Some PF councillors in Kasama District of Northern Province have complained that they have no capacity to sponsor the ongoing intra-party elections as the party has not funded them.
But provincial party chairman Lazarus Bwalya says Kasama councillors are just playing to the gallery, arguing that funds for elections have been released.
In an interview with News Diggers! the councillors complained that they had each been given responsibilities to undertake during the elections without any sort of funding.
They further complained that even when the party Secretary General visited the province to launch the elections, he never met any of the councillors except for senior party officials.
“There is nothing that we have at the moment in terms of funding. It is true that we have not been funded. He (Mwila) had a meeting at a lodge I think three days ago with provincial chairman Lazarous Chungu Bwalya but we received nothing, all the wards in the constituencies. The party also has nothing, they are also asking for help from the MP. Yes we were told to source for funding but to tell you the truth we have no capacity to do that. For me I am totally stranded, I cannot even support any little. Accommodation I have no problem but feeding those who are coming to hold those elections, the fuel for using in the vehicles. So it’s quite a challenge,” said the councillors who declined to be named.
Asked why they didn’t air their concerns to the party Secretary General when he visited the province to launch the elections, the councillors said they didn’t have a chance to meet him.
“No, us councillors he didn’t meet us but only the party officials. [he didn’t meet any of the councillors] unless individually or maybe one of the councillors who are very well known to him. But for us, he did not meet us. All we are saying is that we have no capacity. The little which I can contribute cannot accommodate all those programmes,” said councillors.
But when contacted for a reaction, Bwalya said Kasama district councillors were only playing to the gallery because the funds had already been disbursed.
“So why are you directing that question [to me] and not to the secretariat? Because the funds come from the HQ and the best you could have done is to confirm with other provinces whether the funds are not there. I was in Kasama district on Sunday and that Issue was not brought to me and I would have loved to see which councillor is that. And in Kasama district if you ask the honourable member of parliament, we were together when we addressed the entire party structure in Kasama,” explained Bwalya.
“We had a meeting and everyone else was told what is expected of them during the elections. So I don’t think I can have an answer to that particular councillor. The only thing is that resources have been made available. First and foremost that particular councillor knows very well his responsibility in this particular intra-party election. Everyone has been given a responsibility including resource mobilisations to that effect. If it is from Kasama, they are playing to the galleries which I don’t like.”