Eastern Province PF chairperson Andrew Lubusha has expelled two senior party officials in Petauke for allegedly breaching the party’s constitution.

And among those expelled from the party are Lubusha’s only challenger Elias Daka (Eliboma) in the upcoming PF intra-party elections for Eastern Province and Emmanuel (Jay Jay) Banda, the parliamentary contender who seeks to unseat Information Minister Dora Siliya as Petauke Central MP in 2021.

Those expelled have expressed shock at the party’s decision, saying they had never been subjected to any disciplinary procedure as stipulated in the party’s constitution.

Lubusha explained that the decision to expel the duo was made by the Central Committee, and that he was just implementing the instruction from his boss, PF Secretary General Davies Mwila.

According to the expulsion letters dated February 20, 2019, and signed by Lubusha, Emmanuel Banda, who is also 2016 Petauke Central Independent losing member of parliament, has been expelled for distributing PF branded bicycles to ward officials without party authority, among other charges.

“You were distributing PF branded bicycles to PF ward officials in Petauke without authority from the Secretariat; and the sitting member of parliament for Petauke Central Hon Dora Siliya MP complained that you have been campaigning in her constituency before the declaration of campaigns, therefore, you went against the party! These actions above violate regulation 29 of the party constitution on: breach of the rules of the party; acting in a manner likely to bring the name of the party into public ridicule; spreading false information to any organ of the party or any of its officials to deceive or misled; and acting disrespectfully towards the party or any of its officials,” stated Lubusha in the expulsion letter.

Lubusha stated that Daka was expelled for allegedly deceiving Musanzala constituency members that their incumbent lawmaker Peter Daka had died, when in fact not.

“You have been undermining the incumbent member of parliament for Musanzala, Hon Peter Daka, which is against party guidelines; you have been in possession and distribution of Patriotic Front branded materials without authority from the Secretariat; the sitting member of parliament for Musanzala, Hon Peter Daka complained of your unfair conduct where you cheated people in the constituency that he had died. It is also noted that you immediately staged campaigns for Musanzala, a move that has drastically disturbed Hon Peter Daka’s well-being,” charged Lubusha.

Lubusha has since advised the expelled officials to appeal to the Central Committee if they felt unsatisfied.

“I received written instructions, rather guidance, from my immediate boss, the Secretary General, and I executed the instructions in line with the party constitution. We have clearly indicated that we are acting on instructions from our able Secretary General of the mighty Patriotic Front. Hon Jay Banda take note that the party has disciplined both you and one Mr Ellias Daka and even if it came as written instruction from my immediate supervisor, I am automatically part of all decisions of the party by virtue of being a member of Central Committee, therefore, it is collective. I am simply a bearer of such a decision, but it is a decision of the party, hence, we are all part of it. You may wish to appeal to the Central Committee,” Lubusha stated.

But party member Chinganyama Kasalika has petitioned the party seeking the dissolution of the Lubusha-led executive.

“I write to your good office, sir, to seek for the dissolution of the Andrew Lubusha-led executive committee. Sir, you may wish to know that stakeholders of the Patriotic Front in Eastern Province are calling for the immediate dissolution of the party executive committee led by Andrew Lubusha as we await to conduct fresh elections. That all members and supporters of our great party restate their unflinching support for President Edgar Lungu and assure him of a harvest of votes from Eastern Province in the 2021 general elections,” stated Kasalika in his appeal letter addressed to Davies Mwila.

Kasalika revealed that the ruling party was divided in the region.

“Sir, for all intents and purposes, the party is not united and so I hereby implore you to take charge of the challenges facing the party and deal with them decisively. Sir, we seem often to ignore essential elements in the growth of our party PF, namely internal structures. Sir, note that there is no interdependence between the party and the general membership. In Eastern Province, we have failed to promote the party’s adherence not only to democratic goals and activities, but also to democratic internal structures, which is now posing as a serious challenge to the growth of the party amid intimidation and vindictiveness,” Kasalika warned.

“Lastly, sir, I want to state that internal democracy must be mandatory and our leaders should allow room for divergent views. We are a (ruling) party and not in opposition. The current state of affairs in Eastern Province is a sorry sight and if left unchecked, we risk losing a lot of members silently and the possibility of us tasting our own medicine of ‘Donchi Kubeba’ is highly imminent.”

Another member Chinga Kasalika noted that the lack of internal democracy in the province remained a threat to peace in the party.

“Sadly, Eastern Province leadership has cultivated a culture of intolerance to debate and dissent from members. These features are stifling debate of important issues and policies. Thus, bad decisions like expulsions of members cannot be checked within the party before becoming public policy since lower-ranking members are only important during elections, and the general membership in Eastern Province is every day being deprived of an opportunity to influence party policies. Our provincial team has become insanely and selfishly unresponsive to the members’ needs,” observed Chinga.