As the fallout from the Roan by election defeat continues, Minister of Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela has been accused by some senior PF members of having celebrating the party’s recent defeat to the NDC in the Roan by election.
And outspoken PF Member Racheal Chileshe has called on the party leadership to reconnect with the grassroots if the party is to retain power in 2021.
In an interview over the weekend, some senior party members who preferred to have their identities withheld said Mr Chitotela is happy that the Roan seat has gone to the opposition.
They said Mr Chitotela had been going round telling party members in Lusaka and the Copperbelt before the elections that the party should lose so that it can be taught a lesson.
“We know he was unhappy that he was left out of the campaign team for Roan. He carries grudges against some people because of his ongoing court cases and he has been paying some boys from Northmead to start insulting the leadership of the party in the aftermath of the Roan loss,” the members said.
The members said they intercepted some voice recordings in which Mr Chitotela heaped the blame for the Roan defeat on party Secretary General Davies Mwila and Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo.
“Chitotela’s right hand man called Chanoda Ngwira has been going on social media portraying a picture that had the party incorporated Chitotela in the campaign structure, the outcome would have been different, all those are paid for posts by Chitotela to destabilize the party. He wants to sponsor some revolt against the S.G so that all those seen to be in good books with the S.G suffer as casualties in case of changes at the Secretariat.”
The members have since appealed to President Edgar Lungu to take interest in the way Mr Chitotela is conducting himself.
“How can he say that Bowman (Lusambo) contributed to the loss when it is clear that he was the best campaigner in that team? Everyone who is familiar with Zambian politics knows that Bowman is a good grassroots campaigner and for us we believe he helped even salvage the votes we got, if it weren’t for him, the situation would have been worse,” the members said.
Meanwhile, Racheal Chileshe, an outspoken PF founding member has called on the party leadership to reconnect with the grassroots if the party is to retain power in 2021.
Ms. Chileshe who rejoined the PF last year after a brief engagement with the UPND in the run up to the 2016 general elections said the PF is losing popularity on the ground.
She said President Lungu should seriously consider replacing some his aides at State House whom she accused of contributing to the loss in popularity due the way in which they manage the presidency.
The PF’s Joel Chibuye lost to NDC’s Joseph Chisala by a wide margin the just ended Roan by election a development which many political observers have said may signal a change in the political temperature on the Copperbelt, widely seen as PF traditional stronghold.