Patriotic Front deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri has urged party members with ambitions to stand as mayors to be ‘cool’ and wait for the party to call for applications.
On Monday, PF Mpulungu Ward councillor in Mandevu Constituency, Christopher Shakafuswa, petitioned the Constitutional Court over his eligibility to contest the executive mayor by-election following the death of Lusaka Mayor, Wilson Kalumba.
According to originating summons filed in the Constitutional Court, Shakafuswa and his endorser, Isaac Mwanza as first and second applicants, had asked for an interpretation of Article 158 on whether he ought to resign his position as councillor to be eligible to contest for mayor.
But in a phone-in interview with News Diggers! Phiri expressed displeasure with Shakafuswa, saying if he wanted to stand as mayor he could have waited for the ECZ to announce the election dates.
“I would like to register my displeasure and disappointment with this councillor for Mpulungu ward in Mandevu constituency, Christopher Shakafuswa, for going to the ConCourt to get the interpretation of what happens when a mayor dies. Because if he wants to stand as mayor, the first [thing] he should have done was to wait for the Electoral Commission of Zambia to announce the dates for the elections,” Phiri said.
She observed that Shakafuswa was already eyeing the seat when the mayor was only buried a few days ago.
She added that if Shakafuswa had respect for the party, he would have talked to the central committee member, Brian Mundubile, before going to Court.
“Today (yesterday) is Tuesday, the mayor was only buried on Saturday and the mayor has children who are still mourning, he still has family members who are still mourning, he still has close friends who are still mourning. How can he feel himself if it concerns him then three days later people start eyeing for those seats. As if that’s not enough, isn’t Christopher aware that we have a member of central committee who is in charge for legal? This is the Minister for Northern Province, Honourable [Brian] Mundubile. If he really had respect for the party, why didn’t he go to our legal person to talk to him before he went to the ConCourt,” Phiri wondered.
She said the PF secretariat was not happy with Shakafuswa’s move.
And Phiri urged those with ambitions to stand as mayors to wait until the party advertises for applications.
“And whom did he consult because it’s the party position, which is going to decide who stands as mayor. Otherwise, we are not happy as the secretariat because one; we are Africans and we are guided [that] no matter how much, we cannot all of a sudden become so modern that we cannot even respect death. Even in the Bible there is a mourning period, and we are mourning as a party. That was our mayor. So, I would like to urge everybody who wants to stand to be cool. As a party we will advertise when the applications will start coming to the party.”