Some PF members in Sinda District say the party has lost its grip in the area because the current leadership is doing nothing to promote transparent intra-party elections yet they want to cling to power.
In separate interviews, some party members, speaking anonymously, said the district party leadership is appointing some people to various positions without conducting elections so that they are voted for during the coming party elections.
They said the party in Sinda was strong when late Leonard Mbewe was the chairperson, and that with Michael Phiri, who is current the council chairperson, nothing positive was happening.
“There is total confusion in our party; the party in the district is not all that strong. In fact, you can’t tell now whether Sinda is a bedroom of PF because of selfish leadership! Our party is having elections countrywide, but our district leaders are doing private appointments on some people by following them in their homes, which is part of corruption, so that when the people from NEC (National Executive Committee) come, they should be told that the party is strong and no need of elections,” said one member.
And another member added that the district team wanted to cling on to their positions despite people hoping for change.
“The NEC people will be blindfolded because people are being bought to support the current leadership. In fact, as the party, we have so many members who are capable to handle top positions, but the ones, especially the top three: the district chairperson, Mr Michael Phiri; the district secretary, Mr Best Mwanza and publicity secretary, Mr Fame Mvula are the ones who are trying by all means to remain in their positions, but most members are fed up of them!” they alleged.
However, the members said, Wednesday, that the party held a meeting with some appointed members and those who seem to be active and wise were not invited, which they suspect was to drill the appointed members what to say when members of the Central Committee arrive.
They also complained that there is no uniformity between Sinda constituency and neighbouring Kapoche as the top leaders don’t even visit the structures to see what is happening.
“They want to lead like it’s Mulyokela’s party, which has no structures, no! We are not happy, the leaders don’t move around the constituencies to see how people survive; they don’t make party meetings to discuss how the party is moving and problems they are facing. When you have many cows, you tie others and allow others to rest so we have other members who can strengthen the party, we have the men and women who can bring back Sinda District on the political map, but apa awee sivinthu kukuzani vazoona, the party is dead because of poor leadership,” they lamented.
They warned the provincial and NEC team to be watchful as they might be told the party is strong in the district when in fact not.
“We have come to you, as our ‘Vuvuzela,’ because we want our NEC leaders and provincial leaders to know that the statement, which they will be told that the party is intact, is not true! They should be aware that if the party is left like this, then opposition will base their roots in Sinda again and that will be too bad. So, provincial team, NEC team, be informed that Sinda PF is dead because of lazy and poor leadership so if the current leadership continues, then don’t be surprised with what might happen and our good signal is a loss of our party in Lusinde [Ward] by-election in Petauke,” they explained.
They emphasised that Sinda Independent member of parliament Masauso Tembo was the only one who made the party tick.
“The party seems to tick though through an oxygen because of Sinda Independent MP who provides support and conducts community meetings where he tells people the goodness of PF government, and it is him who mostly engages the district leadership to have a say, but on their own, they can’t organize the meetings. And how can we go like this? If you talk of Kapoche, the party is completely dead as even the MP has nothing to do with mobilising the party! they added.
And when district party chairperson Michael Phiri was reached for a comment, he argued that no one was blocking the intra-party elections.
“We are not blocking any elections; we follow orders, and the letter we have is that ward elections we will conduct them, but constituency and district elections will be done by the high people and there is no one going door-to-door to solicit for votes. It’s democratic and our party is democratic, but for someone to say; ‘we are blocking because we want to cling to power’ then it’s their own baby to nurse as we are not aware of that. They will choose their leaders of their choice, but they have to exercise patience” Phiri explained.
“Why can’t they say during the meeting or visit our offices and lodge in their complaints, rather than crying from outside? We are not animals to be feared, where we go wrong, they should speak, but kukamba kamba cabe won’t help them nor the party.”
When asked about the accusations against his inactiveness, Phiri denied the assertion.
“Okay, if they say; ‘I have killed the party’ it’s okay. But what you should know and what they should know is that every player thinks they are better off [than] others when they are on the bench; the moment they are on the [pitch] failure to the last! So, we will soon have elections and they will decide what they want,” replied Phiri.