KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) deputy secretary-general Mumbi Phiri says all ruling party members wishing to contest the party presidency are free to do so, but that the party already endorsed President Lungu.
Mrs Phiri said there is a misconception that the PF has told members intending to contest for party presidency not to stand.
“We are starting intra-party elections in 2019 and in 2020 we are going to the convention to elect our party president who will be our candidate for 2021,” she said.
Mrs Phiri said it is not true that PF has stopped members to contest.
She, however, said the party has endorsed President Lungu because members have confidence in him.
“This does not mean that if one wants to stand as a president he or she should be stopped.
“Whoever feels can be President should go and file in their nominations with their supporters without intimidation,” she said.
She also said anyone who wants to be president is free to contest.
She said they should come with their supporters because there will be no intimidation.
Meanwhile, Mrs Phiri has said the PF has a cordial relationship with the Church, and the Catholic Church in particular.
Mrs Phiri said she cannot argue with Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu’s statement on the state of the nation, saying he has the right to support both the UPND and the PF.
She also said while the UPND is trying to destabilise the nation, the PF leadership is going round the country mobilising the party.
“The UPND are talking, petrol-bombing and insulting, and we are working and closely talking to the people to join us,” she said.