PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says if Zambians decide to vote for the opposition in 2021, they must elect members of parliament, council chairpersons and councillors from the same political party, a situation he says makes it easy for the sitting President to deliver development.
And President Lungu has told the PF mobilisation committee that it has no duty to start identifying parliamentary candidates for 2021.
Speaking when he met traditional leaders in Lufwanyama district, Saturday, President Lungu, however, said there was no way the Patriotic Front would lose power in 2021 because of the numerous achievements the party has scored, especially in the agriculture sector.
“In 2021, if you give us people who don’t want to work with us, we will struggle but we will deliver in our own way, because it is needed that the DC, MP, council chairperson or mayor, they work together. Here in Lufwanyama, it doesn’t work like that. The MP wants to work alone, the DC is also alone, that is what we have seen. The MP is working alone, the council chairman is working alone, councillor is working alone. If you want us to work properly in 2021, we should make a suit, if it is our friends who want to come in, you should vote for them starting from councilor, MP and council chairperson in one political party, it will be easy,” President Lungu said.
“If you think we will still be in power, you will vote for our councillor, council chairperson and MP, but I can tell you, we will still be in power. The reason why I am saying this is that the people of Zambia have seen that the PF…those people who didn’t know me, they now know me that there is Edgar Lungu, President. A few knew me, now they know me… [And] let them not lie to you that the PF don’t know farming, ‘they are killing farmers’. But you can see that the PF has done well in terms of farming. There is no way we will lose power in a country like Zambia where a lot of people are involved in agriculture and they have seen that we are committed in agriculture and we have done very well. Therefore, I can assure you that 2021, we are coming back with full force and more numbers. You, my leaders, if you choose to go to the opposition, you will remain in the opposition but I pray that you choose the opposition which will work with government because we are ready to work with anybody; but those who are frustrating, us we will not work with them. We are seeing the consequences.”
He said he would engage Cabinet Ministers to visit the district to ensure that development was taken there.
“I will send the Minister of Health to come and see what he can do about those health posts which are not manned, including the shortage of drugs in hospitals, that is why I am here. I know the DC is new but she will also give a report. You say there is no empowerment but there is Social Cash Transfer. The Minister involved in Social Cash Transfer is the MP of Kalulushi. I will tell her to come here in Lufwanyama, we should talk about Social Cash Transfer. You have also talked about a lot of things like the network, the Minister responsible again, I will tell him to come here, he should go round and he should truly confirm that we need to put communication towers,” President Lungu said.
“It is very important…others things, the MP can work on them. On the MP, I won’t speak much because you have your MP, I met with him in Lusaka sometime back; he stopped working with us because he was shouted at by his boss because they are not allowed to work with the PF.”
And speaking to Chiefs in Lufwanyama, the Head of State urged all those who felt threatened to report to the police.
“I am touched by the kind words pertaining to law and order which we are praying for in this country. I am glad that you have denounced violence openly and urged us as politicians to come out and speak against violence. I have heard one leader say mukali ba mpama (you should beat them), you know that won’t help us. You see, what will help us is if someone is threatening you, you report to the police, the police are there. You know we are supposed to be telling our party cadres that ‘stop the violence! Don’t do it’, and I will talk to my friends to tell their cadres to stop it, that is the kind of leadership we want. So may God grant us the peace that we want during the elections in 2021,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has directed PF Secretary General Davies Mwila and mobilisation Chairman Richard Musukwa to resolve differences on the Copperbelt.
He said this during a meeting with party officials in Lufwanyama, Saturday evening.
President Lungu said the mobilisation committee has no duty to start choosing who will be adopted and should therefore be given clear terms of reference.
He said the mobilisation committee needed to work with the elected structures, just like the structures needed to embrace and work with the mobilisation ad-hoc committee to grow the party.
“Your Job is [to] support PF MPs, Mayors and councillors because they have a mandate. Don’t start positioning yourself in the name of mobilisation and getting members from the party structures.
“To those that lost elections at Provincial, District and Constituency levels, now you are lucky that you have been co-opted in the mobilisation Committee. Don’t use this committee to settle scores, we will remove you. But I want to tell you that mobilisation Committee should work with structures. It is not the duty of the mobilisation Committee to choose or identify candidates in constituencies and wards,” President Lungu said.
“It is not the duty of the mobilisation Committee to be choosing candidates for 2021, but it is the duty of the structures to recommend to the Central Committee for possible consideration on the recommended names. Let me emphasis the need for team work in order to have more numbers because politics is about numbers. The mobilisation is not about the individual, but the party. Those that lost elections should not take a confrontational approach and start undermining elected officials.”
He said the party structured officials to embrace new members.
“Be like the Church that welcomes everyone and ensures that they are converted. Let us develop the spirit that Mr. Sata had. You need to emulate the tolerance of our founding President Mr. Micheal Sata. PF is the party of choice and everyone wants to be a part of the PF,” President Lungu said.
“I became President not because of money, but patience and humility. God’s time is always the best!”
The PF Copperbelt mobilisation Committee Chairperson Bowman Lusambo has been in constant friction with the Nathan Chanda-led Provincial Executive.
Chanda’s executive committee has accused Lusambo of appointing people in his Committee who are aspiring to contest next year’s parliamentary elections.