Monday, November 04, 2013

Continued squabbles in PF sadden Inonge
By Tilyenji Mwanza and Abel Mboozi
Mon 14 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

INONGE Wina says she is disappointed that squabbles in PF have continued even after President Michael Sata's directive to end the infighting.

And suspended Chawama Constituency chairperson Robert Chikwelete has accused Lusaka Province PF chairperson Geoffrey Chuumbwe of being the commander of the 'militia' group in the Fourth Republic party.

Wina, who is PF national chairperson, said there were more amicable ways of sorting out issues than fighting and threatening one another.

"You know what, let them fight at that level. We do not know what else these people want. The President issued a directive for them to stop the fighting. You would expect them to stop but they are being disrespectful," she said.

Last week, Chikwelete threatened violence against Goodson Banda if he attempted to take over the district offices.

"Let me also warn the Goodson Banda-led committee that if they try to cause confusion or provoke these loyal members of the party, they will face it in a hard way. I know their followers are women; my followers are men and they will face them head-on. We have information that people want to march and come and close this office. We are not going to allow that. If they provoke us to that extent, definitely expect some violence. I am not going to hide it, expect some violence. We do not want to be violent but if they continue provoking us in this manner, we will make sure that we crush them and crush them such that they will never exist anymore. We are not going to allow anymore intimidation and people trying to underrate us. We are the voters. We put this government where it is. We expect leaders to respect us," said Chikwelete last week.

But Wina said violence against women would not be entertained.
Wina, who is also gender minister, said it was uncalled for, for Chikwelete to threaten PF women with violence.

"It is not right to compare women and men, especially in terms of violence," she said.

Wina said the party did not condone gender-based violence at any level, and appropriate measures would be used to deal with Chikwelete.
She said she would study the matter more and see what action could be taken.

"We don't like this and we have asked them to stop but issuing threats against women is uncalled for," said Wina.

But Chikwelete, in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday, declared that his suspension by Chumbwe was null and void.

He maintained that he was still the Lusaka district chairman as appointed by President Michael Sata and that he was fully in charge.

"Chumbwe has no power to suspend me. Let him just concentrate on the Fourth Republican Party where he is the 'commander' of the militia group," Chikwelete said.

"The purported suspension from Chumbwe is null and void. This is a serious exhibition of impunity and disloyalty to our President by Chumbwe and Goodson Banda," he said.

Chikwelete said his appointment by President Sata as Lusaka district chairperson was meant to correct an anomaly which he said was created by secretary general Wynter Kabimba.

He alleged that Kabimba manipulated the bringing in of Banda at the district and his eventual ascension to the position of district chairperson.

"The information we have received suggest that the Fourth Republican Party constitution was used to elect Goodson Banda as Lusaka district chairperson. Therefore Banda's claim of legitimacy as an elected chairman is a big falsehood and we are surprised that he can challenge my appointment by the President," said Chikwelete.

Chuumbwe has suspended Chikwelete from the party on account of bringing President Sata and the party's name into disrepute.

This action has incensed Chikwelete, who has vowed to use violent means to fight Chuumbwe over his suspension.

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