PF central committee member Paul Moonga says Elizabeth Phiri should read and understand the party constitution because they will only elect a president at the general conference expected to take place in June.

And Moonga says the K5 million needed to host the general conference will not be difficult to raise because the party has more than enough well-wishers.

Commenting on Phiri’s remarks that party members should not worry about the appointments made by the acting leadership at the moment as they would all be nullified at the convention, Moonga disagreed.

He argued that members of the central committee had a five-year mandate to remain in office and could only be dismissed if they committed an offence.

“I don’t agree with my dear sister Elizabeth Phiri who says at the conference, positions will be [nullified], no! I want to urge my party members to read the party constitution and understand it. We are only going there for one position of the president. I was appointed to the central committee before the conference, I wasn’t elected. I have a mandate to be in office for five years, nobody can remove me unless I commit an offence. I am a veteran in this game. So my colleagues in the party structure should really read the constitution, what it says. In between the general conference and between now, the party is mandated to make certain changes,” he said

“We were put in the central committee last year, so we have a five years mandate to remain in the office. President Edgar Lungu has a mandate to be in office for five years if he so wished not to retire. The general conference will have nothing to do with the appointments of any names, it will have to do with the president. We are only going there for the president. Each party has its own constitution. The new president, all he will do is to reappoint people. Those powers lie in the hands of the president of the party. He can reshuffle the central committee but he can not dismiss a member of the central committee unless they have committed an offence.”

And Moonga said the K5 million needed for the PF to host the general conference would not be difficult to raise because the party had more than enough well-wishers.

“The money will be there, there should be no doubt in anybody’s mind. With the way people are looking now, we need to have a permanent leader to be on the shadow of the party for us to start working as one team. We are talking about a thousand people, transport, food, so K5 million is on the lower side. A full-scale conference would have maybe gone beyond that amount of money. So K5 million is little, we have enough well-wishers, more than enough well-wishers. Our acting secretary general [Nickson] Chilangwa has assured us that the money will be raised. I am confident that the money will be raised, I have no doubt about it,” he said.

Moonga called upon other leaders who wanted to stand as party president to publicly announce as their colleagues did.

“So the conference is on, though the date is not known, but the conference is on. That I can assure you. It will be very successful, all I hope for is that our colleagues who aspire for president, if you are defeated, concede defeat and support your colleagues. [Rather] than you are defeated then you form your own party, it will be unfortunate for those vying for president. All those vying for president Chishimba Kambwili, Brian Mundubile, Emmanuel Mwamba, Mutotwe Kafwaya…those who have not yet announced, let them come out publicly and announce like their colleagues, so that we can now start suiting them, which one can I go for? Politics, PF has matured. Of course, I have a candidate in my heart, I am just a human being. I am looking for a leader who will propel the party to higher heights,” said Moonga.