PF Secretary General Davies Mwila says the Party’s Central Committee has settled for President Edgar Lungu as its candidate for the 2021 general, but insists that members are free to challenge the incumbent the for the position.

Speaking during a press briefing, Wednesday, Mwila said President Lungu had already indicated to the central committee that he was going to stand as party president, despite rumours that the party was still looking for a presidential candidate for the 2021 election.

“On the general conference I would want to say that the Central Committee made a decision that we are going to go with President Edgar Lungu as our candidate in 2021; that was the resolution of the Central Committee. So as far as the party is concerned we have a candidate in place. We would like to dispel the rumours of the statement which has been going round that PF doesn’t have a candidate, we have a candidate and President Edgar Lungu is standing! He has indicated to the central committee that he is going to stand in 2021. And that is the more reason we came up with a decision that we are going to go with him as our official candidate,” Mwila said.

“When a position is made by the central committee what it implies is that anyone who has the right to stand can also stand because PF has always been a democratic party, not these other political parties. And you are aware that we have been conducting party elections in all the structures from the section up to the province. And today the UPND can’t tell us to do what we have been doing, let them go to the general conference they have never held any conference. Even the NDC (National Democratic Congress) they have never held any conference; but us, we are leading by example we are able to conduct the elections in all the structures. Because our party is democratic.”

Mwila instructed party members to desist from talking about the general conference to the media.

“There has been calls by members of parliament from PF that we should not go to the national or general conference, instead we have our Presidential Candidate already. And as spokesperson of the party I wish to state as follows that the calling of the general conference lies in the central committee. So it is the Central Committee which has the powers to call for the general conference,” Mwila said.

“I want to state that a decision has not yet be made and all those who are saying that we should not go to the general conference they should wait until the decision is made. From onwards I am giving instruction that no one should go to the media taking about the general conference until at an appropriate time. Central Committee will discuss the matter and arrive at a decision.”

And Mwila said PF would not protect any party member found collecting money from markets and bus stations.

“Secondly, [as the] Central Committee, we made a decision that no party cadre whether PF, UPND or any other party cadre should be allowed to collect money in the markets as well as bus stations. We have said that we will have to enforce the market and bus stations Act of 2007 that the council have the authority to collect the money not any other person,” Mwila said.

“So we came up with a committee of three; the Minister of Local Government, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Transport and Communication. So the meetings have started and we are making progress. We expect all those who are in stations as well as markets to cooperate. As a party we would appeal to the police that they have to be firm on those found wanting. No one will be protected if found wanting.”