PF secretary general Davies has given Northern Province Minister Lazarus Chungu a 24-hour ultimatum in which to show cause why he should continue as party’s Provincial Chair after losing a ward by-election in Lupososhi constituency.
In the December 5 by-elections, the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) snatched the Ilambo ward seat in Lupososhi Constituency, which is a PF stronghold and coincidentally, Chungu is area member of parliament.
But this loss angered the ruling party and its chief executive officer, Mwila who announced at his briefing yesterday morning that the party had asked Chungu to either resign by himself or be fired from his position at the party.
“Although the opposition scooped the Ilambo in ward-Lupososhi, they did not win it because of their appeal or their efforts, but we lost it because of the complacency of our structures in this area, ” Mr. Mwila said.
“Lupososhi Constituency, in general, is very significant to the Patriotic Front because it is the first-ever constituency to elect a PF member of parliament in 2001. Added to this, it is a constituency that has the current Provincial Minister and interim Provincial PF Chairperson as its Member of Parliament.”
“How does a sitting Provincial Minister and interim Provincial chairman lose in his own house,” Mr Mwila wondered.
“There must be accountability for this glitch in our performance which has been generally exceptional. This is unacceptable and something must be done,” Mwila said.
“Ilambo ward will coming back to PF where it rightfully belongs, because of the PF development agenda under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. But I want to say that as chief executive officer of the party, I have taken the issue to talk to the Provincial Chairman who is also member of parliament and Provincial Minister to make a decision whether he should keep the position of Provincial Minister or not. Failure to decide within 24 hours, a decision will be made by the secretariat. I hope you’ve understood what I mean.”
Asked what the party would do should Chungu refuse to step down, Mwila said the party secretariat would remove him forcefully.
“I did indicate to him to make a decision to step aside and I am waiting for him to make a decision. If he doesn’t, a decision will be made by the secretariat. If he cannot make a decision within 24 hours, on Monday I will be in Luwingu, so I will announce the decision in Luwingu, [which is] better,” he responded.
Mwila, however, commended his party for participating in violence-free by-elections.
“After yesterday’s by-elections, there is a pattern that is now more evident for everyone to see than ever before. There is a clear trend that distinguishes elections in our strongholds from those in opposition areas. Elections conducted in PF Strongholds are peaceful and without violence, while those held in opposition strangleholds are marred with violence and bloodshed. We wish to commend all stakeholders for conducting peaceful elections in the respective areas and we appeal to the opposition to watch and learn the way of peace from us,” Mwila said.
Meanwhile, Mwila called on the UPND to respect the country’s culture and the consensus of Zambian people on homosexuality.
“The UPND must not only learn peaceful ways as we have demonstrated in our strongholds, they must also learn to respect the consensus of Zambian people on homosexuality. The agenda of the UPND and its leader sponsored by foreign agents to legalize the homosexuality in Zambia goes against our cultural and traditional heritage as well as our Christian values. It is a shame that UPND and its leader have stooped so low as to embrace an abomination, just for the sake of foreign sponsorship to enter State House. As for Edgar Lungu and his PF house with the People of Zambia; we reject to legalise the abomination of homosexuality; and we instead choose to serve the Lord and uphold our culture,” said Mwila.