Copperbelt PF Chairman Nathan Chanda has warned his mobilization committee chairman Bowman Lusambo to stop making fake monetary pledges to churches and marketeers, among others, saying he is decampaigning President Edgar Lungu.
But Lusambo has insisted that he will continue making pledges, explaining that a pledge does not mean the money will be paid immediately, but it is like making a budget and then going to look for funding.
On Saturday, angry Roan and Mpatamato marketeers summoned Chanda to complain about media reports that they received K120,000 from Lusambo when it was not true.
Addressing them, Chanda warned party officials in the habit of making fake pledges in the name of President Lungu.
Chanda said the provincial executive would be forced to use its powers to crack the whip on anyone making fake pledges.
“This behaviour by some Party officials to make fake huge crowds for the cameras and giving fake promises just for media publicity but fail to fulfil the same pledges is not only disheartening and decampaigning ourselves but is bringing discomfort and disrepute to the name of the Party and our Republican President Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu,” Chanda said.
He said some officials were trying to be famous based on fake pledges.
“We can not be going round making apologies on behalf of excited party officials who want to seek media fame at the expense of party growth and general mobilisation in the Province,” said Chanda.
He said the Provincial Executive Committee understood various provisions of the PF Constitution and woukd not hesitate to institute disciplinary measures against erring party members who are embarrassing the party and the President.
Before leaving the meeting, Chanda left K20,000 for Roan and K15,000 for Mpatamato marketeers to help them with capital. This includes the K5,000 he promised during his previous visit.
But Lusambo has vowed to continue making pledges.
“For me as Chairman, I can assure you that pledges are not immediate. It does not mean when you pledge then you need to give money tomorrow. It’s like the budget that was presented. So it is now to go and start looking for the money. Pledges are like a budget. So like whatever allocation the minister made to each ministry, it’s not like the money is there, so now Cabinet will sit and look for ways to raise the money. And for us as mobilization, we use our own money to empower our people. And I can assure you that we are not going to give money to a person who is going to eat. The money we are giving, we are not giving PF but the people of Zambia. Whether PF or not, we are giving the people and that is what the President has told us to give the people of Zambia,” Lusambo said.
“When I went to Roan, I was with Nathan Chanda the Chairman of the Copperbelt province and the team, when we reach Mpatamato market, my vice chair (Kunda) Chani, they had the money in their hands and wanted to distribute the money but the marketeers themselves told us don’t leave the money with our officials, or the Committee because they will not give us, and that was the same story at Roan market. And for us we are not going to be taken for granted because the money we giving the people is to support their small businesses. So for those saying we did not give the money at Mpatamato and Roan, we have a very big responsibility not for Mpatamato and Roan. Our responsibility is beyond these two and it is huge. And our responsibility is not worth K70,000. Just the movement we do as mobilization it cost a lot of money, which is five or six times the money you are talking about. I see it to be very unfortunate that people can talk about our pledges.”
Lusambo boasted that he was so popular he could stand in any constituency and win.
“And we will continue pledging as long as we have the capacity and we have the capacity. The pledges to the people. As for me as Bowman Lusambo, I can stand in any constituency on the Copperbelt, I can stand in Lusaka, North Western and Southern Province because of the popularity which I am enjoying. I have a good relationship with the people. If you want to stand in Kabushi, don’t just make noise. I don’t want mosquitos, weak soldiers to stand in Kabushi, that is why I have been inviting Hakainde Hichilema, Nevers Mumba and opposition leaders to come together and challenge Bowman Lusambo in Kabushi,” he said.
He challenged other party members to get their own money and donate instead of criticising his initiatives.
“So when you are discussing party matters, the mobilization committee is not for me or Chani. This is for PF, we are adding value to the party, numbers and the strength of my team, we are not going to be compared to any other committee. We know what we what and very strong. If you want to push us, I can assure you that we are not a push over. For us we know what we are doing. Luanshya is not Copperbelt and Copperbelt is not Luanshya. I can assure you that we will be going to Luanshya and meet the marketeers who are complaining. Because the same marketeers are the ones who approached my team. And we have more than enough, we have the money. This money is not coming from PF or government, it is the money which me and my team are putting together to help the need. So those that are offended pick your money and let us see you giving out. Give out and that is what the President wants, it is not a one man show,” said Lusambo.