PF member of Central Committee Elizabeth Phiri says the party must ensure that it chooses a president who will be firm on caderism.
In an interview, Phiri said the incoming president needed to be serious and ensure that cadres were tamed in order to meet people’s expectations.
“I think we have learnt a lesson as a party. I think the president that will be elected should be firm about caderism. We have got party cadres and professional cadres. We should know that we have limits. We will have cadres but let us instill morals in our cadres. It does not mean that there will be no cadres. Cadres will be there because these are supporters of the party but what we want is to have cadres who are morally upright. We should have cadres who will build and not destroy the party,” she said.
“We should have a checklist of things that people were not happy about. So PF has to put its house in order as we are going to choose a president. This president should be really serious, not even a bit. The president should really be serious in making sure that our cadres are tamed because he knows their expectations. We will have a lot of cadres and they are welcome but let us have cadres with morals.”
Phiri, however, said things which used to happen under PF had continued even under UPND.
“However, the things that used to happen in PF, they have continued even in UPND. The cadres are still in markets and bus stations. When you are in office, it is very difficult to know what is happening on the ground. The evil practices have continued. Whatever we say, we will be seen as using a political lens. President Hakainde said when he wins and is sworn in at 10:00 hours, by 14:00 hours, the Dollar would have dropped. That 14:00 hours has not yet come and we are waiting for the 14:00 hours,” she said.
“When I look at the war, I know we are affected somehow but I know that we do not get our fuel from Russia. Our fuel is far from those war torn countries. We are very far. It is like a neighbour is fighting then you say we are not eating here because our neighbour has been fighting. So how do we eat? This is a global problem which they did not understand when they were outside the government. I am happy that they are living the reality. When PF was saying it is a global problem, they were saying no it is not a global problem but a problem of the party and its government. This is because I understand what goes on and they did not know why they made those promises.”
Meanwhile, Phiri said no tangible evidence had been produced against those being accused of corruption in order to secure convictions.
“With any crime, there must be some evidence given. It has been a song sung and I am happy that the government of the day has taken some steps to investigate. My concerns are that they have not come up with tangible evidence against those that are being investigated. What I mean is that it is taking too long to send or convict these people. There has been time spent at primary level without [a] graduation to a higher level. Courts also need to speed up these convictions. It is only when the courts prove you guilty then you can be called guilty,” said Phiri.
“Corruption takes two people. People that have not been in these offices think that Ministers are in charge of the disbursements of money. Ministers are just policymakers. There are people that are in charge of disbursing money. If a Minister was involved, at what point was that Minister involved? Corruption could also be in words. What words were used to corrupt the morals of somebody? You can be morally corrupt or involved in a financial scandal. I am happy with the steps the government has taken but let us yield results. We should not speak about it for a long time.”