KANTANSHI PF member of parliament Anthony Mumba says his party, in its current state, is not a good option for the people.
And Mumba says he is for the idea that the PF general conference should not take place in June because it will be a chaotic exercise which might lead the party into totally splitting.
In an interview, Mumba said the current leadership had not done much to inspire confidence among members of the party or its supporters.
“I still stand by the fact that as a party we should have started by reviewing the constitution as a build up to the convention. I think that the current team has not done much to inspire confidence among the members of the party or the supporters. Everything seems to be the same as it was before the general elections. The in-fighting, name calling and those that started with president Sata holding on to the party as a basis that they are the ones who started this organisation. So there will be need for decent and honest conversations among the top leadership. The PF is the largest opposition political party and must provide transparent and honest oversight for the benefit of our country,” he said.
“The UPND has come in with a lot of energy to change the economy, create jobs and get us out of recession. Of course, within that energy, they will still need to settle down as a government. There are certain things the general public is feeling that the government should have done better. However, PF seems to be in a drive of saying with these mistakes we are coming back. How do you come back when you have not prepared? That is the mode in which the party is in. It is looking at the challenges UPND is going through and thinking that is the easiest way of coming back into government without dealing with certain basis that caused the party to lose. Those basics are clear in the postmortem report of which I feel has been shelved. These are the decent conversations I am talking about.”
And Mumba said he was of the idea that the PF general conference should actually not take place in June.
“I have spoken on this subject and sometimes it has not gone down well in terms of how people have perceived my position on the general conference. Only one person will be voted for at the general conference. So if that one person will be compromised and not independent in terms of decision making then what have you done? So I still feel that there is a need for the top leadership to go back to the drawing board so that we start to inspire those people who wanted to sponsor PF. You can imagine there are still people sponsoring UPND and UNIP even when they do not show any positivity in terms of ever forming government, what about PF in its current state? Very soon it will be June but no date has been announced. So when will the one who will be chosen campaign? This is why I am for the idea that the convention actually should not take place in June because it will be a chaotic exercise which might lead the party into splitting totally,” he said.
“So the party could be in a very strong position but all it needs is to take a serious introspection, especially the senior leaders. Those that need to take the back step and need to do to give room for fresh faces. Very soon you are going to see changes in the UPND and some senior leaders will go into Foreign Service while others will be given new roles. That is part of an organisation trying to remain relevant and interesting to the people. That is what is lacking in the PF. We should try to manage ourselves, become attractive to the people so that the people can look at you and say ‘this can be a good option’. But right now, I do not think in our current state we are a good option. What is it that we have done to the people for them to perceive us differently right now? The answer is really nothing.”
Mumba said the current PF leadership had become too comfortable.
“So you still have crazy chaps like Kalimanshi issuing unpalatable statements. You still have all these thugs that were making noise, what have you done about them? The so-called commanders, what have you done about this? So people are looking at that and asking have these people changed? The answer is no. So why should you give them another mandate? What have they done about the corruption allegation and the thuggery in the party? So all those are deep-rooted matters that were carried out by certain senior individuals who are still clinging on to party positions when they can step down. They can step down but that does not mean they have stopped contributing to the party. That is what is missing,” said Mumba.
“So I join all those members expressing concern in as far as the party direction. I think from members of parliament I still believe there is a lot of work that the current leadership needs to carry out. One of the biggest issues that we have lost out is we have even failed to go to the people and apologise as part of the cleansing exercise. I think that the current leadership has become too comfortable. It is clear that UPND, they are grabbing wrong headlines at the moment in as far as governance is concerned. PF, having been a party in government for 10 years, can clearly see that the UPND government is going through a very serious teething stage which is not going down well with the general public.”