PATRIOTIC Front secretary general Davies Mwila has admitted that he guided suspended Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe to start campaigning in Kamfinsa constituency, but added that the incumbent member for parliament, Elalio Musonda, insisted on re-contesting the seat.
On Wednesday, Kang’ombe revealed that Mwila guided him to start establishing himself on the ground ahead of next year’s polls so that he could stand in Kamfinsa constituency.
Speaking on Hot FM’s Red Hot Breakfast Show, Thursday, Mwila admitted to guiding Kang’ombe to stand as area member of parliament, but that the incumbent equally expressed interest in being re-adopted at a later stage.
“There are two charges that have been given to Binwell Mpundu (former Kitwe District Commissioner) and Kang’ombe in the first one, they are saying they held a press briefing when the Vice-President (Inonge Wina) and myself were in town. I will not talk about that much in that the information I got was that the Vice-President left Kitwe around 08:00 on Sunday and the gentlemen held the press briefing at 11:00. The second issue is that the central committee made a decision that where we have sitting members of parliament, no one should be allowed to campaign until such a time when a decision shall be made,” Mwila said.
“Yes, I got information, as secretary general, that the incumbent MP for Kamfinsa is not going to stand. Later on, we discovered that Mr Elalio Musonda wants to continue. What that means is that the decision of that decision of the central committee still stands and we don’t expect anyone to campaign where we have a sitting MP, that is the charge. I was informed yesterday that they have been suspended. For the press briefing, I will give them a benefit of doubt.”
When asked if he was aware of the press briefing they held, Mwila responded in the affirmative.
“I was aware about it. The notice was circulated,” he responded.
And when asked why Kang’ombe was not guided to stop campaigning when Musonda was re-contesting the seat, Mwila said Kang’ombe was told to stop.
“He is very much aware. He knew we had an incumbent and that he made a decision that he wants to continue. Kang’ombe and Binwell are aware that the central committee made a decision that no one should campaign where we have a sitting member of parliament. And Binwell should tell the truth! He has been campaigning throughout Nkana without authority from the party. And when we come to Kang’ombe, it is the same thing…that is the reason they have been suspended,” disclosed Mwila.
But when asked if there were any internal wrangles brewing within the ruling party on the Copperbelt, Mwila denied.
“No, no, it’s normal. I know they want to aspire, but they have to follow the laid-down procedures. No one will stop them, but they have to follow the rules. I am accepting that earlier on [I guided], but we discovered that the incumbent MP wanted to continue. And he (Kang’ombe) has never talked to me for the last one year. Three years ago, that is when I guided him because Kang’ombe wanted to stand in Kwacha (constituency), I said, ‘no, there is no need to fight, there is a vacancy because the MP for Kamfinsa doesn’t want to stand…’ that is the advice I gave. After one year, the MP came that he wants to continue so what do I do?” wondered Mwila.
PF Copperbelt chairman Nathan Chanda has since lifted the suspension of Kang’ombe and Mpundu in the spirit of party unity.