EMMANUEL Chilubanama (squatting) says he is hoping and praying that PF secretary general Davies Mwila’s announcement that the party will hold its elective general conference mid this year is not an exercise in futility.
On the talk of President Edgar Lungu’s sole candidacy, Chilubanama said he would support whatever decision the party general conference would come up with.
But Chilubanama insisted that having worked with President Lungu, he knew that the Head of State would never agree to been adopted as a sole candidate because he was a democratic man.
“I can tell you, he’s a man I worked with, he’s a man I know how he conducts himself. That is a man who is an acclaimed lawyer. Even himself would not subscribe to the idea of being a sole candidate,” he said. “In the same vein, we subjected him to a convention when he ascended to power. We would wish the same. That’s why he has allowed it, the convention. But if the central committee has endorsed him as the sole candidate, I respect the powers that be.”
Chilubanama said it was important for the ruling party to hold a general conference in order to rebrand, exonerate itself and give itself a second chance for rebirth.
A week ago, Mwila announced that the ruling party had set June/July 2020 for its general conference to elect a presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections although the central committee already had a preferred candidate in President Lungu.
Mwila said the holding of the general conference was in line with the party constitution as well as Article 60 of the Republican Constitution that guides on the holding of elections in political parties.
In an interview, Chilubanama welcomed the announcement saying everyone in the party had looked forward to the general conference.
“The proclamation by the secretary general last week was received very, very well because that is what everyone wished for, that is what everyone expected including myself. Every party is required to go for a general convention to elect its leaders,” he said.
“On this this score, I would like to pay special homage especially to the captain of the ship, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu for allowing that the convention goes ahead through the proclamation of the party CEO bwana Davies Mwila.”
The former State House permanent secretary said the announcement for a general conference had demonstrated that the ruling party was democratic.
However, Chilubanama hoped that Mwila’s announcement was not a mere pronouncement.
He recalled that Mwila had halted the party’s Lusaka Province intraparty elections last year promising that they would be held but to date, the elections have not been conducted.
“I wish and pray this time around, that what you (Mwila) pronounced won’t be an exercise in futility again because we respect and hold your word in high esteem. I wish and pray that it comes to pass. The reasons for postponing the elections last year were not given forthrightly,” he said.
Chilubanama said the general membership of the PF as well as the nation was expectant of the ruling party to hold its general conference.
“I wish and pray that it comes to pass bwana secretary general,” he said.
Chilubanama who was vying for the chairmanship in Lusaka Province last year said he would be available to contest a position he would advise after consultation.
“I am available to take up and vie for whichever role I will be advised however I wish to state very categorically that all this like earlier indicated should be done within the confines of precepts and laws as stipulated by my party,” said Chilubanama.