Patriotic Front media director Sunday Chanda says the party has instructed its self-proclaimed “Die Hard” cadre Max Chongu to restore his relationship with the Seventh Day Adventist Church by apologising for bringing it’s name into disrepute.
Speaking when he featured on UNZA radio’s Lusaka Star, Monday, Chanda said it was difficult for the party to discipline Chongu because supporters like him did not belong to any structures.
“We have made it clear that Max’s conduct had no blessing of the party or of any of its structures. We respect our relationship with the Church and we would not look for any opportunity to antagonize the Church, be it the SDA, be it the Catholic Church or indeed any other faith based organisation. We value the place of the Church because we believe that the Church continues to play a very important role on the life of this nation. We are not going to antagonize or label the SDA on account of one of its members, we don’t think that that is the right thing to do. We look at the Church as partner in development,as a partner in peace building, as a partner in nation building and there are a lot of our members in PF who belong to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. So we’ve dismissed that conduct with the highest conduct that it deserves. He (Max) could have had his own reasons but we did say he should deal with his own issues and he must exculpate himself, restore his relations and probably apologise to the SDA Church as a whole,” Chanda said.
Asked if the party had any control over self-styled “PF Die Hards”, Chanda said such supporters were hard to discipline.
“Those are non-structured people. But if one belongs to a branch or any other structure of the party, it becomes easy fir disciplinary measures to be taken. But when when one is an ordinary member, of course there are certain measures that can be taken if one is bringing the name of the party in disrepute because there are lower organs in the party that can move in and ensure that discipline is mated out,” he explained.
Chanda also explained the time-table for the party’s upcoming elections within its structures at all levels.
“I am sure you have seen the dissolution of Lusaka Province and the elections are starting now. I can even give a clear schedule of what we are doing for Lusaka and this is in line with article 61 (J) of the party constitution. So the elections are for the sections, we are starting with lowest branch. The sections are going for elections in Lusaka from 18th to the 30th of April, the branches are starting 1st to the 14th of May. The wards will start on the 15th to the 26th of May, the constituencies will start on the 27th of May to 8th of June, the districts will start on 9th to 16th of June and then we will have the provincial conference where the provincial leadership will be elected on the 30th of June, 2018. Then the rest if the provinces were the elections have not been held will go to elections effective 1st July, 2018,” Chanda said.
Chanda boasted that his party believed in democratically electing leaders.
“What we say is that we must be democratic within [our respective political] parties before we can be democratic in government. We do not promote the ‘Wamuyaya’ syndrome. Officials in the party are subjected to elections at the end of their tenure office and we don’t believe in appointing people to elective positions but the membership should be able to elect their leaders and as you know this process is going to build up to the national convection in 2020 for the members of the central committee and the party has said that we have a preferred candidate for President, but we’ve said anyone can challenge him and anybody will be free to contest the central committee positions. So that is the organisational renewal for the Patriotic Front and this is who we are, we believe that if you don’t practice democracy within your party then there is no way you can be trusted to exercise democracy once you form government. So this is the decision of the central committee and it’s provided for by the constitution. Of the Patriotic Front and it’s something that members know that at the end of their tenure, they must submit themselves to a fresh mandate or to allow for others to come into office,” said Chanda.