By Oscar Malipenga
THE Patriotic Front (PF) should consider expelling all its rebel members because their continued stay in the party is a recipe for confusion, anarchy, indiscipline and disloyalty, former Mufumbwe Member of Parliament Steven Masumba has said.
Mr Musumba, who is former Sports deputy minister, has advised the PF central committee to take disciplinary action against truant members and officials who had adopted an antagonistic attitude towards the governing party and its leadership.
Mr Masumba said it was too early for the PF as a governing party to start going through the same problems of factions and divisions which it suffered after the death of president Michael Sata at the height of schemes to have the party hijacked by the cartel which strongly fought and opposed the candidature of President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Masumba stated that in politics loyalty was cardinal, recalling that president Sata had to expel 19 rebel MPs who defied the PF directive to boycott the National Constitution Conference during the time of president Levy Mwanawasa.
He has advised Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili and Kelvin Bwalya Fube, the former PF deputy chairman for elections, to consider resigning from the party and form their own political party so that they could challenge President Lungu in the 2021 general elections.
Mr Masumba said in an interview that there was nothing wrong with President Lungu appointing people whom he was comfortable to work with and who he believed were going to deliver to his expectations and those of Zambians.
He said there was also nothing wrong for President Lungu to fire ministers he knew were corrupt and encouraged the Head of State to continue dismissing dishonest government officials from his administration.
“The central committee should take a bold decision and expel rebel members because their continued stay in the party is nothing but a recipe for anarchy, confusion and divisions. To me, it is quite disheartening to find some senior PF members attempting to tear apart the very political organisation that has made them what they are.
‘‘The officials creating confusion in the PF and causing despondency do not have the interest of the party and the country at heart. They are serving the interest of their sponsors who would want to see the PF disintegrate so that the country could have a puppet president installed,” Mr Masumba said.
He reminded the rebels that it was not the right time to start fighting for the PF presidency because they were giving enough room for the opposition to start attacking PF.
He said Mr Kambwili and Mr Bwalya’s recent media statements were giving the opposition enough strength to start thinking that the PF was disorganised when, in fact, not.
Mr Masumba said President Lungu needed a lot of support from senior members of the party and wondered why some senior members were still hanging on to the PF while not feeling part and parcel of it.
“If a person does not want to reconcile with others why should they stay? They are better off packing their belongings and leave the party. If it means going out to form their own political party then they should do so,” he said.