More confusion in PF as warring factions in Lusaka interpret Sata’s message differently
President Michael Sata’s directive to end squabbles in the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has been interpreted differently by the two warring factions at the party’s Lusaka district office with both teams yesterday holding press briefings to claim legitimacy owing to Mr Sata’s sentiments.
While Robert Chikwelete insists that he was the legitimate PF chairman for Lusaka district as he was appointed by President Sata on September 18, 2013, ousted chairman Goodson Banda said the Presidents’ directive that no parallel structures should exist in the party invalidated any power that the Chikwelete led executive could have had.
Mr Chikwelete said during a press briefing held at the district office that anyone opposing his leadership was against his appointing authority who is President Sata.
Reacting to a statement attributed to Vice- President Guy Scott that he and his executive were in office illegally, Mr Chikwelete said it was unfortunate that Dr Scott had teamed up with party members creating parallel structures by defending Mr Kabimba even before his case was heard by the disciplinary committee.
“I wish to remind our PF Vice- President that we shall not vacate the office because my line of authority is drawn from the party President and our loyalty shall remain to him,” he said.
He said Dr Scott should not cast a blind eye to pending disciplinary action against party Secretary General Wynter Kabimba as stated in Mandevu Member of Parliament (MP) Jean Kapata’s letter.
He said the provincial resolutions from the 10 provinces had tabulated the various breaches that Mr Kabimba as chief executive of the Party had committed adding that a resolution was passed that he (Kabimba) be removed from his position.
“We as keepers of the King’s conscience pledge loyalty to his Excellency for him to effectively implement national programmes, fulfilling PF campaign promises to the Zambian people,” he said.
But Mr Banda urged all the district leaders that had been dislodged by the Chikwelete led group to reclaim their positions following the President’s remarks.
Mr Banda who was flanked by his executive and four constituency chairpersons told the meeting which took place under a heavy presence of police at the Courtyard Hotel that all constituency and district officials should stop attending meetings called by Mr Chikwelete.
“That group must go because there is already an elected leadership in place. It is us who will laugh longer,” Mr Banda said.
He said the continued squabbles were making the party unpopular adding that he could not be removed from his position as he had performed to the expectations of the people.
Mr Banda hailed President Sata for putting an end to the squabbles and wondered why the police had not arrested the Chikwelete led executive for criminal trespass.