Mandevu PF member of parliament Jean Kapata says there is an “invisible hand” within the party that has dictating names of candidates for intra-party elections, and fighting anyone who tries to take part in the democratic process.
And Kabwata PF member of parliament Given Lubinda says allegations levelled against him are ill-intended as he has no hand in the intra-party elections, especially for lower organs.
On Monday, PF supporters from the seven constituencies in Lusaka presented a petition to Secretary General Davies Mwila, demanding that disciplinary action must be taken against Justice Minister Given Lubinda, Lands Minister Jean Kapata and Higher Education Minister Prof Nkandu Luo, for dividing the ruling party.
But Kapata, who is also PF National Women Chairperson, said the same group of individuals who went to present a petition to the party secretariat, alleging that she and others were having “dark corner” meetings to disrupt the internal party elections, were resisting democracy.
“The true picture in the constituencies is that those people do not want competition, they do not want to be challenged. Those same people who went to present the petition do not want to be challenged. Anybody who is challenging them, they say that ‘it’s the MP’s group.’ There is no MP’s group. All of them are our people. Democracy entails that people should challenge one another. Even at country level, the president’s compete against each other, so why shouldn’t people compete at constituency or ward-level? So, the issue here is that, those people are not being sincere, they are not allowing anyone to compete against them,” Kapata said in an interview yesterday.
“And I know that there is an invisible hand that is saying a certain person should be provincial chairman and a certain person to be a district chairman and the people have refused; they want people to be voted in properly. There is an invisible hand that wants somebody…they have already orchestrated how they want the province to be and how they want [the district] to be. What we want is to challenge those people,” Kapata added.
She added that MPs in the province had met to engage each other on how to strengthen the party.
“I can say that it’s unfortunate that people are giving false information. First of all, all the MPs in the provinces, Northern Province MPs; Luapula Province MPs; Copperbelt MPs, meet to discuss how they are going to work. They give each other what they call Chilimba and this is why you have seen them that [this one] he has donated K100,000 in one place or K50,000 in the constituency because they do Chilimba. So, even us Lusaka Province MPs we decided to have a meeting to discuss how much we are going to be giving each other, and alongside we decided to also look at what is going on in our constituencies,” explained Kapata.
And Lubinda said he has no interest in standing for the branch, ward, or constituency positions as his only interest was to retain his current position as Kabwata area member of parliament.
“That is totally false. I have meetings at my house and elsewhere with my fellow members of parliament in Lusaka District to discuss matters of development in Lusaka District. And because we are all members of the same party, sometimes we also discuss matters to do with…we discuss a lot of issues. And at no point did I in Kabwata Constituency get involved in the intra-party elections. As a member of the Central Committee, my interest is not to go and stand for elections as the ward chairman. If I was planning to stand as ward chairman, then I would interfere with the elections at the branch to create an electoral college to elect me as ward chairman,” Lubinda explained.
He said he decided to completely stay away from the party elections because he believes that the best person must be elected.
“I have no intentions of standing as constituency chairman for me to influence the decision of ward elections. It’s not my interest. I don’t have the intention of standing in the district or province for me to influence the outcomes at lower levels. My intention is to re-contest the position I hold in the Central Committee, and the electoral college of the Central Committee cannot be branches in Kabwata. I have no interest whatsoever to influence the outcome of elections at branch level,” Lubinda added.
“I have stayed away from the elections totally because, with me, the best people must be elected. And the ones who determine the best people are the people in the structures, not me. How do you expect me to know which people are best in all the branches and there are more than 60 branches in Kabwata? How do I determine who is to be elected branch chairman? I wouldn’t have the time to do that, and whoever is elected is bound to work with me as their member of parliament. So, it is totally frivolous for anyone to insinuate that I have had a hand in the electoral process because I haven’t,” said Lubinda.
Meanwhile, efforts to get a comment from Munali PF member of parliament Professor Nkandu Luo proved futile by press time as she was said to be in a meeting.
On Monday, PF supporters from the seven constituencies in Lusaka presented a petition to Secretary General Davies Mwila, demanding that disciplinary action must be taken against Justice Minister Lubinda, Lands Minister Kapata and Higher Education Minister Prof Luo, for dividing the ruling party.