FORMER Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mwimba Malama says PF members should not only focus on calling for a general conference but should also raise money, suggesting that aspiring presidential candidates contribute one million Kwacha each.

In an interview, Malama said a convention required funds which PF currently did mot have.

“The leadership is okay and I do not see any problem with the leadership to start with. The only problem is that people want to choose their preferred candidate and for me, I have no problem with that. Nobody knows who will be chosen when we go for the conference but what is important is to allow people to make a decision. I think that is what is very important, to let people make their own decisions so that in case of anything, they will be blamed themselves. No one should take the blame for picking leaders who were chosen by the people. So let the people themselves choose their leaders,” Malama said.

“Even as we talk about the convention, people need to know that the convention comes with money. They should be ready to fund the convention. The biggest task is to find money to go for the convention. We support the idea of going to the convention and personally, I do not have a problem with that. They just need to know that we need money and in millions. It takes a lot to hold a conference. The party has no money currently and that is why we need to look for money for the convention. It is not just one plus one and it is not an easy thing. Money must be raised.”

Malama said party members should not just talk without adequate planning because money was the biggest issue.

“Everyone who is saying we go for a convention, they need to know that there is a need to raise money and a lot of money. All the aspiring presidential candidates need to raise money. If they are seven, they can contribute one million each and it will be very easy to hold a convention. People should not just talk without planning. Let each candidate raise money so that what will be raised from the party will allow the convention to take place. And it is just maybe two months to go. So money is the biggest issue. We do not have money and what we need is money. If money can be raised, then there is no problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malama said Zambians needed leadership that was focused on serving the people and not personal interests.

“When you talk of leadership, in Zambia we have a problem. Now we have seen that when you support the president, then he will consider you first. When that particular person you are supporting is elected as president, they will consider you first. That is where the problem is. If I am not loved by this one, then I should not support that one. If I do not show support to a particular candidate, then I should ensure that he does not win because I know that when he becomes president he will not look at me. That is a retrogressive kind of thinking. The reasoning that we need at the moment is that even if you never supported a particular candidate who wins the presidency, he must look from brains to form government. He must not just look at giving positions because this person supported them even if he is a riff-raff,” said Malama.

“This is why we are having problems. You will find that each person is for a particular candidate. That is the foolishness of us black people. A wise leader will not look at that. A wise leader will look at people who will provide leadership and execute the work in order for Zambians to benefit. I think that is a bigger picture and that is what we need to look at. You must know that that is the nature of an African. Even in UPND that is what is there. I am sure you have heard Msoni complaining that they have not been given anything. However, even if I want, I can just wake up and form a political party. The biggest question is do I have the following? It is like now coming into politics is not about the people but just looking for jobs. We have a lot of problems that need to be looked at.”