CHISHALA MUSONDA, Ndola
THE Patriotic Front (PF) says the election of the party’s president at its general conference in 2020 will be open to eligible candidates but President Lungu is its preferred choice for the 2021 presidential election.
And former Copperbelt minister Mwenya Musenge is tomorrow scheduled to appear before the party’s disciplinary committee to respond to charges of bringing the party’s name into disrepute.
PF secretary general Davies Mwila said in an interview in Ndola yesterday that no member has been stopped from contesting the top position in 2020.
“The general conference will be there is 2020. So if our colleagues want to stand let them say so, they are free.
“And no one will tell them they do not have the rights. They have the right to stand. That is the position of the party,” Mr Mwila said.
Last week, Mr Mwila said President Lungu is the party’s preferred candidate in the 2021 elections.
But his statement received sharp reactions from Roan member of Parliament (MP) Chishimba Kambwili, who said the ruling party was making a political short cut and that the general conference should choose the man to lead to the next general elections.
Mr Kambwili contested the PF presidency in 2014.
Mr Lungu won the national presidential mid-term election in January 2015 following the death of former President Michael Sata in October of the same year.
Mr Mwila said he had provided guidance to party members on the PF leadership and direction and made references to other democracies in the world which had preferred candidates.
He said the party has already settled for its favoured candidate to lead the PF to the next general election in 2021.
“I guided whilst in Kasama, I said we had a preferred candidate by the name of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and I referred to America and the UK (United Kingdom) democracy that the incumbent is not supposed to be challenged. That is what I referred to,” he said.
The PF is in July next year scheduled to start conducting elections for party structures in the build-up to the general conference in 2020.
Meanwhile Mr Mwila says former Copperbelt Minister and Chimwemwe member of Parliament Mwenya Musenge will appear before the PF national disciplinary committee to answer charges of bringing the party’s name into disrepute.
“Mr Musenge will appear before the disciplinary committee on Tuesday. So I do not want to discuss this matter. The matter will be dealt with by the national disciplinary committee. So by Tuesday we will be able to resolve it,” he said.
Mr Musenge has been criticising the PF and President Lungu in statements published in the media.