Davies Mwila says only President Edgar Lungu has the power to override the PF Central Committee’s pending decision and accept GBM’s readmission to the party, stressing that this discretion could only be made if the former UPND vice-president formally writes a letter to the secretariat, declaring his intention to rejoin.
And Mwila who is Secretary General of the PF says Lusaka Lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube (KBF) should find himself a qualifying position in the party before 2020 if he wants to challenge President Edgar Lungu for the PF presidency at the general convention.
Mwila was speaking when he featured on Hot FM’s “Hot Breakfast” show, Thursday.
“Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba announced that he is going to have a press briefing. He didn’t tell the Zambian people that he is going to join the PF or he is going to form his own political party. He didn’t tell anyone about the decision that he was going to make. That’s the more reason that we didn’t attend. That press briefing was held by Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba himself at his own office and he announced that he was re-joining the Patriotic Front. After that, that’s when we heard that he has joined the party. And what we have said is that Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba is welcome to PF, but Article 74 of our constitution is very clear that for someone to be re-admitted, he has to apply and the Central Committee will decide once he applies in two weeks’ time, the Central Committee will make a decision,” Mwila explained.
“But I want to say that on Antonio Mwanza and Miles Sampa, it was an arrangement between ourselves and Antonio and Miles Sampa. And that’s the more reason [why] that press conference was held at our secretariat because that press conference was organised by ourselves and Miles Sampa and Antonio Mwanza. But that press conference was organised by GBM and we didn’t know what he was going to talk about. So, the issue of saying ‘GBM is not welcome’ no! GBM, as spokesperson of the party and chief executive of the party, the position of the party is that GBM is welcome to PF anyone who wants to join PF is most welcome, but there are procedures. For anyone to be readmitted he has to write to the Secretary General and as Secretary General, I will take the matter to the Central Committee so that it’s decided.”
He however said President Lungu had the powers to readmit GBM even before the Central Committee decides.
“Before the Central Committee is held, another clause under Article 74 [states that] the president has a discretion to decide whether to bring that person before three years or not. Yes, I saw him (GBM) in party regalia because I was watching that press briefing, it was live [on TV]. I was watching, he was given a cap and as far as the party is concerned, the decision will be made by the Central Committee. And Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba was once in PF and this is his home. So, he is most welcome!” he added.
Asked how the party intended to work with Mwamba, Mwila responded, saying:
“Like any other member. He wants to be a member of PF, he joined PF. So, we will treat as all members and membership is equal.”
Meanwhile, Mwila said KBF should find himself a position in the party before if he wanted to challenge the presidency at the general convention next year.
“We are not scared [of his ambitions]. First and foremost, KBF is just an ordinary member, he doesn’t hold any party position in the party and we are going to the general conference and the general conference has got rules. We have the guidelines. Whoever attends the general conference must be a delegate; he must be part of the conference. And if someone is not a delegate, he cannot contest, he cannot attend. So, those are the rules. So, it’s up to him now before 2020 because we are doing the provincial elections, he must find a position somewhere for him to qualify to stand as president. He has never been a member of the Central Committee. He was a vice chairman for a sub-committee for Central Committee. When you are a member of the sub-committee, you are appointed by a committee chairman by then it was Honourable Jean Kapata who was chairperson in charge of elections. So, Jean Kapata appointed KBF as vice chairman,” Mwila said.
But he added that if KBF will have a position in the party at the time of the 2020 convention, he will be allowed to attend and challenge for party’s presidency.
“Only that these guys want to abuse their offices. He was just a junior officer in the party. There is no need [for the president to pass on his leadership mantle to KBF] and as a party, we made a decision that we have a preferred candidate and all the provinces have endorsed President Lungu as our preferred candidate! But that does not mean that people cannot challenge the President. PF is a democratic party and anyone who wants to challenge the President, who will be a delegate, will be allowed to challenge the President. If Kelvin Bwalya Fube will be a delegate at that time, he will be allowed to challenge President Edgar Lungu. Actually, I want to say that on GBM, you know about Eric Chanda. He has also written [and] we are waiting for the Central Committee. So, the two issues will be discussed at the next Central Committee and we expect to have a Central Committee (meeting) on 18th May,” said Mwila.