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Munir explains how “Luapula United” is rising to split PFBy Sipilisiwe Ncube and Mukosha Funga on 8 Oct 2018
PF youth Munir Zulu says the intra-party elections for Lusaka Province will be a source of deeper divisions for the Patriotic Front because a group of MPs from Luapula Province is rising against structures that are supposed to select eligible candidates.
And Zulu says the MPs who are part of the “Luapula United” clique are more powerful and influential because they have more money than any other group of parliamentarians from other regions.
In an interview with News Diggers! Zulu said since Luapula members of parliament had merged and formed a group called “Luapula United” which was playing an upper hand in the party elections, it was only expected that President Edgar Lungu would invoke the party’s constitution provision that allows him to do away with elections and appoint the Lusaka Province executive.
He revealed that “Luapula United was sponsoring former Kennedy Kamba to bounce back as provincial chairperson despite his former committee having been dissolved.
“My honest opinion is that the President must appoint, because the PF constitution allows him to appoint a candidate. Why am I saying so? These elections could be a source of deeper divisions in the party. There is no way Luapula MPs are sponsoring party elections in Lusaka. Why not sponsor elections in Luapula? Lusaka should have been left to the likes of Honourable Jean Kapata, Honourable Nkandu Luo, Honourable Given Lubinda to sponsor their preferred candidate. But what is happening is people Like Kennedy Kamba are being funded by MPs from Luapula and those MPs from Luapula now we are referring to them as ‘Luapula united.’ I personally called Honourable Mumbi Phiri [and] I said ‘Honourable deputy secretary general, how true is this issue of Luapula united? She gave me an answer to say ‘the Eastern MPs are not united, Muchinga MPs are not united, Northerners are not united, Lusaka MPs are not united, only Luapula is united because they have only one female MP,” Zulu said.
“So for the sake of peace, let the President appoint his preferred person because today you will hear that statement from the secretary general saying ‘those that are not in good standing with the party do not qualify to stand’. Now in good standing, Kennedy Kamba was dissolved but they are saying he is eligible to stand. So I don’t know why the secretary general said those who are in good standing with the party because if you are in good standing with the party, you cannot be dissolved.”
Zulu said that allowing Kamba to stand will prove that the Luapula united has an upper hand in the elections.
“So if Kennedy Kamba is allowed to stand, it means the Luapula united has a stronger influential status in this party called PF. Then the issue of Emmanuel Chilubanama coming on, former permanent secretary State House, people are saying he is not eligible. For me I do not know why they are saying he is not eligible because he was not fired from the party, he was fired from government. So we need to help the President on this issue because this “Luapula United” is real,” said Zulu.
“The richest MPs today in the country are those from Luapula [and] that’s the fact. There are no MPs that are richer than MPs from Luapula today, they are running the biggest ministries. We know for a fact, they have got more business friends on their table. And every day, secretary general is eating nsima with Kennedy Kamba at those places behind Pamodzi Hotel. I know I am so unpopular in PF because I speak my mind. Thomas Ankara said ‘he who feeds you controls you’ I am not fed by anyone of them so they can’t control me and I have got an opinion to give and they must respect it.”
Meanwhile, according to PF sources, State House has also picked intelligence to the effect that the said “Luapula United” is scheming to challenge Lungu at the 2020 General Conference.
“We have also heard worrying stories about this Luapula United because tabaleyangala (they are not playing). Nga ba boss tabale salapuka, bakadabwisha (if the president is not careful, they will shock him). We we understand is that this group is doing ground work and in case the Constitutional Court doesn’t rule in favour of the President. So there are two issues, first they are jostling for the position of running mate in 2021, then among themselves, there are others who are more ambitious and want to take it from the President in 2021,” sources told News Diggers.
“Their issue is that so many things have gone wrong in in the economy and the party has lost popularity. So they feel that the current President would be a risk or liability to go with to another election. That is why you are seeing that Luapula United movement.”
Ironically, the source named PF secretary general Davies Mwila as one of the Luapula United architects, but when contacted by News Diggers, the PF chief executive said he does not respond to petty gossip and cut the phone before any further questions could be posed to him.
“I can’t comment on that, It is petty,” said Mwila.
About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha Funga is a Zambian journalist interested in good governance and anti corruption reporting.
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