I FIND it embarrassing to respond to the allegations against me and feel that I may be placing myself in jeopardy because of their vagueness, PF member of the central committee Mwenya Musenge has told the party leadership.
On May 4, PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri wrote to Musenge, the former Copperbelt minister, demanding an exculpatory letter within seven days on five allegations, among them, discrediting the party and its leadership, spreading false information, injuring the reputation of the party, acting disrespectfully towards the party, giving false information, publishing or causing to be published, orally or in writing any matter which in the opinion of the central committee constitutes an attack on the party and committing acts that are not in the interest of the party.
In an exculpatory letter leaked by senior party officials on the Copperbelt, Musenge has expressed disappointment that he was being accused of discrediting the party and its leadership.
He stated that it was unfortunate that the party said his behaviour was ‘unbecoming’ and accused him of issuing statements to the media without according him an opportunity to be heard.
I am in receipt of the letter dated 4th May 2017, which was written on your behalf by the deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri, on the subject in heading, in which you have concluded that my conduct has been ‘unbecoming’ and I have continued issuing statements to the print media. I have found it extremely unfortunate that you can tell me that my conduct has been ‘unbecoming’ and accuse me of issuing statements to the media without according me an opportunity to be heard. What that simply tells me is that you have already formed up your opinions against me and my responses to the allegations in your, aforesaid letter of 4th May, is simply window dressing. That notwithstanding, I will respond to your allegations,
He stated that he had not and did not spread false information.
Musenge stated that he did not engage in rumour mongering or listen to rumour mongers at his level.
It could have been helpful if you had stated the false statements or rumours, which you have heard. Your allegations also lack specificity and particulars on allegations of disrespectfulness, deceit or publications and on all the allegations in your letter. I find it embarrassing to respond to the allegations against me and feel that I may be placing myself in jeopardy because of their vagueness,
Musenge stated that regarding the two newspaper cuttings, which were exhibited, he did not know which newspaper they were cut from.
He stated that he did not issue any statement in the articles that were attached.
The paper cuttings speak for themselves as they allude to statements from a ‘Mr Remember Mutale’ and ‘Mr Steven Kainga’ purportedly on allegations against me. I feel and believe that the central committee of the party should not be forming opinions based on statements from junior members/organs of the party against a senior official like myself,
He stated that the alleged statements particularly from “Mr Mutale” that Central Province was no go area for him and that he should not set-foot in the area were not only divisive but also bordered on criminality and against the constitutional guarantees of freedom of movement.
“He [Mr Mutale] should therefore be condemned by the leadership of the party,” stated Musenge.
And senior party members say Musenge had not committed any offence apart from stating facts in The Mast newspaper recently that the PF government and the party had started too many fights that were not in the interest of the nation and the party, thereby risking President Edgar Lungu and the party’s popularity.
Musenge is right and that’s just the bitter truth on our part and many of us are wondering why he should be crucified by the party for merely stating the truth, the truth that fights such as the closure of The Post newspaper, arrest of Hakainde Hichilema and many other fights are nothing but unnecessary fights bringing the party down,
said a senior party member.
Musenge over a week ago said the ruling party had unnecessarily started too many fights, giving examples of the Post closure and the incarceration of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Following his statement, Mumbi wrote to Musenge and asked him to exculpate himself and show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him.
And last week on Monday, Musenge again appealed to President Edgar Lungu to find time to sit down and reflect on what was happening in the country because the picture was so gloomy that no one could pretend that everything was fine.
I don’t think killing The Post will solve problems that certain individuals could have had with the institution. When we talk about the monies owed to ZRA, we have seen many Auditor General’s reports and there are several companies including the mines that have defaulted in settling statutory obligations but they have not been killed. Some mines and other parastatal institutions are owing colossal sums, some amounting to K280 million but because we know that these same companies are employing thousands of our brothers and sisters, we have been cautious and have agreed to a form of settlement of taxes. Why have we refused to do the same with The Post?