Kabushi PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo has advised party members on the Copperbelt to vote for someone who is not serving as mayor or member of parliament to the position of party chairman saying they will have divided attention.

Lusambo has since thrown his weight behind Mike Manda, saying the Copperbelt deserves to be led by mature, committed and down to earth people.

But Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda’s supporters have warned Lusambo not to breed confusion in the province by supporting his preferred candidates in silence.

“As we now focus on the elections for the Copperbelt Provincial Executive due to take place this weekend, allow me to share with you why I believe the new Provincial Chairman must be no other than Mike Manda. I therefore declare that Team Mike is the only way the party will move forward in the province. As a key member of the PF in the Province, I wish to remind the entire electoral college to vote for a group of men and women that are loyalty to President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the party and will work to ensure the growth and sustainability of the PF on the Copperbelt. As you all know, the Copperbelt is the heartbeat of the PF and it therefore follows that those elected to lead this mighty party should be men and women who are mature, committed, down to earth with proven abilities to mobilise the grassroots. In my long years in politics, the Almighty God has blessed with a good ability to read the political seasons and I can confidently declare that Mike is headed for a landslide victory,” Lusambo stated in a statement which he posted on his Facebook page ahead of the intra-party elections slated for this weekend.

“Due to the complexity of the Province, there is need to usher in a leader who can easily bring different people together in one boat and Mike qualifies. The next leader of the party in the province should be one who can influence the growth of the party in these two different regions and Mike qualifies. Due to the heavy work load, the Provincial Chairman for the party on the Province should be one who is a full time worker and 100% dedicated to the cause of growing the party in the province. The party does not need a part time Chairman who will offer it divided attention. As stated above, the position of Provincial Chairman can be taxing on one’s time. It is therefore important that one is given this responsibility to lead the party in the Province is not a serving Member of Parliament, a Councilor or even a Mayor. This is critical because a Chairman who has other equally important assignments such as attending Parliamentary sessions or Committee meetings in Lusaka and traveling around the country and the world as assigned by the Speaker will devote little time to organizing the team.”

Lusambo also urged members to vote for Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe as provincial deputy chairman, against Chifubu PF member of parliament Frank Ng’ambi who is aspiring for the same position.

“This is why Mr Manda will be deputized by Kitwe Mayor His Worship Christopher Kangombe, a proven community leader who will use a bottom-up approach in addressing the concerns from members, this way, it will guarantee that every PF member on the Copperbelt will have a say on how the party is functioning,” stated Lusambo.

But Nathan Chanda’s supporters have warned Lusambo against bringing confusion in the Copperbelt Provincial PF elections.

A member of Chanda’s campaign team, Felix Mumba, has warned that Lusambo will not be entertained.

“The directions and instructions are clear that ministers should not be part of these elections. Yes, Bowman is MP for Kabushi but we won’t allow his campaigns to divide the Copperbelt. Let him support whoever he wants in silence. He does not know anything about Copperbelt. We fought for the party and we will fight for it. So ba Bowman, don’t push us very much. Stay away from the Copperbelt,” warned Mumba.

“It is the interest of the party first and not individuals. We love the party and we will defend it in anyway. So those that think and want to divide us should not push us.”

Mumba said this after holding campaigns in Bwana Mukubwa constituency.