Monday, October 07, 2013

PF cadres march, petition for Kabimba's removal
By Moses Kuwema and Abel Mboozi
Sat 14 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

SOME PF cadres in Lusaka yesterday marched in the central business area, demanding the resignation of secretary general Wynter Kabimba. And defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba says it is not automatic that President Michael Sata will be in office for 10 years and that is why he was championing his endorsement as candidate for the PF in 2016.

The cadres, who were led by former Lusaka City Council mayor Robert Chikwelete, who is also interim Lusaka district PF chairman, marched from the South to the North-end of Cairo road before going to the district offices near Millennium bus station.

"We were told that we have been suspended as constituency chairmen, so this prompted us to organise ourselves. We are not happy with the way the secretary general is running party affairs. So now we are calling for his resignation because he cannot listen to party officials," Chikwelete said.

He said the cadres were not happy with the hand-picking of party officials for positions in the district.

"For instance, the district political secretary had no blessings from the party. These political secretaries were becoming more powerful than district commissioners," he said.

Chikwelete said the petition to have Kabimba removed from the office of secretary general had since been taken to the President and prayed that the head of state would look into the matter and bring to an end the ongoing wrangles in the party.

"Let me also make it clear that it is not true that we are being sponsored by defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba," said Chikwelete.

Kabimba, who is also justice minister, was unavailable for comment by press time as his mobile phone went unanswered.

And Mwamba told journalists after the commissioning of ZNS cadets in Kafue yesterday that from day one just after the PF won the 2011 elections, his team started campaigning for 2016 and the preferred candidate.

"And they are saying that its automatic President Sata will run for ten years. It's not automatic;that is why there is that gap of five years. We have to go to a congress, where we have to go and elect him as our candidate to contest the Republican presidency, so it's not automatic. They should not mislead the nation that it's automatic because if it was automatic, they should have said he will run for 10years continuously," he argued. Mwamba said there was nothing sinister about endorsing a candidate now.

"We are merely expressing our opinion; we are not refusing those with a different view. They are free to express their views but as far as we are concerned, I and my constituency Kasama Central, we are saying that we have endorsed President Sata to contest the party presidency and that of the republic," he said. He challenged those against the endorsement of President Sata as the PF's sole candidate for the2016 elections to come out in the open and state their preferred candidate. "Let them tell us so that we know; that's all we want. Otherwise, what we are doing is not outside the law; our party manifesto and constitution, everything is very clear," said Mwamba.

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