Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davies Mwila says the ruling party is constituting a social media monitoring team targeted at ending abuse and those found sowing seeds of discord will be expelled.
And Mwila says the party’s Central Committee has decided to re-admit former UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) and former NDC spokesperson Eric Chanda back into PF, but as ordinary members.
Meanwhile, Mwila says the ruling party has accepted the court ruling on the Sesheke by-election petition and will not appeal the judgement.
Speaking at the press briefing at the PF Secretariat in Lusaka, Monday, Mwila asked party leaders across the country to get in touch with the secretariat for the registration of provincial and district social media blogs.
“The Central Committee resolved to bring social media abuse to an end! I wish to state here that the era of social media abuse in the party is over! Let me announce that perpetrators of social media abuse in the party and at whatever levels will face the axe with immediate effect! This is a serious resolve by the party to curb social media (abuse). To this effect, the party is putting in place a social media monitoring system team to track any abuse of social media. Those found to abuse social media and sowing seeds of discord will not be tolerated in the party!” Mwila said.
“The party is directing all provincial chairpersons across the country to get in touch with the party secretariat to facilitate the creation of Provincial and District Social Media blogs, which must be registered with the party, and names of administrators submitted to the party secretariat.”
Mwila said all unregistered platforms should not bear the PF name.
“Further, members will be expected to subscribe or join these platforms on voluntary basis. Those who wish to have their blogs must not use the party’s name, acronym or symbol. Further, in cases of abuse, liability must extend to administrators of these blogs. Central Committee heard that members of the party, including senior party officials, are added to these blogs without their consent; others are even made administrators without consent,” he said.
And Mwila said GBM had been readmitted into the PF.
“Central Committee resolved to re-admit former UPND vice president, comrade Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, and comrade Eric Chanda into the party as ordinary members. Patriotic Front is the people’s movement and all those who had left, but would want to come back, can still do so following the party’s laid-down procedures. On this score, let me emphasize to all new and old members that, the party expects nothing but loyalty to its leadership, vision and ideals,” Mwila said.
Meanwhile, Mwila said the ruling party would not appeal the High Court’s decision on the Sesheke petition.
“The courts of law in Zambia operate independently and once they make a decision, us as a ruling party, we respect the decision of the courts. So, as far as we are concerned, we have respected the decision of the Court and we have respected that. And we don’t intend to appeal. Secondly, we have started preparations for Katuba (constituency by-election). You are aware that that seat was held by UPND and as a ruling party, we are very much geared for that seat. We have to face our colleagues in Katuba,” Mwila said.
Mwila also urged party members aspiring for 2021 to manage their ambitions and desist from premature campaigns.
“Central Committee resolved that to take punitive actions against members campaigning in constituencies, which have sitting PF MPs. The measure is aimed at ensuring that sitting MPs are given the space to deliver without any obstacles whatsoever. Members of the party are, therefore, expected to manage their ambitions because failure to do so will attract disciplinary measures and being blacklisted by the party! I am, therefore, directing all those members going into constituencies where we have PF MPs to stop with immediate effect. All members of parliament are encouraged to report any such individuals to the party secretariat and we will not hesitate to take action! Further, let me call on all members of parliament to be on the ground. The party will also not tolerate absentee MPs, and in this regard, the party is going to track our MPs’ performance in their respective constituencies and those found wanting will be summoned by the party,” Mwila cautioned.
He also reiterated the party’s support of government’s decision to liquidate Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM).
“We have supported the decision of government [on KCM] and I want to say that it’s long overdue! Our people have suffered and the party and government have decided to side with the people. The people voted for us and we have to look at their interest first because as government, we have to protect the interest of the people first! We have no [other] choice. KCM have taken us for a ride and government has made a decision, which all of us as party members have supported fully. What we want now is for the liquidator to pay the debts [and] the liquidator must pay the debt. And not only that, we have to look for a new investor and once the new investor comes on board, he will be able to take on all the workers and they will not lose out on the benefits,” said Mwila.