After weeks of searching for Chongwe member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo, the Patriotic Front have finally handed over to her a letter demanding that their estranged member exculpates herself from allegations of destabilizing the ruling party, PF secretary general Davies Chama has confirmed.
But when contacted for a comment, Ms Masebo said she did not want to comment on the matter because she wanted to focus on parliamentary business.
Ms Masebo is facing charges of destabilising the ruling party, bringing the name of the party into disrepute and contempt and using inappropriate language against the party president Edgar Lungu.
Mr Chama, however, said the party has given Ms Masebo an extra four days in which to respond to the charges levelled against her.
“She received the letter yesterday (Tuesday), the letter was delivered to her at Parliament Buildings. She did call me to confirm that she had received the letter and I told her to take her time. She told me that she will be able to reply within two days or so.
“As far as we are concerned, we can give her extra days to exculpate herself. We can give her even three or four days to do so.
We want to be very fair by giving her chance. I can even give her extra seven days from the time she received the letter, there is no problem,” he said. Mr Chama said in an interview yesterday that the ruling party was not in a hurry to mete out punishment on Ms Masebo but would want the disciplinary process to be exhausted.
“We are a very fair party, we believe in fairness. We don’t want to look like we are treating someone unjustly,” he said.
He said if Ms Masebo failed to respond to the exculpatory letter, the matter would be taken to the disciplinary committee of the Central Committee where she would be accorded an opportunity to be heard. Mr Chama said the party would follow the whole disciplinary procedure so that the party did not seem unfair to her.
“That is how fair we are in PF, we don’t just punish people before they are heard, people are usually given chance to be heard and present their case.
That is how our disciplinary procedure is outlined,” he said. Mr Chama said PF emphasized that disciplinary action should be followed in order to be fair with party members and that even PF Chongwe officials who demonstrated outside Parliament understood the procedure. But when contacted, Ms Masebo said she did not want to comment on the matter because she was focused on parliamentary business.
“I don’t want to be drawn into some discussions.
Right now, I am driving to Parliament for business, if you can excuse me please,” Ms Masebo said.