PF Lusaka Province chairman Paul Moonga says he has apologized to the party for saying the opposition has connived with Constitutional Court judges and is trying to bribe them to declare President Edgar Lungu ineligible to contest the August 2021 elections.
Moonga was embroiled in a brawl with PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri over the remarks, as he told her that she should stay in her lane because she was not his boss.
The outspoken Moonga had claimed that he had intelligence information on which he was basing his claims, while Phiri was just a party official who had no office to run.
On Monday, Phiri was quoted by ZNBC distancing the party from the remarks made by Moonga that the party had information that the opposition were planning to bribe judges to disqualify President Edgar Lungu, saying the PF leadership did not support the statement made by the Lusaka Province boss, adding that the PF would not allow any attacks on the judiciary.
When asked if he was considering apologising for his statement after Phiri distanced the party from his remarks, Moonga said Phiri was not his boss.
“To apologise to who? Mumbi Phiri? Do I report to her office? Is she my boss? If Mumbi Phiri got my statement very well, as she claims to be my senior, she should have called me to understand, which I understand myself. I am running an office, she is not running an office, she is under supervision of the SG. I am running a province and we have our own information which is correct information. Madam Phiri was saying this has no blessing from the party, it is unfortunate. I don’t need permission from her. Because I don’t report to her office. I am saying I don’t report to her office. It is her who is wrong as a senior person who would have called me ‘honourable provincial chairman, I have seen the message, in what context do you have this? Where is the evidence?’, she should have asked me. And I won’t give her the evidence because the evidence is confidential, it is a very serious matter. Anybody who stirs the party would have asked me. The Secretary General, my boss honourable Davies Mwila, I know him how he operates he would have called me. Let her keep her lane, let her leave my lane. Don’t delete that message, let her live in her lane, let her mind her business. I am protecting the office of the President, I don’t protect her office. I protect the office of the Secretary General honourable Davies Mwila. All of us are subordinates to honourable Mwila,” Moonga had said.
But after a backlash from members of his party and the Law Association of Zambia, Moonga said, in an interview Thursday, that he wanted to abide by the guidance from the PF Secretary General, Davies Mwila, who had asked him to seek forgiveness from the party.
“First and foremost, that is the supreme office, its full of wisdom and what he says to me is the final guidance. I abide by what the SG has said. I will follow that route. I tender my apology, unreserved apology for the statement to the Judiciary. The Law Association has made comments. So as a human, full humour (sic), I am saying sorry for that statement. I am one person who doesn’t want to be in wrangles with human beings. So, if people were injured I am saying I am sorry, kindly forgive me,” Moonga said.
He also apologised to PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri for disparaging her authority as his supervisor.
“Honourable Mumbi Phiri, I am also sorry to you madam for my statement. I am saying sorry to you madam forgive me, I am just human, [and] to err is to human (sic). I am sorry to the deputy secretary general of the party. I think I was emotionally charged. Especially at the same time I had a funeral of my cousin who I loved so much. Things are happening, so I am taking the body to Monze for burial, then I felt attacked by my supervisor you feel very very bad. So I am saying sorry to you madam Phiri. Forgive me my dear sister in law, other than just being a deputy secretary general you are my sister in law. Please forgive me I am asking. That is what I can say. This matter must be closed. I am sorry forgive me I never meant anything, please sorry forgive me,” pleaded Moonga.
He further tendered an apology to the Law Association of Zambia and said he will bear the consequences of what he said.
“LAZ, I am sorry forgive me and that statement came direct from me. I am not the spokesperson for the party. So they must take that it came from Paul Moonga. They should not think that it is an innuendo that it came from the President or anybody else, no it came from me. I will bear all the consequences I deserve as Paul Moonga,” said Moonga.