PATRIOTIC Front (PF) founder member, Gershom Mumba has filed an injunction restraining the ruling party’s Central Committee from nominating a sole candidate for the presidential election.
Mr Mumba indicated that the central committee had no such powers in the party constitution allowing them to nominate a sole candidate.
He said the misinterpretation of the party constitution was deliberate and calculated to advantage particular candidates over others by the proponents of the ‘misguided’ move.
“I have filed an injunction to restrain the central committee of the party from exercising or purporting to exercise any appointment of the party president until the determination of this matter,” read the affidavit.
According to an affidavit filed in the Lusaka High Court registry yesterday, Mr Mumba stated that any attempt by the central committee to fill the vacancy of the party president other than the general conference was null and void.
This is why the applicant, an economist and financial consultant of Sable Road in Kabulonga, had dragged the party secretary general Bridget Atanga to court to block the central committee from nominating a presidential candidate.
The party constitution under Article 52 dictates that the vacancy of the party presidency shall be filled at the general conference through an election after lodging of nomination papers by aspiring candidates.
“That I and indeed, a cross section of the general membership of the party have been waiting for a call to go for a general conference but are surprised to hear and read purported media reports to nominate a presidential candidate through the Central Committee instead of the general conference,” he said.
Mr Mumba said a perusal of the party constitution showed that the constitution did not allow the central committee comprising 42 members to elect a party president on behalf of the party’s general conference which comprised 5,000 elected office-bearers.
Later at a Press briefing at his office, Acting President Guy Scott announced the cancellation of the central committee meeting which was slated for yesterday and another today due to the injunction in the High Court.
Dr Scott, however, said the party had started the process of scrutinising the 10 candidates and would today come up with a final list for the general conference in eight days’ time.
The party has a proposed a budget of K2.5 million for approximately 5,000 delegates who are still being srutinised.
During the briefing, Dr Scott also introduced Ms Bridget Atanga as new party secretary general and her deputy Anthony Kasolo.
The Acting President said the Zambian Constitution would be used in scrutinising the candidates, especially on the parentage clause.
“We are still checking some qualifications of all the 10. This is particularly in view of the parentage clause in the Constitution of Zambia as amended in 1996. Dr Kenneth Kaunda was barred from standing in general elections using the same. This clause affected him and others, including me who failed to nominate myself yesterday. Some people would be affected by this,” Dr Scott said.
He reiterated that the party would go for a convention to allow those eligible to go ahead and be voted for by the majority other than having one or two people to boast around that they were popular.
Dr Scott said the party still had time to campaign and was confirmed by the fact that the opposition would have finished their fuel, tyres and would be tired while the campaign would be starting.
Times of Zambia