By Emmanuel Mwamba
The day started amidst tight security and delegates were made to go through a rigorous check that involved body search and frisking with metal detectors.
Once inside, the atmosphere was celebratory, jovial and delegates and journalists were greeted with chants of Lungu from all supporters including supporters of other candidates.
During mid-morning, delegates gathered and grouped themselves orderly in Provinces and filled the famous Rock of Authority shelter and spontaneous broke into pro Lungu songs.
Acting President Dr. Scott, Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu, Minister of Home Affairs, Ngosa Simbyakula and former First Lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba.
The delegates sung and chanted pro Lungu songs and it became clear that the election would be a whitewash.
Expectedly other candidates are said to have complained and Scott convened an emergence meeting where he invited security officials to give a formal brief to the other candidates.
Complaints where raised that questioned the status of delegates, and everyone appeared confounded at the overwhelming popularity of Lungu and suspected that it was manufactured.
But this was unfair on Lungu as the Conference was called By Scott, delegates met the criteria set by his Acting Secretary General Bridget Attanga and they travelled across the country to Mulungushi as dictated by Scott.
Lungu was accused of having filled the entire Conference with his supporters. Other candidates were feared that they would be harmed or beaten if they entered the ‘’Rock”.
But the atmosphere inside the Conference remained jovial and peaceful as people continued to chant Sata and Lungu songs.
When Mayor of Lusaka Mulenga Sata entered the conference, he was cheered and supported and his name was chanted in celebration of his decision to withdrawal from the race.
Later when words filtered that Deputy Minister of Commerce, Miles Sampa had withdrawn from the contest; the Conference broke into wild cheers.
By 09hrs, Members of the Central Committee, Members of Parliament, Ministers and other dignitaries were seated at the high podium awaiting the official commencement of the Conference.
While the delegates awaited the arrival of Scott they were unaware that Scot was trying to resolve the issue of delegates.
When the delegates broke off lunch, word filtered that the former First Lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba had flown back to Lusaka and Scot was attempting to cancel the Conference on the allegations that delegates were not prospered screened (ridiculous).
Scott called for the Central Committee, which lasted for about two hours.
At the end of the day, and at the end of the Central Committee, Lungu made his way
When Lungu finally appeared at the Conference the entire conference in wild cheers. Conspicuously missing were the other candidates Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), Wilbur Simusa, Chishimba Kambwili, Given Lubinda, Christine Kaseba, Mpangula Selemani Banda, Miles Sampa failed to turn up.
PF Chairperson, Inonge Wina announced the resolution of the Central Committee. She stated that the verification of delegates would be done in the evenings and formal accreditation that Scott had cancelled would be done. She hoped that voting would begin
To salvage the embarrassment a group of 13 civil servants of the party (called District Political Secretaries) from Southern Province claimed that they had left the conference because the list of delegates was doctored.
This was ridiculous as the formal verification of delegates and accreditation will be done only now.
So how did Edgar Lungu, who was said to be afraid of the Conference, had no money, and was sitting on a Wynter Kabimba infrastructure master such total support and total control?
How has he survived the media onslaught and unfair attacks from his opponents?
It is very simple, the family of the PF considers Edgar Lungu as the anointed one, “ewo bashilile” (he is the one President Sata left with instruments of power).
And the so-called crisis of the PF has narrowed down to a ‘Guy Scott`” problem.
Scott is being perceived as the one perpetuating the crisis for his ulterior motive, despite the bold writing on the wall.