Kabwe central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says although the ruling party has settled for President Edgar Lungu as the sole candidate for the 2021 election, the 2020 national convention will go ahead to elect new central committee members.
And Ngulube says some power hungry people are bent on causing confusion in the PF even though they don’t qualify to be picked as presidential candidate.
The caucus of PF members of parliament on the Copperbelt has argued that going for a national convention to choose the party’s Presidential candidate ahead of the 2021 general elections will not be necessary.
The MPs, who include Copperbelt Provincial Minister Japhen Mwakalombe have since requested party secretary general Davies Mwila to instead call for a general council where President Lungu will be announced as the Party’s sole candidate.
But in an interview, Ngulube said the party would still need to for a national convention to elect a new central committee.
“We have already endorsed President Lungu as the sole candidate for the Presidential position in the 2021 general elections, just as you are aware. But the rest of the positions will have to be filled up at the convention in 2020, that is the position that the party has taken. So we will proceed with a convention next year so as to fill up the other positions and also to renew the mandate of the central committee. I am aware that PF structures from all the 10 Provinces have endorsed President Edgar Lungu as their candidate, so there will be no need for us to open up the elections for that position again because the electoral college has already decided that the position will go through unopposed,” Ngulube said.
And Ngulube said not every Jim and Jack could be chosen as presidential candidate.
“To qualify to be Presidential candidate, you need the 10 Provinces to endorse you. So if there is any person who has already been endorsed and if the position has already been filled up, then there is no need or us to start looking for another candidate. But if there is anyone who feels he’s capable of challenging President Edgar Lungu and they want to come and challenge him, the question we have is, does he have the support of the all the 10 Provinces? If he has the support of all the 10 Provinces, the other question is, does he qualify? Because it’s not just anyone who can wake up and say ‘I want to challenge the President’, do you have the requisite qualifications and who is sponsoring you? Because you need also a sponsor to take up that position because being President is not for every Jim and Jack. President is the highest office in the land, so the party must have guidelines as to who can ascend to that particular position,” Ngulube charged.
“We are aware right now that there are people who are a bit power hungry and the only thing they want to do is to cause confusion in the PF because they know that even if they went to an election, no one would pick them as Presidential candidate. So we just want to urge them that this time around, there will be not election at that highest office. The only election that we will conduct will be from Vice-President going down. So that is what the PF constitution says.”
Meanwhile, when asked if he still felt the party needed an indaba to resolve the intra-party conflicts, Ngulube said there was no longer need for the PF to hold an indaba because people in the party had already forgiven one another.
“You know circumstances do change, at that time when we were calling for that indaba, there were a lot of differences. But I think the party has healed and a lot of things have happened and water has gone under the bridge. So I don’t think holding an indaba for now would be a good idea because we have already forgiven each other. Some of us you know we had trouble with the party but we’ve been forgiven, we’ve moved on and we just want to continue working without reopening the old wounds. So I just want to add that the position given by central committee yesterday (Sunday) agrees to most of the issues that you have asked me about. So the position remains to have discipline in the party. We feel the central committee has ably guided and we should be able to give ourselves enough support based on the guidance given by the central committee,” said Ngulube.