PATRIOTIC Front (PF) cadres in Lusaka yesterday broke into celebration after the party’s Central Committee attended by 25 officials suspened their acting party president Guy Scott.
The Central Committee announced the suspension of Dr. Scott at a media briefing at Cool Breeze Lodge along Thabo Mbeki road which was aired live on Hot FM Radio.
There was clapping and ululation among PF cadres across Lusaka when Central Committee member, Benson Chali who is also Central Province PF chairperson, announced Dr. Scott’s suspension .
“Dr Scott has engaged in manupilation, falsehoods by quoting his own version of the party constitution. As acting president of the PF party and Republican President, Dr. Scott’s first act was to ban meetings of the Central Committee and Cabinet and thereby begun to rule by decree without any authority whatsoever.
“Dr. Scott has also engaged in manupilation of the State-owned media institutions presenting even falsehoods as facts and quoting his own version of the party constitution,” said Mr. Chali.
He said in the 50 years of Zambia’s independence, there had been no time when Presidents have made unilateral decisions like Dr. Scott was doing now in the PF.
“We have, therefore, never known the kind of personal rule Dr. Scott wishes to impose on our democratic party and free country,” said Mr. Chali.
He said in order to safeguard the PF from chaos that had charecterised Dr. Scott’s reign as Acting President, the Central Committee as a collective entity had taken charge of the affairs of the party.
“The Acting Secretary General, Mrs. Bridget Attanga is accordingly directed to submit all the applications of all those vying for the office of the president of the Patriotic Front by 14:00 hours today (yesterday). The Central Committtee shall convene today (yesterday) and consider and evaluate all the applicants using critieria that the Central Committee has come up with,” said Mr. Chali.
He also appealed to all members of the PF to stay calm and disciplined as the party moves forward to prepare for the Presidential by-election.
“We assure you that your cries, frustrations and indeed pain have been heard and felt by your Central Committee. We therefore, direct that you wait for our next decisions to guide the next steps towards our Presidential by-election campaign,” said Mr. Chali.
And in the letter of suspension addressed to Dr. Scott, the Central Committee said they had suspended him for alleged gross insurbodination.
The committee said Dr. Scott had usurped powers of the Central Committee and Cabinet by cancelling meetings single-handedly.
“Suspension from the office of the interim president Patriotic Front with immedaite effect. We regret to inform you that the Central Committee at its last meeting resolved to suspend you from your office for a period of 60 days with immediate effect. The grounds for your suspension are usurping power of the Central Committee and cabinet by canceling meetings of the said organ and single-handedly making decisions regarding the funeral of our beloved president. This is in total violation of Article 74 subsection 29 and resulted in President Sata’s State funeral being the worst organised in the history of the country.
2. Purpoting to have dismissed the secretary general of the party without consultig the Central Committee and in totral disregard of the national security and the interest of the partry. The said acts were a violation of Article 74 subsection 29.
3. Canceling a legally called extraordinary Central Committee meeting scheduled fo 13th November, 2014 in total disregard of the provisions of the party constitution and regulations as provided for in Article 74 subsection 29.
4. Appointing yourself president of the party without authority as provided for in the constitution, see for example, your letter in which you cancelled the scheduled Central Committee meeting of November 13, 2014 and the provisions of Article 74.
5. Deciding unilaterally and causing to be published in the Post Newspaper of November 14, 2014 a public notice, inviting applicants to contest the party presidentcny in total disregard of the provisions of Article 74.
6. Constituting a committee to organise a general conference of the party without the authority of the Central Committee as provided for article 74.
8.Consulting Government legal officers, namely Musa Mwenye and Mutembo Nchito on the matters of the party in total disregard of the provisions of the Article 74 of the PF constitution
9. You repeated the act of calling for the general conference without consulting or indeed seeking authority of the Central Committee even after assuring the last Central Committee meeting of Monday that you would not make any unilateral decisions pertaining to the elections.
Mr Chali said in line with the regulations, “you cannot attend to and or act on any party matter during the period of your suspension. You have been given seven days within which you must excuplate yourself”.
But party secretary general Bridget Attanga at another press briefing said Dr. Scott was still the president of the PF and the meeting which suspended Dr. Scott was an illegal gathering.
Kasama Central Member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba also said that Dr. Scott was still the party president and party functioneries should heed his call for unity.
The briefing was attended by among others, Minister of Commerce Bob Sichinga, Minister of Sports Chishimba Kambwili and other senior officials including Dr. Scott himself.