The Patriotic Front Central Committee met yesterday, 24th March 2018 and chaired by the Party President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who is also the President of the Republic of Zambia.
On behalf of Central Committee, I wish to firstly convey our gratitude to the Zambian people, the ordinary men and women and youth, who entrusted us with the responsibility of administering the affairs of this Country. Central Committee wishes to re-assure that Patriotic Front will never betray the trust and confidence of the Zambian people. The Patriotic Front will do all it can to remain a listening Party and Government. This is because we were formed as a mass movement and therefore the voice of the people in policy formulation as we implement our 2016-2021 election manifesto is very important. PF will do more to create avenues for our people to continue speaking to us and us to them on all matters to do with national development and their societal challenges.
The Central Committee in its deliberations acknowledged PF’s long-standing principle and strengths – to always be truthful to the people and never hide or conceal its own shortcomings and weaknesses, or the extent of the challenges that we face.
B. New Appointments for the Central Committee
The following appointments were RATIFIED by the Central Committee –
a. Hon Dora Siliya, MCC – Appointment as Chairperson for Information
b. Hon Richard Musukwa, Minister of Mines – Appointed as MCC
c. Petition against Hon Harry Kalaba by Party Structures in Luapula Province
Following the petition from PF Luapula Province structures against Hon Harry Kalaba, Bahati Member of Parliament and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Central Committee resolved that the matter be referred to the Province and any recommendations that might arise will be presented to the Disciplinary Committee established under Article 74 of the Party Constitution and regulation 36 (a) which provides for the jurisdiction or powers of the Disciplinary Committee.
This is also important as all members have a right to be heard in lin with the rules of natural justice and fairness.
C. Disciplinary Hearing for Hon Mumbi J. Phiri, MP and Deputy Secretary General
Following allegations of gross misconduct and impropriety levelled against Hon Mumbi Phiri arising from her conduct at a Party fundraising event in Chilanga District, which event was graced by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia and Party President for the Patriotic Front Mr. Edgar Edgar Chagwa Lungu, a report was tabled before Central Committee to effect the necessary sanction.
On 5th March 2018, Hon Mumbi Phiri was requested to exculpate herself of the alleged bad behaviour reported to have caused embarrassment to the Party President and the Party membership at large and she was further asked to show cause within seven (7) days why disciplinary action should not be taken against her following the allegations. In her response, Hon Mumbi Phiri asked for forgiveness as she admitted her wrongs. She maintained the same position during her appearance before the Disciplinary Committee. She was remorseful throughout the disciplinary process and while she deserved stiffer sanctions, Central Committee took into consideration that she was a first time offender and a committed and loyal member of the Party.
Article 74, regulation 36 (a) provides jurisdiction to the Disciplinary Committee of the Central Committee “to discipline Party leaders including Members of the Central Committee”. Article 19 of the Party Constitution and the Disciplinary Code Handbook at page 13 provides for sanctions depending on the seriousness of misconduct as follows:
(a) Simple warning or caution
(b) Written reprimand censure
(c) Demotion in office
(d) Suspension from office or function in the Party for a specified period
(e) Expulsion from the Party by Central Committee
Hon Mumbi Phiri has been suspended from Central Committee and from her position as Deputy Secretary General for 30 days effective 24th March 2018.
Central Committee hopes that she will use the 30 days to reflect and learn.
This is to remind all of us that Patriotic Front has no sacred cows and shall not tolerate indiscipline from its leaders and members at any given time. Let me send this warning that leaders have a duty to lead by example and must be above board.
D. Party Position on Dialogue
Central Committee categorically stated that Zambia was not in a crisis. It further reaffirmed PF’s stance that it values dialogue as an on-going process within Zambia’s democratic space and must involve all stakeholders, including the Church, political parties, civil society and others. Central Committee also resolved that all dialogue processes or initiatives must be spearheaded by the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) and urged the Commonwealth team led by Prof Gambari to channel all interventions through the ZCID. Central Committee believes that while outside interventions remain welcome, Zambia had a duty to use its own mechanisms regarding promotion of interparty dialogue.
Central Committee also heard that the Ministry of Justice had made serious headway regarding many proposed constitutional reforms, a clear roadmap was in place regarding electoral reforms and as such some of the demands or concerns by some stakeholders as agenda items for dialogue in that regard might be overtaken by events.
E. Provincial Elections – Western Province & Southern Province
The Party will conduct elections for all structures in Southern and Western Province immediately after the rain season. This followed Provincial tours of the two districts by Party Secretary General and his team.
*All other Provinces go for elections on 1st July 2018.*
F. Upcoming Local Government By-elections
Central Committee wishes to inform the general public and membership across the country of the Patriotic Front’s readiness in all the upcoming local government by-elections in Western, North-Western, Central, Muchinga and Luapula Provinces.
Central Committee is mindful of the great task placed on its shoulders in ensuring that the Patriotic Front remains true to its aspirations and commitment to the Zambian people. It also understands that it owes it to the future generations of this country to take bold and forward-looking decisions aimed at creating a better Zambia for all citizens.
Central Committee is alive to the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality among our people and reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the 2016-2021 manifesto is translated into tangible programs of action to create a better life for all our people. More importantly, Central Committee is clear that in while Government has a pivotal role in responding to these challenges, the unity, cohesion and strength of the Patriotic Front was a key determining factor.
Lastly, but not the least, let me call on all Party members to abide by the aims and objectives of the Patriotic Front as set out in the Constitution. While the Party seeks to find ways of empowering its membership across the country, our motivation should not be material advantage or personal gain but our commitment to what the Party stands for. To the members of the Patriotic Front, I call on each one of you to carry out tasks assigned to you by the structures. Together, let us defend the unity and integrity of the Patriotic Front and defeat all tendencies of factionalism.
I thank you!