Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila says he will soon meet former UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba to discuss how to “further dismantle the UPND.
According to a report by Smart Eagles, Sunday, Mwila was speaking in Kalumbila district in North Western Province on Saturday when he received over 1,000 defectors from the opposition UPND, MMD and FDD.
Mwila said contract to social media speculation, the Patriotic Front had welcomed GBM with open arms and that the ruling party was keen to work with him in its grassroots mobilisation.
This is contrary to Mwila’s earlier position that GBM must apply to join the ruling party.
On April 25, Mwila said the party was caught unaware by GBM’s decision to rejoin the PF, advising him to write an application as the party constitution demands.
“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 said.
“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 only President Lungu had the powers to readmit GBM even before the Central Committee decided.
Meanwhile, Mwila said a larger part of North Western Province had not seen much development because in 2016, electorates in the region voted for UPND, whose leadership punishes and expels elected officials that choose to work with government in fostering development.
“The opposition can not bring township roads. The opposition can not bring schools. The opposition can not bring health posts. The opposition can not bring boreholes so that you can access clean water because UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has directed his elected officials never to work with government,” he said.
“Not too long ago, he suspended and expelled the then UPND Kafue Council Chairperson Thomas Zulu for having joined His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu during a cleaning exercise at the district marked! We are coming from a by-election in Kafue as a result of that decision and we won the by-election.”
Mwila also hailed the Jackson Kungo led provincial party leadership for its active mobilisation programmes in the region.
“I commend you Chairman Kungo, member of the Central Committee, for your committee’s hardwork and dedication to party mobilisation which has resulted in the PF’s victory in the majority of the by-elections held here in North Western. We now have 12 new Councillors on the PF in the region and soon, I will be coming back to meet and encourage them as we mobilise the party towards the 2021 general elections. We must remember that the strength of any political party is in its ability to effectively mobilise and win the elections,” said Mwila.
Mwila thanked Chief Matebo of the Kaonde speaking people, his Indunas and other traditional leaders who attended the party mobilisation exercise for their continued support.
Indunas who attended the meeting include Kayamba, Shitonyi, Shilenda, Shamaoma and Kapempa.