By SIMON MUNTEMBA
CHISHIMBA Kambwili should not impose himself as the next PF president because the party will democratically go for a person who is mature, credible and someone who will be sellable in 2026, PF Secretary-General Davis Mwila has said.
And Mr Mwila has directed all party officials to stop engaging one another through the media over the general conference debate or face expulsion.
He said in an interview that his office was concerned with Mr Kambwili’s remarks that he would take over the leadership of PF from President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Kambwili announced that this time around, he would be the one to lead the party until the 2026 general elections.
Mr Mwila however said Mr Kambwili should not impose himself but realise that PF was a democratic party which would allow other interested candidates to compete for the position.
“No, he can’t take over the party, it is the general conference that will elect the party president. No one will impose himself. If he has the support of the people, let him go to the convention and get elected and not imposing himself because he must understand that PF is a democratic party. There are a lot of people who would want to contest and they are coming out in the open,” Mr Mwila said.
Mr Mwila added, “He (Mr Kambwili) will not go unopposed, there will be competition and as a party, we will go for a person who is mature, credible and someone who will be sellable in 2026. That is the leader that we will look for, so he should wait for the general conference. No one will be imposed.”
He explained that Article 52 of the PF constitution was clear that the president is supposed to be elected by the general conference.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwila said he would not hesitate to expel members in the habit of “washing dirty linen” in public.
He accused those debating about the general convention of having been paid by some aspiring candidates.
“Both officials from Eastern Province and Lusaka or elsewhere, if they have eaten money from the candidates they have to shut up. We cannot be arguing in public.
“All those that are going to the media must stop. And I am instructing all the provincial chairpersons to take action against them. Because we will not allow anyone to start washing dirty linen in public. Otherwise, I will remove them before I go and they will not even attend the general conference. They have to behave themselves,” he warned.
Mr Mwila said only the central committee would decide when the party shall go to the general conference.
Even policy statements, he said, can only be issued by the Secretary General or the President, “so if anyone of them has eaten money from the candidates, they have to keep quiet, otherwise they will be removed from their positions. There must be order, and members should wait for directives from the central committee.”