KABANDA CHULU & STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
THE Patriotic Front (PF) has assured that its president Edgar Lungu will not use Government facilities during campaigns ahead of the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
And PF secretary-general Davies Chama has directed party organs and structures to respect and honour Acting President Guy Scott despite his absence from the ruling partyâ€™s campaigns so far.
Mr Chama said in a statement issued yesterday that PF will conduct peaceful and non-violent campaigns for Mr Lunguâ€™s bid in the January 20 presidential election.
He was reacting to concerns that Government facilities are being used in the PF campaigns.
Mr Chama said Mr Lungu is using party resources to conduct his campaigns.
â€œWe wish to inform the nation that PF President Hon. Edgar Lungu will conduct a fair, peaceful, and non-violent campaign as enshrined in our electoral laws and as provided for in good governance principles. Mr Lungu will not use government facilities. Although he is Minister of Defence and Minister of Justice, he has used party resources to conduct his campaigns,â€ he said.
Mr Chama said Mr Lungu has since advised all ministers and officials to comply with directives on the use of public resources.
â€œFrom our laws, only the Republican President and the Vice-President are allowed by law to use such facilities. As demonstrated by the two functions relating to the national launch the party held in Kitwe and Mansa, the helicopters and plane used were hired from the private aviation companies and we wish to emphasise that no government facilities were used from the Zambia Air Force,â€ Mr Chama said.
He added :â€œWe also wish to inform the nation that our national campaign committee will today [yesterday], sit to craft and announce a comprehensive 40-day national campaign programme that will give details of the public rallies and public appearances by Mr Lungu.â€
Meanwhile, Mr Chama said in an interview that acting President Guy Scott is still PF Vice-President.
â€œDr Scott is still our father and a true comrade of late President Sata. We love him and probably he is not with us because he is tied up with other national commitments as he is the acting republican President,â€ Mr Chama said.
â€œWe are anxiously waiting for Dr Scott to join us for this campaign trail. We want to honour President Sata by doing the correct thing,â€ he said.
Mr Chama, however, said the absence of Dr Scott has not adversely affected PF campaigns for Mr Lungu.
Meanwhile, Kasama Central member of Parliament Geoffrey Mwamba has asked Mr Lungu to personally invite him to his campaign team because there are many other political parties courting him.
Mr Mwamba said in an interview yesterday that he does not want to impose himself on Mr Lungu.
â€œI am not ready to impose myself on Edgar [Lungu]. The late Sata [President] used to invite me. So, let Edgar invite me. Maybe he doesnâ€™t want me,â€ he said
Mr Mwamba said there are other political parties that are courting him and he is ready to work with anyone who will invite him first.
â€œWhichever party that will invite me, I will come on board. Edgar has never spoken to me on matters of politics from the time he became SG [secretary general],â€ he said.
And on Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalabaâ€™s invitation to him to join Mr Lunguâ€™s campaign team, Mr Mwamba said: â€œI wish to thank Mr Kalaba for his invitation but he is not the head. Let Edgar invite me.â€
But Mr Chama said he will personally call Mr Mwamba on the issue because Mr Lungu has already extended an open invitation to everyone.
â€œKabwata MP Given Lubinda, Roan MP Chishimba Kambwili, Lusaka mayor Mulenga Sata and all others were proactive. No-one invited them but they jumped on board. We wish to assure all members that we will embrace everyone, including Miles Sampa,â€ Mr Chama said
He said the PF is a loving and forgiving party.
KABANDA CHULU & STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka