Patriotic Front Kasama Central MP, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, has endorsed the candidature of UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema, for the January 20, presidential election.
Mr Mwamba says he has decided to support Mr Hichilema because of alleged disunity in the ruling party.
He complained that he and other leaders in the party have been side-lined from campaigning for PF president, Edgar Lungu, despite volunteering to do so.
The Kasama Central MP, however, maintained that he will not resign from PF but remain a member of the party.
He advised Zambians to consider voting for Mr Hichilema because he has a heart to lead the nation diligently.
Mr Mwamba has since pledged to go flat out and campaign for Mr Hichilema ahead of the presidential election set for next month.
He was speaking at a media briefing held at his residence in Kasama today.
Meanwhile, some PF officials at district and provincial levels have also resolved to support the opposition UPND in the January 20 presidential election.
The officials, led Kasama Central Constituency chairman, Fidelis Chishoma, have accused the party’s top leadership of side-lining them from campaigning for party president, Edgar Lungu.
Zambia goes to polls on January 20, next year, to elect a new Republican President after the demise of President Michael Sata in October, this year.
Nine presidential candidates have successfully filed-in their nominations ahead of the presidential election.
Below is GBM’s full statement
Press statement by Hon.Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.MP.
Country Men and Women,
On 23rd December 2013, I resigned on principle from my cabinet portfolio as Minister of Defense because the Patriotic Front Government was about to install a known chief as Paramount Chief Chiti Mukulu who was not in the traditional lineage of ascending to the throne.
Up to now the PF Government has recognized the rightful heir the throne Henry Kanyanta Sosala, though there have been promises by the PF president Hon Edgar Lungu that he will be recognized. This was only after UPND President Hakainde Hichilema made an earlier pronouncement during one of his rallies in Lusaka.
We the people of Northern Province have doubts wheter the PF Government will surely fulfil its promise of installing Henry Kanyanta soasal as paramount Chief Chiti Mukulu.
The recent happenings in the Patriotic Front party are unfortunate and make sad reading.
These have come soon after the death of our founding father, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata MHSRIP.They have uprooted all the gains the party has made in the last three years it has been in Government.
The situation has been so sad that it has torn the very fabric of party unity. This was evident at our recently held general conference in Kabwe which was marred with intimidation and violence mainly from those who were supporting Hon. EDGAR LUNGU’S candidature. The situation made it impossible for other candidates to freely participate in the elections.
Despite the conference being characterised with illiegalities, we went ahead and took part in reconciliation to save the party from total destruction.
It was my belief that the reconciliation was genuine and done in good faith and in the interest of the party. This has turned out to be a sham as it has not been allowed to permeate to the grassroot.Instead it was scheme to benefit a few people that have surrounded Hon. Edgar Lungu.
Country men and women, recently I publicly declared my support for the candidature of Hon. Edgar Lungu. This was real. However, my efforts have been ignored or simply been disregarded.
To date, all those in the party structures at all levels who supported any other candidate other than HON. Edgar Lungu, including I as area Member of Parliament for Kasama Central, have been sidelined and relegated to the terraces. This is more so in the current presidential by election campaign activities. Yet these are the structures which won the party the 2011 elections and have continued to be the main stay of PF.This trend has not only been confined to the Northern Province but throughout the country.
There has also been disregard for the Republican constitution and the rule of law by Hon. Lungu and his colleagues to an extent of disregarding and using derogatory remarks against the Acting President Dr. Guy Scott. This is unacceptable!
The levels of insolence that have been exhibited by political lightweights toward Dr. guy Scott have been appalling .Dr Guy Scott’s contribution to the party is undeniable exemplary and none of them can remove the special relationship that he enjoyed with the late president
The boat has cracked and is sinking. Efforts to salvage it are not yielding any tangible results. Further the principles on which the party was founded have been abandoned. What we have seen, in the recent past, is illegality after illegality. The process of succession used by these people was not democratic but to merely satisfy a few selfish members of our Party.
I have always supported the Patriotic front morally, physically or otherwise. My contribution to the well being of PF to come into power is visible for every genuine PF member to see.
Therefore, expecting to be involved in party activities is not a matter of choice but recognition of my contribution.
Incidentally those that our late President parted company with, are the ones that have put barriers around the candidate, who, unfortunately has also embraced them. This also includes those who antagonized the Bemba Royal Establishment. These elements have made it difficult for genuine members to offer sound advice and much needed support to the Party because of their ulterior motives and selfish interests.
Country men and women, after wide consultations countrywide, it is with a heavy heart and regret that I am unable to endorse the candidate of the Patriotic Front for the forthcoming Presidential by election, but I shall remain a committed member of the Patriotic Front and shall abide with the ideals and aspirations of the Patriotic Front.
In view of the above, I Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, wish to inform the nation today that I have decided to endorse the candidature of Hakainde Hichilema as Presidential Candidate for the January 2015 election. I believe he will do the correct things for the nation and is a pragmatic, focused and determined leader who can take this country to greater heights and in line with the aspirations of the Zambian people.
I am sure all well meaning Zambians will agree with me on that score and let us all support him.
I urge all Zambians to rally behind Hakainde Hichilema.
God bless Zambia.
GEOFFREY BWALYA MWAMBA
ISSUED BY GBM’S MEDIA TEAM 29TH, December 2014.