I LOVE this party a lot but if they want us to destroy the party, we can destroy it, says 2021 presidential aspirant Kelvin Fube Bwalya (KBF).
And KBF says PF officials are overreacting to the Monze incident because booing the Head of State is not a crime but an expression of anger or displeasure.
Speaking when he featured on Hot FM’s Hot Seat programme, Thursday, KBF said he had not accepted his expulsion from the Patriotic Front because the current central committee was illegitimate.
KBF also insisted that he was vying for the PF presidency because there is a vacancy since President Lungu’s term as party president expired in 2019.
“Iyi expulsion yabufibi naliikana (this expulsion is fake, I won’t accept it). But if we don’t agree with what I am saying and they (PF members) force me to go to court, we will be embarrassing the party. These are things we can discuss in-house. My expulsion letter was signed by the central committee which I think has no jurisdiction to expel me, they have no power to do what they did. And doing what they did, they are basically breaking the PF constitution and they are breaking the law as it were. The PF constitution is very clear as to how someone becomes a member of the central committee; a member of the central committee is elected at the general conference. The last time we had a general conference was in 2011 when the late President Sata was alive. From that time, we’ve never had a general conference. So the central committee doesn’t have a mandate to expel me. There is no central committee in the PF technically,” KBF said.
KBF said he was giving PF time to think before he could take action, threatening that he would destroy the party if that’s what the members wanted.
“Going to court is going to be more embarrassing for the party, so I have been giving them time to think. Have you ever seen an ordinary member being served an expulsion letter by the secretary general of the party? She (Mumbi Phiri) calls me a nonentity but she dares to come to my office to serve me a letter. She knows who I am in this party. She knows what I am capable of doing. So she mustn’t play, she knows exactly what I can do. I don’t want a fight, I want us to think and resolve this matter properly. I am giving them time to think, I am giving them time to reason…I have been putting money in this party, I have been putting energy and time into this party, do they pay me? They don’t! What have I gained from PF? Not one government contract, not one piece of corruption, not one appointment I can say is worth naming. So as far as I am concerned, I have been building something for them. But they don’t seem to understand that this party has got a foundation and if they’ve failed to lead, they should leave. I love this party a lot. But if they want us to destroy the party, we can destroy it, not because I want to but because they don’t want us to reason,” KBF said.
KBF insisted that the reason he was vying for the PF presidency was because there was a vacancy in the party for that position.
“I don’t need to be a delegate to stand as president of the PF. Anyone in the party can stand. And the reason we put this is because we knew we would have people like the current administration who would want to confuse things, we are trying to avoid that. They think they’ve got things under control; my name is KBF…I am saying that as far as I am concerned, I am a [presidential] candidate, I don’t need to be a delegate to be a candidate, that’s the law. But I know the reason why there is acrimony towards me is because I stand by the party constitution, I stand by the truth and I cannot be easily corrupted, I am principled. When I was announcing my intention to run for Presidency in April last year, I was announcing because there was a vacancy in the party for the presidential position. People ask me ‘but why are you challenging ba Lungu’, there is no challenge, there is a vacancy. How do you challenge when there is a vacancy? I am vying for that position because there is a vacancy and I want to bring a different brand of leaders to the party. Leadership change is inevitable and no one is challenging ba Lungu because he’s not eligible. Ba Lungu to me is not a factor to me, why do you keep on talking about him? I don’t even understand that,” KBF said.
“I am running for President! I don’t need permission from anybody to stand. It is my democratic right, I am going to exercise it and I shall fight to exercise it. Nobody has the right to stop me from standing in this country. I have made Presidents, what can stop me from myself a President?”
Meanwhile, KBF said PF was overreacting to the Monze booing incident.
“Booing the President is an expression of your will, you are trying to show that you are not happy about something. Booing by itself is not an insult, but it is trying to convey a message to somebody that I am not happy about something. I remember I saw a clip of honourable Jack Mwiimbu and Gary Nkombo, they were complaining about certain acts that were done in their so-called strongholds before the presidential visit, the pulling down of UPND flags, defacing of some of their campaign regalia and so on. So you don’t expect when you annoy people like that to go in and they begin clapping for you, no. They were reacting because they were angered by something. And for me, I expected the President to go in there, commission the houses for the police and come out and be Presidential about it. All this talk of HH cannot go to this part of the country, we are overreacting. We are one Zambia one nation. So my advice both to the UPND and PF cadres is calm down, this country belongs to every Zambian and every Zambian has got the right to speak his mind, conduct his business without you interfering with his space,” KBF said
Asked by callers if he was willing to work with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, KBF dismissed that possibility.
“HH is my brother, we were together at the University, I know the guy and I know how he thinks. But here is history, he had Canisius Banda as his vice-president, where is he? He had GBM as his vice-president, he’s now talking to my brother Chishimba Kambwili, I don’t know what they’ve agreed. We even had a pact when president Sata was alive but the problem with HH is that he doesn’t like anyone to be on top of him. But for me, whoever wants to rule me must prove that he is better than me. Those people who have left HH and those he chased, I have spoken to them and they have told me why. Those who want to work with HH should start from the position of zero, he’s been president of that party for almost 15 years and I salute him. But that doesn’t mean he’s better than some of us in thinking. The only thing I can salute HH for is that he has more money than me. But money is not leadership, leadership is about character and the ability you have to serve a nation,” said KBF.