Dont hold Lungu hostage, old timers told

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 07:48:34 +0000


By Bennie Mundando

NO ONE should hold President Edgar Lungu hostage on account that they are founder members of the Patriotic Front (PF) and are therefore entitled to special treatment because the party is bigger than any of us, PF founding secretary general Edwin Lifwekelo has charged.

Commenting on individuals allegedly creating confusion in the party by being hostile to new-comers, Mr. Lifwekelo said there was need for discipline in the party if it was to remain relevant to the political dispensation of the country.

Mr Lifwekelo, who until recently was the UPND deputy spokesperson before rejoining the ruling party, said he was the PF secretary general at the inception of PF and was the one involved in registering it but could not claim any credit today because the party’s growth was not hinged on an individual.

He said he knew the people who were founder members, including President Lungu, who never demanded for recognition and urged everyone to exercise the same maturity in order for peace and unity to reign in the ruling party.

He said the party appreciated the contribution of founder members for forming the nucleus of the party but warned that such a status should not be the yardstick for measuring one’s importance or relevance to the party because all of them were equal, adding that the party should move away from the ‘‘tremendous propensity to self-destruction’’.

He said those who were agitating for recognition for their contribution should take a leaf from Kenneth Kaunda who fought for the liberation and ruled the country yet never claimed credit for what he had done because he realised that there were other people who contributed immensely to the development of Zambia.

“No one should hold President Lungu hostage merely for being part of the team of men and women that were there when PF was formed. Of course we appreciate their role but that is not a good reason to start breathing fire. President Lungu is one of the founders of the party but we do not hear him make noise over the matter.

“Democracy is a collective understanding that involves duties and obligations, rights and responsibilities that bring us together in a constant process of dialogue, consultation and consensus-building.

‘‘The party should move away from the tremendous propensity for self-destruction. Public squabbles undermine public confidence and they must stop,” Mr. Lifwekelo said.

He noted that it was abnormal for anyone to aspire for any party position when there was no vacancy, saying doing so undermined the incumbent.

“It’s normal for people to aspire to any position in the land when a vacancy occurs but for now, there is no vacancy and there is no need to undermine the incumbent.

‘‘For now, President Lungu is in charge of the country’s affairs until 2021 when he will hand over power to himself or someone else. It is therefore imperative for the party to indulge in self-introspection in order to identify weaknesses and strengths,” he said.


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