I wish to inform the nation that there has been overwhelming response from the general membership of the Party who have applied to stand on the Patriotic Front ticket for the Lusaka Mayoral and Council Chairperson positions and Local Government elections.
This demonstrates that Patriotic Front is the most attractive Party and secondly, that our internal democracy cannot be compared to any in Zambia.
Let me also announce that Central Committee will sit on 23rd June 2018 to consider applications for Mayoral and Council Chairperson in all the upcoming by-elections. I want to call on all our members to prepare for people centred-campaigns in all the affected districts.
I also wish to call on all the aspiring candidates to appreciate that under a democracy, there can only be one candidate and once that decision has been made, the Party will be expected as always to move together and embrace the unity of purpose.
This is the discipline the loyal members of the Party have continued to demonstrate at every given point. In its deliberations, Central Committee will consider what is best for the people of Lusaka and other districts where the elections will be held as well as the Party at large.
In the same vein, I wish to call on all political parties, including ourselves, to shun political violence ahead of the Mayoral Elections for the Greater City of Lusaka on 26th July 2018 in order to promote a culture of peace and tolerance. This call is in line with the directive His Excellency President Edgar Lungu made for all political parties, ourselves included, to carry out serious introspection on the question of violence by our members.
Patriotic Front is therefore calling on its membership at all levels to exercise high levels of restraint even under great provocation from our opponents.
The ruling Party will do all it can to provide leadership on this serious matter as well as ensure that there are practical measures to curb violence perpetrated by political parties. It is our position as the Patriotic Front that violence of any kind must never become a socio-political way of life among Zambians!
Patriotic Front is also calling on Opposition political parties and their leadership to desist from inciting violence during elections. This is because no politician is worth shading blood for. Politicians must not incite antagonism among the people and as Patriotic Front, we shall take the lead in encouraging our members and society at large to take a stand against any violence, whether historical or created now.
Patriotic Front believes we need to be a people who can live with tolerance of each other, and we must never as politicians whip up emotions and sentiments against each other. Political parties must not drive people’s emotions such that they end up fighting during campaigns.
Patriotic Front wishes to commit to promoting democracy and building capacity within its members for prevention of violence especially during elections. We are also calling on other political parties to stand up and tell the country that violence is bad and it takes away from our democracy.
Davies Mwila (Hon)