SUSPENDED Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe says Patriotic Front secretary general Davies Mwila guided him to start establishing himself so that he can stand in Kamfinsa constituency next year.
And former Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu says he is not moved by his suspension from the ruling party and has vowed to continue mobilising for President Edgar Lungu even behind prison walls.
Yesterday, the Patriotic Front on the Copperbelt suspended Kang’ombe and Mpundu from the ruling party for alleged continued campaigns in Kamfinsa constituency and Nkana constituency respectively.
In a letter dated October 6, 2020, PF Kitwe District Chairman Everisto Chilufya stated that Kang’ombe was also charged with insubordination for holding a press briefing while Vice-President Inonge Wina was in Kitwe.
“It has come to my attention that you have continued campaigning in Kamfinsa constituency disregarding the directive from the Central Committee memo dated November 20, 2020, which prohibited party officials from campaigning in constituencies where we have PF MPs and Independent MPs, who we work with in Parliament. This has been going on for some time despite many counsel given to you to abide by the Central Committee’s directives,” stated Chilufya.
“Furthermore, you held a press briefing on Sunday, knowing full well that the Republican Vice-President of our party and the Secretary General were in Kitwe on official duties. That was an act of insubordination and lack of respect on your part. Arising from the above, you are, therefore, suspended from the party and from all party activities with immediate effect until further notice in line with our party constitution.”
But in an interview, Kang’ombe revealed that it was Mwila who advised him to establish himself in Kamfinsa constituency.
“I want to clarify that Her Honour, the Vice-President of Zambia, left for Lusaka at 09:00 through Kalulushi Airport. I was there to see her off and she left at exactly 09:15. In our charge letter, there is reference to a press briefing, the briefing took place at 11:00, meaning we already had the Vice-President out of the province and she was attending to other assignments in Lusaka so that press conference did not take place with the Vice-President in the city of Kitwe. That item is not correct. The reference to an allegation that we issued a press briefing with the secretary general present, again, the party should beware that that press conference we called, we had clearance so there is no insubordination of any sort in that particular activity we undertook on Sunday,” said Kang’ombe.
“There is an allegation that I am campaigning in Kamfinsa. I want to indicate that those of you who are familiar with my political journey, in 2016, I was supposed contest as member of parliament for Kwacha constituency now because we received a new member of the party in the name of Joe Malanji, the party advised me to stand as Mayor of Kitwe. Now, along the way, the Minister of Foreign Affairs kept complaining that I want to become MP for Kwacha. And the secretary general of the party, Davies Mwila guided that, ‘start establishing yourself in Kamfinsa.’ That is a fact! So, I have not been campaigning in Kamfinsa as alleged by the district chairman. I have been basically working as mayor in five constituencies. Now, the fact that everyone in PF knows that in Kamfinsa, that is where I was told to ‘go and establish myself.’ So, I don’t understand how I can be charged on those three particular issues. I am not moved [by the suspension]! I am getting used.”
Meanwhile, Mpundu, also received a similar letter of suspension, charging that he had been campaigning in Nkana constituency.
Mpundu also sought police’s permission to appear before them on Monday.
In a Facebook post, Mpundu thanked people for their support and said he was not moved by what had just happened.
“I wish to sincerely thank all you colleagues friends and family for the moral and spiritual support in these trying moments. I therefore wish to report that my lawyers have not been available for us to avail ourselves before the police as per the police summons and so my lawyers have since written to the police to indicate that we will be available on Monday at 11.30hrs,” wrote Mpundu.
“In the meantime I have since received a letter of suspension from the PF written by the Kitwe District PF Chairman as attached. I still want to insist that this is simply a political process meant to take my eyes off the ball but I wish to assure you all that am not moved, I remain resolute in my quest to help mobilize for president Edgar Chagwa Lungu for 2021 and I will continue to support the party even behind prison walls.”
On Tuesday, Police issued a call out to Mpundu to report to Kitwe Central Police Headquarters for questioning.
This came barely 24 hours after Mpundu was warned and cautioned at Mindolo Police station for allegedly having an illegal meeting.