PF national chairperson Davies Chama says former party secretary general Davies Mwila should use correct channels rather than inciting members who do not understand the party constitution.

And Chama says some PF members just want to paint a picture that there are divisions in the former ruling party just to try and stay relevant.

Commenting on Mwila’s remarks that acting PF president Given Lubinda did not have powers to appoint people to the central committee, Chama described the remarks as unfortunate, saying Lubinda had been delegated, in the absence of a substantive president, to make decisions on behalf of the party.

“It is quite sad when it comes from a senior member of the party, especially a former secretary general of the party like my namesake Davies Mwila. Those comments are quite unfortunate, I think he knows that honourable Given Lubinda is the acting president and he knows the fact that he has been delegated in the absence of the president to make decisions in the party in accordance with the party constitution. He knows these details and if he has recourse to the constitution, when people say that the person has no power, they must be able to cite a portion of the constitution so that their arguments are valid. When you just make a wild statement [without] the backing of the law of the party, which is the supreme law of the party, which is the party constitution, then those comments are just like comments from any layman who doesn’t understand what powers the acting president has at the moment, and the delegated powers that have been given to him by the former president of our party,” he said.

Chama said Lubinda had constitutional powers to appoint any member to the central committee.

“So we may not like certain names and certain individuals that have been appointed but if you have any proposals, you bring them forward, you say ‘this other person must be included on the people that need to be appointed’. As you are aware, the positions are quite limited, the acting president cannot appoint anybody that you wish to be appointed, but if you have any specific names or if you are objecting to any name that has been appointed, he was part of the meeting, he should have indicated this name and this name, ‘can we include this other name’, rather than saying the acting president has no mandate or has no constitutional powers. He has the constitutional powers as it stands now to appoint any member to the central committee. That is the fact and honourable Mwila knows this because he has been attending our meetings and he knows and he is privy to a lot of information,” he said.

Chama said Mwila should use the right channel to address his grievances and not play to the gallery by inciting members who might not even understand what was going on.

“Our party is a democratic party, our party accommodates divergent views and we are so magnanimous that we absorb a lot of these comments that come from our members when people want to express themselves. But there should always be the right way to express yourself and the right channel, especially when you are a senior member of the party, rather than just to incite other people who may not even understand what is going on. So this issue of playing to the gallery is not the way to go. So for me it will not affect the cohesion of the party, the top leadership knows what we want to do in order to consolidate the party and to bring on board every member so that at the end of the day we are as inclusive as possible,” he said.

And Chama said some party members wanted to be relevant by portraying that there were divisions in the party.

“It is the desire of the acting president and the central committee to be as inclusive as possible. There are a lot of views that are being expressed and we are taking everything on board, that is why we have embarked on this consultative process within the rank and file of our party. So that we hear as many views from the general membership of the party, so that when we are making decisions, we are taking on board views of even our mere members of the party. So that the decision that we make is as inclusive as possible. So we are hearing a lot of comments on social media, from the mainline media and other stakeholders who are communicating silently, others are making submissions quietly without going to the media to propagate their views,” said Chama.

“They are giving us this information and very soon we will be acting on that information so that we are together as a party. So seemingly from the outside, people can say that there are divisions, people are just expressing themselves, but soon rather than later there will be harmony. I can assure you. We are making a lot of consultations, with a lot of people in the background chatting with a lot of our colleagues. But people want to portray [that] there [are] these divisions, but others want to play to the gallery, so maybe they want to be relevant that they are still around, they are still making comments anyway and you people in the media are still covering them.”