The Patriotic Front has suspended its deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri on grounds that she misconducted herself during a party fundraising event in Chilanga at which President Edgar Lungu was the guest of honour.
We are told that when she was asked to call on the President to address the audience, Madam Mumbi who was the senior most party official present humiliated the Head of State in front of junior party members by referring to him in a disparaging manner.
In suspending her, PF Secretary General Davies Mwila announced that Madam Mumbi’s suspension was a demonstration that there are no sacred cows in the ruling party when it comes to discipline.
“Following allegations of gross misconduct and impropriety levelled against Hon Mumbi Phiri arising from her conduct at a Party fundraising event in Chilanga District, which event was graced by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia and Party President for the Patriotic Front Mr Edgar Edgar Chagwa Lungu, a report was tabled before Central Committee to effect the necessary sanction. On 5th March 2018, Honourable Mumbi Phiri was requested to exculpate herself of the alleged bad behaviour reported to have caused embarrassment to the Party President and the Party membership at large and she was further asked to show cause within seven (7) days why disciplinary action should not be taken against her following the allegations,” Mwila explained.
“In her response, Honourable Mumbi Phiri asked for forgiveness as she admitted her wrongs. She maintained the same position during her appearance before the Disciplinary Committee. She was remorseful throughout the disciplinary process and while she deserved stiffer sanctions, Central Committee took into consideration that she was a first time offender and a committed and loyal member of the Party. Honourable Mumbi Phiri has been suspended from Central Committee and from her position as Deputy Secretary General for 30 days effective 24th March 2018. This is to remind all of us that Patriotic Front has no sacred cows and shall not tolerate indiscipline from its leaders and members at any given time. Let me send this warning that leaders have a duty to lead by example and must be above board.”
We are perusing the dictionary with an eagle’s eye to see if there are various definitions of the word indiscipline because from where we stand, the PF is nowhere near a disciplined organisation. In fact, if it were not for indiscipline, President Lungu would not be in State House today. The Head of State himself is a product of indiscipline.
So the claim that there are no sacred cows in the ruling party is a mere rhetoric meant to fool those who don’t follow politics closely, especially the happenings in PF. To us who report news, the suspension of Madam Mumbi Phiri is nonsensical and hypocritical.
In saying this, we are not suggesting that Mumbi is a sober minded leader. She is a lumpen politician with very little morals who has demonstrated her unreasonableness over the years. An example of this is when she disparaged the police command for delaying to arrest Hakainde Hichilema over the Mongu traffic incident, saying if the police had failed to do their job, they must step aside so that her and her cadres could go and treat the opposition leader like a rat. That is typical of Mumbi Phiri and she is very proud of herself. What we are saying, however, is that she belongs to the right political party where her behaviour is acceptable.
That is why we are shocked today that the PF can claim not to have any sacred cows amongst its members. What is worse is that this statement was being made by Mr Davies Mwila – a man who encouraged violence and stealing.
Recently when Kabushi member of parliament Bowman Lusambo slapped Chishimba Kambwili at Parliament, we called Mr Mwila to hear his displeasure over the undisciplined conduct of the Minister. The PF Secretary General was very happy and said the party encourages beating when provoked.
But in an interview with News Diggers! Mwila said Kambwili was a stupid politician who deserved to be beaten.
“What happened at Parliament is, yes he will be beaten. I am telling you as PF Secretary General that if Kambwili thinks that he can continue provoking others he will be beaten. You quote me the way I have told you. If he thinks he can provoke people even in Cairo Road, he will be beaten. How would you feel if someone was calling you a thief when you are not,” asked Mwila.
In January 2017, Mwila met PF officials in Kabwe and told them that they had the power to share land amongst themselves before advertising the rest.
“Yalya ama plot ba mayor, nimwe mu kwete amaka. Ama plots nga yali 500, ba councilor, nimwe mu kwete amaka ayakweba ati mwacita advertise 300, mwafumyapo na 200. Namu kwata amaka. 200 mwafumyapo, 300 mwatwala ku chintu bwingi and 200 mwa akanyamo naba ward chairman naba nani (Those plots Mr Mayor, you are the one with the power. If those plots are 500, you the councilors are the ones with the powers to advertise 300 and remove 200. You have the powers to remove 200 and take the rest for others to access and you can share with the ward chairmen and others),” said Mwila.
How can a man like this demand for discipline from others? If the cadres today went to finish off Kambwili from his hospital bed, how will Mr Mwila suspend them from the party after encouraging them to do so? How possible is it that the PF Secretary General can order PF cadres to stop grabbing land when he wants them to own it illegally?
The PF is an undisciplined party, from the head to the bottom. Those who resolved to suspend Mumbi Phiri are nothing but shameless hypocrites who are protecting the many sacred cows in the party. Unless PF is telling us that it is only termed as indiscipline when you are at a function with the President and you get drunk faster than him.