By CHUSA SICHONE and STEVEN ZANDE –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has observed that some individuals within the Patriotic Front (PF) are contradicting themselves by leaving the Government but still want to remain party members.
Without mentioning names, President Lungu said it was such party members’ negative utterances against its leadership that had somewhat contributed to the turbulences in the PF.
Meanwhile, former United Party for National Development (UPND) deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo has said that the PF under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu remains a party of choice for many Zambians.
President Lungu said that some of those individuals were giving problems because they still had not accepted that he was the Head of State as they wanted to replace his predecessor Michael Sata after his demise in 2014.
“It is true that seemingly PF is going through a turbulent time because of some utterances by some people who feel the leadership we are providing is not good enough,” Mr Lungu said.
“But surprisingly, these same people are saying they want to remain in PF… They are saying ‘I’m not good for Government as a leader but I’m good as a leader in PF and I want to remain in PF’. Quite a contradiction,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said this when he addressed a public meeting at Chalabesa School in Kanchibiya District on Sunday.
President Lungu said there was no shortage of people in the PF, neither was the case in Government.
Mr Lungu said people who did not accept to be led could not make good leaders and that those that could not manage ambitions, then theirs was a failed project.
PF Bahati Member of Parliament (MP) Harry Kalaba recently resigned as Foreign Affairs minister but has opted to remain in the ruling party despite castigating the Government thereafter.
Mr Kalaba cited unsubstantiated corruption as one of the reasons for his resignation from a ministerial post.
Similarly, PF Roan MP Chishimba Kambwili has vowed to remain in the party despite his continued criticism of the ruling party and the Government.
Mr Kambwili has repeatedly charged that there is corruption in the PF Government, yet he has not pointed out specific examples despite being challenged to do so.
Mr Kambwili was sacked as Information and Broadcasting Services minister last year and he is currently a consultant of the opposition National Democratic Congress party.
And Mr Lifwekelo Lifwekelo described UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and his vice-president Geoffrey Mwamba as ‘playboys’ for calling on street vendors to return to the streets.
Mr Lifwekelo said it was wrong for the opposition leaders to incite people to trade from streets considering that Government conducted the clean-up exercise to combat cholera which killed more than 70 lives.
“To suggest that vendors must go back on the street in view of the deadly pandemic is being unrealistic,” Mr Lifwekelo said. “We urge Zambians to treat this statement with the contempt it deserves.”
He said this in a statement issued in Lusaka.
Mr Lifwekelo said it was wrong and immoral for Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba to gain political mileage from the deadly cholera situation which prompted Government to remove street vendors with a view to cleaning the city.
He urged Zambians to be vigilant and watch out for the two opposition leaders so that they were not allowed to assume national leadership due to their ill intentions which he alleged could be characterised by abuse of public resources.
Mr Lifwekelo further urged people to support President Lungu in his quest to improve the fortunes of Zambians while the clean-up exercise in Lusaka and elsewhere should be understood in the context of riding the country of cholera to save people’s lives.