FORMER Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says most political parties in Zambia experience power struggles due to lack of succession plans.
And Ngulube says if PF member Chishimba Kambwili wants to be PF president, he should wait until the position is vacant rather than imposing himself.
In an interview, Ngulube suggested that succession plans should be included in all political party constitutions.
When asked what caused the infights in PF, he said it was because of a power struggle.
“We are in opposition and we will continue offering checks and balances. The power struggle in all political parties in Zambia happens because almost all party constitutions do not have succession plans. All political parties must be demanding that they put up a succession plan to avoid all this. Even the UPND can go through the same if HH left, why? Because most political parties just incorporate and they don’t include a succession plan, they don’t include an exit plan. It is like the President remains for life but when a president loses power. You saw what happened to UNIP, you saw what happened to MMD, and that is what has happened to PF. Every time a government loses power, the question now remains, who takes over from the sitting president? The MMD was involved in that struggle ten years after losing power, they have two or three presidents,” Ngulube said.
“So we encourage political parties to have succession plans, and incorporate them in the constitution so that we don’t go through the same problem of identifying a successor after the fact because our constitutions do not show in good time who takes over from a President when he loses power.”
And Ngulube said jostling for party positions could lead to democracy being affected.
“There has always been jostling for positions even before the president (Michael Sata) died. But the most unfortunate thing is that democracy suffers because the will of the people cannot be accepted properly because we always have this thing of those with money wanting to take over. When it should be an open race where the people must choose for themselves. So once the succession plans are done in party constitutions, it should even be regulated to avoid this. What usually happens in the process of tearing up the party, you end up losing opposition, you end up having de facto one party state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ngulube advised Kambwili to wait if he wanted to be a PF president instead of imposing himself.
“Kambwili can’t just come and say ‘I want to be president.’ It is the will of the people to decide, it is not one person to decide, it is the whole country and all the party structures subjected to an election. We don’t want anyone to impose himself. So If Kambwili wants to be president, let him wait for a time when the position will be vacant,” said Ngulube.