GBM must go – North PF

THE Northern Province Patriotic Front (PF) has demanded for the expulsion of former Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba.

The demand was made yesterday when two PF central committee members arrived in Kasama on a fact-finding mission.

Central committee member for commerce Miles Sampa and his community development counterpart Jean Kapata advised the provincial leadership calling for the expulsion of Mr Mwamba, who is Kasama Central Member of Parliament (MP), to put their demands in writing for consideration.

Mr Sampa and Ms Kapata said this during a meeting with local party officials.

The duo was in the province to, among other things, assess how provincial party structures could be self-sustainable.

They also said they had visited the province because of reports of indiscipline among some party officials.

PF Northern Province secretary Everest Chella, who was on hand to receive the duo from Lusaka, said the province was undergoing a political crisis following Mr Mwamba’s resignation.

He said he was happy that the two committee members had decided to visit the province.

“We are not happy with the resignation of Honourable Mwamba as Minister of Defence and since we are not happy, we are saying he should relinquish his party membership as well.

“He has to resign as MP. We feel his loyalty is not with us 100 per cent. Already there has been a standoff between Mr Mwamba and the provincial executive,” Mr Chella said.

He said there had been misunderstandings as Mr Mwamba had only been working with the lower organs of the party in the province.

“I am representing the views of the majority. We want him to step down because we want someone who will be loyal to the party and the president,” Mr Chella said.

In response to the concerns Mr Chela raised, Mr Sampa said he was worried about the rampant indiscipline of party members in the province who had developed disregard for senior party officials.

He said the PF constitution dictated that central committee members were superior to Cabinet ministers.

“When we hear that a sub-organ is not respecting the top organ, it means they are not respecting the central committee as well.

“If that is not happening, by all means our job is to ensure we instill discipline. That’s why we are here, we’ve sensed there is no discipline here,” Mr Sampa said.

He said as far as the central committee was concerned, Mr Mwamba was still a member of the PF.

He, however, said he had reservations on the manner in which Mr Mwamba resigned his Government portfolio.

“Kuleka sitilesa but kalakedwe,” he said in Nyanja meaning no-one could stop Mr Mwamba from quitting his job as Defence Minister, but the manner in which he did that mattered the most.

“In my personal capacity I commend him for his action. Some of us questioned his loyalty a long time ago but now we have been vindicated. So when we see loyalty is divided some of us will raise our hands,” he said.

Ms Kapata on the other hand had no kind words for Mr Mwamba and described him as child who had abandoned home after being scolded by a parent.

She advised the provincial party leaders to channel their concerns to the central committee for action by the disciplinary committee.

 Meanwhile, Kasama has been flooded by heavily armed police following instructions from the provincial administration to clamp down on political violence sparked by Mr Mwamba’s resignation.

Northern Province Minister Obius Chisala, who described the situation in Kasama as volatile, ordered the provincial police command to increase police patrols.

Mr Chisala said the political violence was being fanned by various factions within the party.

Times of Zambia