(By Isaac Zulu in Kapiri Mposhi)
THE Kapiri Mposhi Patriotic Front Central Ward intraparty elections suffered a setback on Saturday as confusion reigned when branch officials that formed the electoral college accused theeir district leadership of trying to manipulate the electoral process by imposing their preferred candidates.
A few weeks ago, the Kapiri Mposhi Central Ward and branch officials had objected to the party’s guidelines to have constituency officials preside over the ward elections, which in turn prompted the PF’s leadership in Central Province to allow the district officials to preside over the said elections. Currently, Kapiri Mposhi Central Ward comprises of Ndeke, Tambalale, Riverside, Kawama, Soweto and Kafwaka, among other branches. As the voting process progressed, some named ward officials rose and informed the electoral college that the elections would be suspended until further notice. This did not go well with some of the branch officials, who accused the district officials of trying to manipulate the electoral process while other branch officials vehemently supported the suspension.
The two parties could not, however, reach a compromise and this led to the indefinite suspension of the PF Kapiri Central Ward intraparty elections. Some PF officials from selected branches talked to after the aborted elections charged that they did not want to usher into office leaders that would engage in illegalities.
“We do not want individuals from the current Central Ward executive that have been cited for conniving with some ward development and community development committees for allegedly engaging in illegal land allocation,” explained one of the branch officials anonymously.
“What we want are leaders with integrity with the ability to discharge party activities transparently and accountability…. We want credible leadership. We are concerned and surprised that certain individuals want to manipulate this electoral process by imposing candidates of their choice in order to suit their personal interests. We do not want people to undermine the credibility of our intraparty elections. And for this reason we have decided to write to the [PF Central] Province executive committee so that we can be guided and hold fresh elections.”
PF Central Province chairman Chanda Remember Mutale could not be reached for a comment, as his mobile phones were switched off by press time. Some PF provincial officails disclosed, however, that the Chitambo lawmaker was by press time in a meeting with constituency officials from the whole province trying to chart the way forward. Kapiri Mposhi PF constituency chairman Godfrey Chanda Kangwa could also not be reached for a comment because he was in Ngabwe district. Kangwa, who is also former Kapiri Mposhi district council secretary, has been assigned by the PF provincial leadership to help conduct credible elections in the newly create district.