By CHARITY MOONGA-
ELEVEN suspended members of the Patriotic Front (PF) central committee were yesterday barred from attending a central committee meeting held at State House.
Meanwhile, 27 members of the central committee led by national chairperson Inonge Wina maintained that acting President Guy Scott remained suspended from the party.
The 27 held an emergency meeting yesterday, which resolved to, among others, uphold the suspension of Dr Scott under Article 58 (c) until the central committee heard the matter.
The suspended central committee members and those that joined them in solidarity after being barred from the meeting at State House later met at Justice and Defence Minister Edgar Lungu’s house and resolved that the suspension announced by Dr Scott on them was null and void as he himself was a suspended official and could not carry out such a decision.
In a statement presented by Ms Wina, the 27 MCCs said there was an effort to meet Dr Scott and resolve all outstanding issues but he failed to take the opportunity.
“When we the 27 members of the central committee appeared at State House, we recognised that 11 of our colleagues were barred from entering State House. We joined in solidarity with our colleagues and called off the meeting,” the statement read.
In the spirit of reconciliation, the suspended members resolved to put their differences behind and hoped that Dr Scott would allow the meeting to take place.
“We wish to emphasise that if any meeting chaired by Dr Scott has taken place, it will be regarded as illegal as the quorum cannot be formed without us and because Dr Scott remains a suspended official,” the statement further read.
Apart from upholding the suspension of Dr Scott, the emergency meeting resolved to hold a fresh meeting of the central committee today at 09:00 hours.
Acting secretary general Bridget Atanga was requested to take applications relating to all presidential candidates as earlier instructed and the central committee would consider them.
The names of the successful candidates would be taken to the general conference as enshrined under Article 52.
But Dr Scott described as criminal, activities by suspended PF members of the central committee to uphold his suspension.
He said in an interview that the suspended central committee members had no powers to suspend him as they were a totally an illegal body which did not exist.
“The legal body is the central committee for which I am the president,” he said. Dr Scott hailed what he described as a very successful central committee meeting which took place at State House.
He called for sincerity from the suspended central committee members, saying they had no powers to suspend him, adding that the central committee members were making Zambia a laughing stock to the outside world.
“When they wake up from their dream they can apologise to me because I am the legitimate Acting President at the moment,” Dr Scott said.
Dr Scott said he would be convening the general conference as president of the party.
The way forward for the PF was for the suspended PF central committee members to wake up from their nightmare and appreciate him as the current President.
It was sad that nothing of the sort had ever happened to a sitting President in the history of Zambia.
Dr Scott urged PF members to work together and save the party and the country.
But the 27 suspended committee members, who were supposed to be part of the 43-member central committee, which was scheduled to be held at State House, said the meeting had failed.
Dr Scott recently set November 29 for the party general conference at the Mulungushi Rock of Authority in Kabwe.
Some pockets of police were seen around State House as the central committee meeting was taking place.
Earlier, some cadres condemned Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili’s alleged beating of a PF member of the central committee Peter Kazhila on State House grounds.
Among the suspended PF central committee members are Inonge Wina, Jean Kapata and Dr Joseph Katema.