STEVEN MVULA and NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary-general Davies Mwila says all those working in President Lungu’s government are expected to be loyal failure to which they should leave.
Mr Mwila says PF is a party on its own and it shall remain as such with Mr Lungu as its presidential candidate in the 2021 elections.
“President Lungu and PF have no time to waste on politicking. We are eager to deliver development and so we want loyalty, harmony and unity in our ranks,” he said.
Mr Mwila was speaking yesterday when he received a petition from Eastern Province PF members who demanded the resignation of Minister of Finance Felix Mutati for allegedly destabilising the party in the province.
Mr Mwila promised to deliver the petition to President Lungu immediately and later present it to the central committee for consideration.
“We will soon visit Eastern Province to check what is going on there. Eastern Province is our stronghold, so we will not allow anyone to destabilise our party,” he said.
When asked for a comment on the matter, President Lungu said MMD is PF’s strategic partner and that if there are any issues, he will study them so that they can be discussed behind the camera.
The President said he has not yet received the petition from Mr Mwila and he cannot fully comment on the matter.
“I will wait to hear from the secretary-general. These are politics, Mr Mutati is Minister of Finance and leader of the opposition MMD,” he said.
And presenting the petition, provincial PF vice-chairperson Godwin Phiri said it has come to the attention of the party in the region that some people in MMD are allegedly working against President Lungu.
Mr Phiri accused MMD vice-president Mtolo Phiri of secretly telling members to destabilise PF in the province.
“MMD vice-president Mtolo Phiri is secretly instructing MMD members to undermine and destabilise PF with the view of propping Mr Felix Mutati to take over in 2021,” he said.
When contacted for a comment, Mr (Mtolo) Phiri said he could not immediately give his side of the story because he needed to consult and get an official position.
Mr Mutati’s mobile phone went unanswered.
But MMD national secretary Raphael Nakacinda told Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) that the party will not interfere in the internal affairs of the PF.
Mr Nakacinda said the MMD will not react to the calls against Mr Mutati but that the party leader was chosen on merit by President Lungu because the head of State has confidence in him.
And some PF members in North-Western Province have also called for the resignation of Mr Mutati from the MMD or relinquish his cabinet position, reports BUTTYSON KANDIMBA.
The members made the demand yesterday when they presented a petition to North-Western Province Minister Richard Kapita.
PF provincial chairlady Violet Kayumba also accused Mr Mutati of destabilising the party in the region.
She said, during the Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony recently, hundreds of MMD members allegedly openly declared their support for Mr Mutati for 2021 and endorsed his candidature.
“We all know that we only have one President, who is His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu as endorsed by the central committee recently,” Ms Kayumba said.
And Mr Kapita thanked the members for showing love for the party which they do not want to see die in the province and promised to deliver the petition to President Lungu.
Mr Kapita urged the members to remain peaceful as the head of State examines the petition from the province.
In Northern Province, some PF supporters marched in support of the petition to have Mr Mutati resign.