By SIMON MUNTEMBA
IF the Patriotic Front is to emerge strong and retain power on August 12, it has to stop infighting which is disadvantaging the party by allowing the opposition to make inroads in our strongholds, a PF member Maxwell Chongu has said.
Mr Chongu cited the Socialist Party which he said was establishing branches at the grassroots level in Muchinga, Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt provinces.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Chongu, who called for the lifting of suspensions and expulsions of party members noted that the PF has concentrated so much on infighting while Mr M’membe’s party was busy creating cells around the country using civil servants, including teachers.
He said Mr M’membe was quietly causing damages in PF’s strongholds by recruiting members, forming branches and sections with the aid of some civil servants.
“I am very much aware that Fred M’membe has embarked on an exercise in which he is recruiting youths as his members through civil servants. And if I am not mistaken, there is a named university in South Africa where he has taken about 250 students for training.
“I am also aware that he is signing some contracts with other countries that believe in socialism where he is hoping to be sending students on scholarship basis, and he is doing all this through civil servants while we are busy fighting ourselves.
“So it is very important for our party leadership to be aware of what is happening. Because our party might be paying attention to UPND which is not even a threat while, Fred M’membe’s Socialist Party is doing us serious damages,” Mr Chongu said.
He appealed to the PF members of the central committee and the Secretary General, Davies Mwila to lift the suspensions and revoke expulsions of all members for the sake of the party to remain strong.
“For now, we need to reconcile and unite, the Secretary General should lift all the suspensions and revoke all expulsions countrywide so that our members can be allowed to come back freely to the party if they so wish. This is no time to give conditions to those who want to come back.
“We have seen something very strange in which only one person’s (Mwansa Wellington) suspension was lifted in Kafue, while about eight or nine in Chongwe were left in limbo. There are more than 10 suspensions in Chongwe and those are the people that are on the ground. So, the MCC must push Mr Mwila to lift all these suspensions and revoke the expulsions so that we emerge as one strong team in August and secure maximum votes for President Lungu and the party,” Mr Chongu said.
Mr Chongu also regretted that the PF has concentrated so much on infighting thus giving the opposition chance to make inroads in its strongholds.
He said, “most of these mushrooming political parties are fishing from PF ponds, the more reason we need to open doors of reconciliation and unity.”
He further said there was need for the ruling party members to guard their strongholds jealously by avoiding infighting.
“My appeal to our biggest organ of the party, MCC, the Secretary General, vice and the President is that they need to give us guidance on infighting. We need to stop infighting, divisions, confusions, personal hatred and hate speech amongst ourselves. We need to reconcile and unite and go into the August elections as a strong team,” he said.
As the saying goes, he said, when brothers or sisters of the same kingdom fight, it is the stranger that inherits their Kingdom and wealth.
Mr Chongu said it was high time that the PF reconciled at all party levels.
“So, we have no time at hand to be entertaining these infighting because they are giving advantages to the opposition as some of our frustrated members are joining them,” Mr Chongu said.