By Mukosha Funga
There was a physical fight on Tuesday between Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga and PF Mkushi South member of parliament Davies Chisopa at the Vice-President’s residence.
Meanwhile, an internal fight has rocked Central Province where ruling party members of parliament are accusing PF Deputy Chief Whip Remember Chanda Mutale of recruiting 2021 aspiring candidates to challenge the incumbents.
A member of parliament who witnessed the fight narrated to News Diggers that the incident happened during a provincial MPs meeting at Government House after the Minister confronted Mutale and Chisopa over their dealings, where they have allegedly been sponsoring an uprising against sitting members of parliament.
“What happened yesterday was as a result of members of parliament complaining about the provincial chairman for Central Province Remember Chanda Mutale who is also Chitambo member of parliament. He has been going round our constituencies, telling people that he had been sent by the vice-president to identify who is going to stand in 2021. They had a meeting on Monday in Kabwe central, but when Honourable Tutwa Ngulube who is an area MP went to attend it, they chased him,” narrated the MP who sought anonymity.
“So this is the thing that has been going on in all these constituencies in Central Province, so there is a complaint that the provincial chairman has his shadow MPs whom he has preference for. He claims that he has a team of members of parliament who belong to him. So when the complaints increased, the Vice-President called for a meeting at her residence for Central Province PF members of parliament, where we were also supposed to discuss, among other things, why members of parliament have stopped debating in parliament, why they are not defending ministers or the budget. Some MPs have been complaining that the salaries of ministers are too high; there were a lot of issues like that.”
The witness narrated that after he was confronted by Mushanga, Chisopa went for the minister’s neck.
“So, we were at the Vice-President’s house waiting for her to come from the office when those issues came up. The Minister for Central Province Honourable Sydney Mushanga confronted Mkushi South MP Davies Chisopa and Mutale, because it is believed that Davies Chisopa and Chanda Mutale released a K20, 000 and gave to a constituency chairman is Bwacha Constituency to write an exculpatory [demand] letter against Minister Mushanga. So when the minister confronted them, Chisopa grabbed Mushanga’s jacket now and started dragging him in a fight saying “I’m going to beat you up”. He cut off buttons from his jacket in the scuffle, cut out his rosary… That is when Honourable Tutwa Ngulube now who was the nearest rushed to separate the two from fighting. So eventually, the fracas ended just before the Vice-President could even address the meeting. That is what happened,” the source explained.
“There was no security that came to stop the fight, they were just watching. Those security people from the Vice President work under instructions, they could not just go and act in a fight that involves high profile people like the Deputy Chief Whip and the minister. So after she came the VEEP was briefed and she was very disappointed with the conduct of the two senior members. She said both of them were appointees of the President and it was very embarrassing, I think she directed that they should be charged.”
And the source went further to explain the bickering among MPs in central province.
“This problem in Central Province will not end until this issue is addressed. Honourable Mutale is abusing his powers and has been identifying his own MPs, in Ngabwe he is marketing the Council Chairperson, a woman called Mrs Mizinga, that is his preferred candidate for 2021. In Mkushi North, he is marketing Lucy Changwe the former MP, against Doreen. In Bwacha he has four people, in Kapiri he has seven aspiring MPs for 2021. So it’s the whole province and he is getting money from people saying the Vice-President and the President sent him,” said the source.
“A lot of people who are aspiring as MPs have been giving him money in the hope that they will be adopted. This is where the problem is. While he was in Kabwe central organizing people to rise against other MPs, his people from his constituency were complaining that their MP has been missing since 2016. He is always in Bwacha and Mkushi but never in his constituency.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mutale and Chisopa proved futile as their phones went unanswered.