By NATION REPORTER
The antagonistic stance taken by some Patriotic Front leaders against independent candidates will jeopardise the attainment of the much needed votes for President Edgar Lungu in the upcoming elections, independent parliamentary candidates Munir Zulu and Emmanuel ‘Jay Jay’ Banda have said.
And the PF in Central Province has implored PF officials to make peace with each other and work together for the purpose of the party winning the 12 August elections.
Mr Zulu, who is vying for Lumezi Constituency and Mr Banda contesting the Petauke Central seat said in separate interviews that most independent candidates were ready to canvass votes for President Lungu but were being pushed away by the party.
The two said contrary to PF Secretary General, Davies Mwila’s stance, they were not enemies of the party.
“The PF Secretariat is indirectly fighting President Lungu through his statements against independent candidates. They are undermining the words of the President who said that he wanted to work with the independent candidates. But I can assure them that I will win their preferred candidate (Dora Siliya). My people will support President Lungu,” Mr Banda said.
Mr Zulu however said he would continue pushing his agenda in Lumezi without campaigning for any Presidential candidate.
He said much as he sympathized with President Lungu, he would not force himself on the party that does not need his services and support in Lumezi.
“Look, the SG said we are the enemies of the party. So what do we do?,” Mr Zulu said.
And Mr Banda said the PF’s attitude towards independent candidates had the potential to affect President Lungu’s votes.
He however said that he would still ensure President Lungu wins with huge margin in Petauke despite intimidation by the PF Secretariat.
Earlier, Mr Mwila said independent candidates were free to support President Lungu.
He however urged his party members to only support PF official candidates.
“We can’t stop them from campaigning for President Edgar Lungu but our members should not support independent candidates, that is the official position of the party,” Mr Mwila said.
Meanwhile, Central Province PF campaign manager, Jayson Mulando has directed the party’s rank and file in Kapiri Mposhi district to support and campaign for all candidates that have been adopted on the party ticket.
According to Zanis, Mr. Mulando revealed that the PF central committee had received information that some members were de-campaigning adopted candidates because their preferred applicants were not picked to contest on the party ticket.