PF Secretary General Davies Mwila says the party will not shield PF Eastern Province chairperson Emmanuel Jay Jay Banda from being arrested over his violent attack on a police officer at Lusaka Central Police Station.

And Mwila says the party will proceed with holding intra party elections and thereafter the convention, with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.

Meanwhile Mwila says it is Matero PF member of parliament Lloyd Kaziya who has abandoned the ruling party but brags that the party is considering selecting another candidate from may aspirants for 2021.

Speaking during a briefing, Monday, Mwila condemned Banda’s conduct, saying Eastern Province PF would also take action against him once police fished him out of hiding.

“Central committee chaired by His Excellency President Lungu reaffirmed its position on those who wish to commit criminal activities in the name of the party or the President that the long arm of the law must reach them without any hesitation whatsoever. The central committee strongly condemns the despicable reported incident at the Lusaka Central Police where alleged PF members led by a Mr Jay Jay Banda attacked law enforcement officers. The central committee has since called for the immediate stern action, which should culminate in the effective arrest and prosecution of all the perpetrators,” Mwila said.

“The central committee reaffirmed its position not to shield any form of criminality whatsoever. In this regard, the central committee is calling on all members of the Party to exhibit maximum discipline and exemplary behavior if the Party is to remain attractive, and as a Party of Choice for the majority of Zambians. In short, the central committee is saying those cadres must be arrested. First and foremost he (Banda) is in hiding and we are asking police to get hold of him. Once he is out, action will be taken by the Province.”

Mwila said all party members involved in illegal gold mining in Mwinilunga had been officially dropped from their positions.

“The central committee received a detailed report regarding illegal gold mining at Kasenseli Mine by party officials in North Western Province. Once again, the Party’s firm and consistent position is that it will not tolerate any form of illegality and criminality committed in the name of the party or the President. In this regard, all party officials linked to illegal gold mining and theft of gold deposits have been dropped from their positions. In short, all those who were involved have been removed from their positions. The Chairman Mr Jackson Kungo has been removed, chairlady Catherine Mukuma has been removed, the chairman for Mwinilunga district has been removed, the constituency chairman for Mwinilunga has been removed. They remain ordinary members of the party,” he said.

“While they remain ordinary members of the Party, the accused are facing criminal prosecution in the courts of law and no one will be protected. Further, a team comprising of central committee members will be deployed to North Western Province to ensure that affected party structures in the province continue with their usual programming.”

And Mwila said the party would continue holding intra party elections with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.

“The ruling Patriotic Front cherishes the ideals of intra-party democracy, and this is an ideal which defines who we are as a party. This is extremely important because, ensuring and promoting intra-party democracy is the only way that the Patriotic Front continues to renew its mandate with the people, the general membership on whose behalf we lead. Against this background, elections in the Party will continue under the New Normal,” Mwila said.

“As part of Patriotic Front’s democratic nature and in complying with Article 60 of the Republican Constitution, the central committee reaffirmed its earlier resolution to conduct elections in the remaining six (6) Provinces namely; Lusaka, Luapula, Muchinga, Northern, Western and Southern Provinces. In holding these elections, the secretariat will ensure that there is maximum compliance to public health regulations concerning COVID-19. In this regard, the elections committee of the party is hereby guided to prepare and act accordingly.”

He said once intra party elections are concluded, the party would hold its general conference.

“Once all the remaining provincial elections have been held, the central committee will receive a comprehensive report which shall guide preparations for the party’s general conference to be held under very strict adherence to the public health regulations, guidelines and certification vis-à-vis COVID-19. It is of paramount importance that both the electorates and observers are kept safe and secure during our intra-party democratic processes.As we are all aware, our country goes for general elections next year in 2021, with or without COVID-19. This therefore makes intra-Party elections an absolute must. However, these intra-party elections shall be held and completed under very strict adherence to public health regulations, guidelines and certification vis-à-vis COVID-19,” Mwila said.

He said the party appointed a committee to carry out a forensic study of the violence and intimidation that took place during the intra party elections in Mandevu and Munali.

“Following reports of violence and intimidation, the Central Committee has appointed a Committee to carry out a forensic study of party elections held in Mandevu and Munali Constituencies. This independent Committee will submit its findings and recommendations to the Secretary General before the end of August 2020, for determination.Let me reiterate that our Party’s position is zero tolerance to violent conduct and speech,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mwila said Kaziya had abandoned the party and the party was considering selecting another candidate for Matero in 2021.

“It is him [Kaziya] who has run away from the party as far as I am concerned as SG he has abandoned the party. Us we are watching and if he thinks that he is so special we will sideline him and pick another person. There are too many people who want Matero and we are going to win by big margins. The central committee resolved to revisit the party’s adoption process for members of parliament, council chairpersons or mayors and councillors to ensure the will of the grassroots is respected in the selection of candidates ahead of the 2021 General elections,” said Mwila.