Patriotic Front (PF) deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says comments that she offended President Edgar Lungu would only make sense if the Head of State had also revoked her party position after withdrawing her nomination to Parliament.
And Phiri says she will now have enough time to re-organize the party in readiness for the 2021 Presidential and general elections.
In an interview, Phiri dispelled social media reports that she was angry with the President for withdrawing her nomination to Parliament, explaining that she had no reason to challenge his decision because he had the discretion to fire and hire.
“That is just social media rubbish! I would have said something [to complain] if I was removed from my position as party deputy secretary general too. But then I was ready for anything as a nominated member of parliament because that was just a nomination which could be revoked any time that the President wanted. Usually, nominated members of parliament are appointed as Cabinet Ministers, and since I was the only nominated member of parliament in the party with no portfolio, I had to be dropped so that a place could be created for the new Minister of Finance. I could not be appointed as Minister of Finance because I do not have the qualifications. So I understood, and it’s not like this came as a surprise, I knew my nomination had been withdrawn around 12:00 hours yesterday (Sunday). Even the time I went to meet the President at the Airport [that same day], I was already aware that I had been dropped,” Phiri said.
“I am not angry at all and I cannot call the President ungrateful because he was gracious enough to give me an opportunity to serve the people of Zambia through my nomination as member of parliament for the last seven months and I am entirely grateful to him for that. The President has the powers to appoint and fire and no one can challenge him because he only does that which is in the interest of the nation. But even though I have been dropped, I will not become a political prostitute. I am still deputy secretary general of the Patriotic Front and I will continue working to develop my party and my country, so there is literally nothing to be upset about.”
Asked if she had any intentions to leave the party after being removed from Parliament as a nominated MP, Phiri said she would do no such thing.
“The only time I will decide to leave the PF is when my services are no longer required. The people spreading such propaganda about me should know that I am a very strong woman. I have always risen above these falsehoods. People created false stories about me aborting a pregnancy some time ago and that I had even gone to South Africa for that, but everyone is able to see now that those were just lies meant to destroy my image. So for me, I was happy to serve the party and the country as a nominated member of parliament but I am still enjoying serving my party as deputy secretary general. I only wish to congratulate my new Minister of Finance on his appointment and his nomination as member of parliament, I only wish him the best as he discharges his new responsibilities. Me I am a true believer in God, I know that it was God who used the President to give me that opportunity to serve and I could only serve within the specified framework of God’s own appointed time,” said Phiri adding that she’d now have more time for party mobilisation activities.
“I will be on the ground now to organise the party, all structures to ensure that victory for our party is assured in 2021. I will go to every ward, every constituency and make sure that the party is strong from the ground. So yes, this will give time to visit our people and also organise the party.”