KANTANSHI PF member of parliament Anthony Mumba says it is worrisome that the postmortem report has been kept under wraps by the central committee, arguing that members will go to vote for a new president without understanding why the party lost elections.
Meanwhile, PF member of the central committee Kebby Mbewe says people should not judge the rebranding process harshly but understand that the party cannot abandon old members who have been loyal.
In an interview, Mumba lamented that not even members of parliament had had a glimpse of the postmortem report.
“There has been no information that has been shared to members of the party but most importantly, the members of parliament who are currently the heartbeat of the survival of the Patriotic Front as the largest opposition political party in the country. So I find the non disclosure very worrisome because it does not give us an opportunity especially for some of us who were unaware of some of the treacherous activities of certain members particularly cadres. You know, cadres were functioning in terms of political activities,” he said.
“Whilst I was an independent member of parliament for five years, but the very fact that I decided to join PF, I am part of the irresponsibility that this party was carrying out. Therefore, it is important that the central committee releases that document for all of us to take an introspection, especially that four months from now, we will be voting for a new president for the Patriotic Front and its new leadership. So I am extremely worried that up to now, that document has remained to a privileged few individuals in the party.”
Mumba said the non-disclosure had terrible implications because.
“The implication is simple. It leaves the members of parliament ignorant about what went on and what they need to improve on. Whether you like it or not, the Patriotic Front is the largest opposition party in this country with councilors and members of parliament. So it is supposed to provide transparency and oversight on the activities of the new dawn government. That is healthy for our democracy and it is healthy for the wellbeing of the Zambian people. There are so many issues that the UPND government has been able to address after the oversight role that we have provided at the Patriotic Front,” Mumba said.
“However, within ourselves as we go towards the convention, it is important that we look into each other’s eyes and we ensure that whoever is indescribable in terms of leadership in the eyes of the voter takes a backseat so that we can have renewed leadership. With lessons from the humiliation election loss we must reclaim our position as a pro poor party by speaking about what we are doing. We have done a number of projects that surely at a large scale does represent that we have those aspirations.”
He said allegations of corruption and disregard of the rule of law by the PF had created a smokescreen on all of the former ruling party’s achievements.
“Allegations of corruption, allegations of no rule of law and allegations of cadersim to a level of individuals calling themselves commanders has created a smokescreen on all the good achievements that PF can highlight. This is where we are as PF. People are not looking at the jobs we created at that time and are able to differentiate some of those big decisions that were made. Some of these things might be highlighted in the postmortem report but unfortunately, that postmortem report remains under the wraps of the central committee and it has never been made available to the members of parliament,” he said.
“You can imagine, four months from now, we will be going to vote for a new president without really understanding why we actually lost elections. Immediately I joined PF, I inherited everything that happened before but I do not regret at all because I know those bad things are amendable and we can go back to people and apologise. We can put our leadership credentials on the table and provide the checks and balances that the UPND needs for it to achieve the promises that it gave to the police of Zambia.”
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Mbewe said people should not judge the rebranding process harshly, explaining that it was impossible to get rid of all old members.
“Rebranding is in two ways. Rebranding is a way of mindset change and doing things in a different way. I know that we keep on rebranding because we just lost elections a few months ago and rebranding is a process. We will have a lot of new people that will come and join to strengthen the party. So people should not judge on the regarding part because rebranding is a process. We cannot abandon all the people and old members that participated in the previous elections that are loyal to the party. We will not just abandon them because we are rebranding, no. We will rebrand where necessary,” said Mbewe.
“We do not want people to take advantage of rebranding by killing the party. So we shall do it according to the way we have planned. Rebranding is not removing every leadership because there are a lot of things involved. So far, even during our campaigns in Kabwata, we have been very disciplined as a party. That is rebranding and we are getting there. Rebranding is not a problem and we are doing a good job.”