NEWLY appointed PF National Chairperson for Information and Publicity Given Lubinda says it was God’s will that the PF lost the 2021 presidential elections.
And Lubinda says PF Central Committee has resolved that the party conducts an introspection which will establish what led to the devastating defeat.
Meanwhile, Lubinda says PF will not be like UNIP or MMD, arguing that it will be the strongest opposition political party in the country.
At a media briefing, Sunday, Lubinda said the party’s introspection would last about a month and members should expect changes.
“The loss that we suffered is devastating. Fortunately, it is not vanquishing. The Central Committee reminded itself of the fact that the PF had suffered three election losses in the past. Due to the resilience and perseverance of its members, it emerged sound and strong from all the three. Against this background the Central Committee is convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that it was God’s will that we lost the 2021 elections. Divine intervention is meant to teach us lessons. We have therefore resolved to conduct an introspection and a postmortem to establish the causes of this defeat so as to strategize on how to move ahead on a higher trajectory. The introspection and postmortem shall take the form of candid review of all policies, occurrences, statements and all omissions made especially by those of us in the Central Committee and those of us entrusted by our members with the mandate to provide leadership,” Lubinda said.
“To this extent, the process will involve all structures and organs of the party, ordinary members and supporters alike will be encouraged to present their views. As our guiding principle goes, we shall make everyone count. No view shall be ignored. This process is to commence within the shortest possible time. Lessons drawn from this process will lead to the party making necessary amends. We are alive to the fact that the members out there are grieving much more than the leadership at this loss. It is therefore imperative that we make sure that they are involved in the process of making this introspection and conducting this postmortem. We are aware that our members across the country want answers but they also have the answers. They are the wisdom of the party and we shall give them latitude for them to provide answers going forward.”
And Lubinda said the PF would not be like UNIP or MMD.
“UNIP lost elections in 1991, MMD lost elections in 2011 and the two former ruling parties have not managed to emerge victorious in successive elections. There are many reasons for that and this is why the Patriotic Front in learning lessons from the experiences of UNIP and MMD in taking an introspection and taking a postmortem to exactly what went wrong. Our confidence is anchored on the numerous members of the Patriotic Front who stand resolute to make sure that their party rises like a phoenix from the ashes,” he said.
“Unlike the other political parties, you will note that the Patriotic Front will be a very strong opposition political party with 59 members of parliament and numerous councillors across the country. We have a strong membership base and that combination is the one that gives us confidence that we shall regroup, remodel, rebrand and emerge even stronger.”
Lubinda urged PF members to work hard to make the party regain its position as the party of choice for Zambians.
“The Patriotic Front is determined to yet again remain stronger than ever before. Having understood what it means to be in opposition and in government. This will be achieved by all of us members of the party standing together with all its supporters and the nation at large. To this effect, the Central Committee yesterday, adopted three committees to spearhead programmes that will make the party an effective opposition that shall be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people of this great republic. We commit ourselves to have regular consultations with the people of Zambia generally and various stakeholders particularly in ensuring that the promises on which the UPND has been elected are honored,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lubinda asked various stakeholders to help PF identify where it went wrong.
“I am quite confident that there are many things that we will learn. I think there are many more issues that will emerge from this postmortem. And those of you, my friends, members of the press, you also were observing and seeing where we were doing things wrong. When the postmortem commences, please be at liberty to come and guide us. Come and tell us that the way you have treated the press or any other sector of society is what caused this pain. We are open to all these ideas. We are not an ostrich and we want to listen to you. The Central Committee did not want to make any far reaching decisions. The only decisions we made was to ensure that even in this period, we still remain a formidable political party,” he said.
He said the PF would not hinder Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND administration from fulfilling their campaign promises to the Zambian people.
“The Central Committee therefore congratulates Edgar Chagwa Lungu for deciding not to petition the election results. We agree with him that the work ahead and especially the peace and tranquility of Zambia are too important to be subjected to unnecessary court petitions. We also join the President in congratulating President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema on his election. The PF shall respect his presidency and the authority of this office as Head of State. We in the PF shall not hinder him and his government from delivering on his promises to the Zambian people,” Lubinda said.
Lubinda challenged UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa to prove that ZESCO bought vehicles for PF to use during election campaigns.
“I have no knowledge whatsoever of any government property that was used by the Patriotic Front during the election campaign. Mr Cornelius Mweetwa is in government now. It is his duty to go beyond rhetoric. He is no longer in opposition. He was tolerated in opposition when he made rhetoric but now he will not be tolerated. He must take action and he must prove to us that these are the vehicles and they are in these people’s possession. He must not just make allegations. He has the power, let him use it. As far as I am aware, there is no ZESCO vehicle that I saw in my campaign. All the vehicles we were using were private vehicles,” said Lubinda.