permit sought. No ministry of health clearance. The writing is on the wall. 2. We passed a law to ban bye elections but people are calling for bye elections. What went wrong?” asked Ngulube.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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