(By Chambwa Moonga and Charles Tembo)
PF member Maxwell Chongu has implored party structures in Lusaka Province to vote for Chongwe council chairperson Geoffrey Chuumbwe for the provincial chairmanship because: “Lusaka Province is Soliland and so, Soli votes must go to a Soli.”
But PF media director Sunday Chanda says any tribal sentiments in the PF intraparty campaigns do not reflect what the ruling party stands for.
In a 24 seconds long video, Chongu urged the gathering not to be cheated.
“The only thing I’m going to ask you, my mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters; do not be cheated, time has come for you to put your own person (pointing at Chuumbwe) so that at least you can go and complain nearer. This Lusaka Province is Soliland [and] so Soli votes must go to a Soli,” said Chongu, as listeners cheered him on.
Chongu did not answer his mobile phone when called to justify his remarks yesterday.
Others in contention for the Lusaka Province PF chairmanship slot are Charles Chimumbwa, Kennedy Kamba, and Emmanuel Chilubanama.
Early this month, PF chairman for elections Yamfwa Mukanga told The Mast that ruling party members with divided loyalty would not be allowed to contest the on-going intraparty elections.
Mukanga said the party had already taken note of aspirants who would be blocked from contesting party positions.
“We have not received nominations from provincial (chairman aspirants) yet. But I have seen people campaigning in the newspapers; others are even branding vehicles. But we will deal with issues of eligibility when the time comes. We will not allow outsiders to contest party elections,” Mukanga said.
He indicated also that party members who were insulting the party leadership on social media blogs would also not be allowed.
Mukanga said the PF intraparty elections were meant to usher in a team of leaders that would easily deliver victory to the party and President Edgar Lungu in the 2021 general elections.
But Chanda said tribalism and regionalism type of politics does not belong to the PF.
“We note with concern that there is a video currently circulating that was purportedly recorded from a meeting organised by Lusaka Province chairman candidate Mr Geoffrey Chuumbwe where Mr Maxwell Chongu, a party official in the Chongwe structures is heard promoting tribal voting. The sentiments expressed in the said video do not conform to the tenets and principles of the Patriotic Front (PF). PF is an all-inclusive party founded on the principle of One Zambia One Nation. Tribalism and regionalism are therefore diametrically opposed to the values and ideals of the party,” stated Chanda.
“We consequently wish to caution those vying for elective offices in the party to desist from promoting tribal and regional politics. All candidates and officials are expected to anchor the party president’s consistent message of One Zambia, One Nation. We, therefore, call upon Mr Chongu to retract his tribal sentiments and we equally expect the provincial aspiring candidate Mr Chuumbwe to distance himself from tribal alignments and tribal voting.”/