PATRIOLTIC Front (PF) youths in Lusaka have resolved to support Defence and Justice Minister Edger Lungu as a candidate for the January 20, 2014 presidential election and have demanded that the Central Committee must recommend Mr Lungu for adoption at the general conference to be held at the weekend.
The youths have warned that whoever would attempt to frustrate the adoption of Mr Lungu as presidential candidate would have to face the resistance of the young people who were in the majority.
Lusaka Province youth chairman Kennedy Kamba said the youths met in Lusaka yesterday and resolved to support Mr Lungu because he had been universally accepted by the general membership of the party.
Mr Kamba said the youths were deeply concerned with the continued succession wrangles in the ruling party and appealed to Acting President Guy Scott to respect the will of the majority members in the party by facilitating the smooth adoption of Mr Lungu as presidential candidate.
He said there was need for the party to rally behind Mr Lungu because he was the best candidate to win PF the presidency.
Mr Kamba said the continued succession wrangles should be brought to an end and that peace should return to the ruling party if Zambians were to continue having confidence in its leadership. He said the opposition were taking advantage of the continued internal fights within the PF and were making political mileage from the confusion in the ruling party.
He said Mr Lungu was the most popular among all the presidential candidates and that it would be politically suicidal for the ruling party to adopt any other candidate and ignore the wishes of the majority party members.
Mr Kamba warned that there was a danger that the PF would find it difficult to win the election without Mr Lungu because the Defence and Justice Minister had become a household name in Zambian politics.
“The youths in Lusaka Province had a meeting today (yesterday) and we have unanimously resolved to rally behind Mr Lungu for the coming presidential election. This process is not about Mr Lungu, Mulenga Sata, Miles Sampa or any other presidential aspirant but it is about saving the PF from extinction. So far, Mr Lungu has emerged as the most popular among all the PF presidential contenders and it will be politically suicidal for the party to adopt any other candidate apart from Mr Lungu because the party would be divided,” Mr Kamba said.
He called on the youths in Lusaka and other parts of the country to denounce violence and begin preaching peace and unity so that the party could regain its confidence among the voters.
Mr Kamba said it was important for the youths to remain united during the presidential election time and give Mr Lungu a chance to continue with the legacy of late president Sata. And Lusaka Province PF secretary Daniel Kalembo said it was illogical for Acting President Guy Scott to continue frustrating the adoption of Mr Lungu when the Central Committee, Cabinet and Members of Parliament had endorsed the Defence and Justice minister.
Mr Kalembo explained that the youths in Lusaka had been observing the events in the party and it was undisputable that of the 10 candidates jostling for adoption in the PF, Mr Lungu had exhibited leadership and maturity in the manner he had handled his critics.
He said Mr Lungu was the people’s choice and that Dr Scott should not attempt to impose a candidate of his choice because that would be detrimental to the ruling party.
“Who is Guy Scott to resist the wishes of the people? Mr Lungu is the people’s choice and as youths, we are on the ground and have made an assessment that the only person who can keep the PF in government is Mr Lungu and we are going to support him. The Central Committee has spoken, Cabinet has endorsed Mr Lungu and about 70 MPs have said they want Mr Lungu. So why should there be such acrimony when the people have decided?” Mr Kalembo said.