President Edgar Lungu has called for unity in the Patriotic Front (PF) despite its members having had difference preferences of candidates for the just ended presidential election.
President Lungu said the different preferences by the members of the party should not derail progress because all the presidential contenders have since reconciled and were working together.
He said the matter should not be referred to as political differences but some intraparty democracy which he said was acceptable as it was part of the democratic dispensation.
The head of state said when he met Mambwe PF officials at Chichele Presidential Lodge recently that there was need for all party members to unite regardless of their preferred candidates as all the candidates were currently working together.
“We are working together with Miles Sampa, Given Lubinda and Chishimba Kambwili and others. So why should you be rebellious when your preferred candidate and I are working together?” he asked.
Mr. Lungu said his supporters should embrace even the people who were initially opposed to his leadership as politics was about numbers adding that the ruling party needed more people.
And President Lungu said he wanted to ensure equity and fairness in the recruitment of employees in the civil service.
Responding to a complaint from Eastern Province PF chairperson Attan Mwamba that there was corruption in the recruitment of teachers, police and army officers, President Lungu said government would investigate the matter and deal with employment issues in a fair manner.
Mr. Lungu also called for continued unity between the ruling party and the MMD which was exhibited prior to the January 20, presidential election.
He revealed that last week, he met both former President Rupiah Banda and MMD leader Nevers Mumba who wanted him to unite the two political parties.
He said the two leaders had clearly stated to him that they failed to work with the opposition UPND.
President Lungu also noted that even the PF had tried to work with the UPND but things did not work out.
And the President stated that he understood the challenges of the people of Mambwe district saying efforts were being made to address their problems.
Meanwhile, PF Secretary General Davies Chama said the ruling party had unearthed a scheme in which some opposition political party was printing PF T-shirts and other party regalia which its members were using to harass people in the name of the ruling party.
“We have put our youths on guard. You have to report them when you find them because we are not going to promote violence in this party and we want to condemn any form of violence in the strongest terms because this is a peaceful party and we want to win the 2016 peacefully,” he said.
Mr. Chama has since stressed the need for the PF leadership to remain united as it implements party programmes.
He also thanked the MMD provincial leadership for support in the presidential election which he said helped it win in 16 constituencies out of the 17 in the province.
And a member of the PF central committee, Samuel Mukupa urged the PF members to ensure that more people participate in the 2016 general election.
Mr. Mukupa noted that the voter turnout in the January 20 presidential election in Eastern province was low adding that there was need to encourage more voters to participate in the 2016 general election.
Earlier, PF Eastern Province chairperson Attan Mwamba has appealed to President Lungu to provide logistics to help the party mobilize itself in preparation for the 2016 general election.
Mr. Mwamba said the party requires vehicles to enhance its movements and recruit more people.
He said MMD had also started gaining ground in the province saying this should be a source of worry for the party.
He has since advised the members of the party to embrace MMD members who were currently working with the PF.
Mr. Mwamba expressed concern that government was employing teachers from urban areas when the province had a number of youths that were trained but not yet employed.
He stated that new teachers were on many occasions transferred to their provinces and usually left vacancies in Eastern Province, yet they were not cleared from the local payroll.
And Mambwe district PF chairperson Muzidye Phiri appealed to government to rehabilitate the Mambwe-Msoro road which he said was in a deplorable state.
Mr. Phiri said the rehabilitation of the road would enhance the transportation of goods and service in the area.