The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) councilors in Lusaka have resolved to boycott the mayoral elections slated for Friday this week if the party goes ahead with sanctions against those challenging President Michael Sata’s son Mulenga for the position.
So far, Mulenga Sata is the only aspiring candidate who has applied to contest for the position of Mayor, a situation which has angered other councilors who have described the scheme as undemocratic.
But when contacted for a comment on both his mobile lines, Mulenga did not pick the call or respond to text messages sent to him.
Councilors have expressed shock at the degenerating undemocratic tendencies in the party where members were now feeling that the leadership of the party and other lead positions were a preserve of President Sata’s family.
And non Bemba councilors have ganged up against Mulenga saying they would go against President Sata’s son and vote for any candidate who would be courageous enough to challenge the son of President Sata.
The civic leaders who met yesterday at a named Lodge in Lusaka to discuss the mayoral elections noted with sadness that specific instructions had been given to ensure that Mulenga Sata who is the current Lusaka deputy Mayor should go unopposed.
The councilors expressed their displeasure saying that there was no democracy in the PF going by the unfolding events.
“We have received instructions directing all of us to support Mulenga Sata for the position of Mayor because the current Mayor Daniel Chisenga is not contesting. But we asked them why they were giving us such instructions and the only answer they gave us was, that it was for unity purposes in the council,” said one of the councilors.
The councilors also revealed that some of the members who had shown interest to contest have been threatened with disciplinary proceedings if they went ahead with their plans to challenge Mulenga for the position.
“So when we saw that things are not going on in the manner they are supposed to go, we resolved that this should be brought to a stop. PF is not council and council is not PF. We need to have the independence to make decisions and elect leaders we want to run the council appropriately. But if they go ahead stopping us from contesting, then we shall boycott in order to expose the undemocratic behaviour in the PF,” said the officials.
The councilors also expressed shock that the PF leadership was backing Silwizya Ward 13 councilor Samuel Chikutano Nkhoma for the position of deputy mayor, though seven other candidates had applied to contest for the position.
And in an interview Nkhoma said that he was a free man to contest even if some people had expressed reservations over his candidature.
“Why should I be punished twice over a matter I have already served? According to what I know, I am a free man to contest. And if the party is backing me, that is welcome, PF is my party and they should back me,” he said.Meanwhile, other councilors feel that the position of mayor should have been given to someone else rather than President Sata’s son.“What people feel and the council itself is that the position of Mayor is a preserve for Bembas alone now and should be held by those related to the first family.”