THE Patriotic Front will deal ruthlessly with ‘‘mercenaries’’ within its ranks who are working with the opposition to spread lies that the ruling party’s adoption process is marred with corruption, PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya has warned.
Mr. Bwalya told the Daily Nation yesterday that the party was not surprised that most of the people who were complaining about the party’s adoption process were rushing to the media instead of presenting their grievances to the party leadership because they were being used by opponents who wanted to bring confusion in the party.
He said those who were alleging that under-hand methods were at play in the party’s adoption process should have been bold enough to confront the PF leadership if they had evidence, adding that the fact that they rushed to the media showed their claims lacked merit.
Mr Bwalya said their claims were only aimed at giving a lee-way to the opposition to propagate its propaganda campaign against the ruling party, alleging that they were the ones funding PF members to fuel confusion in the party.
He said the fact that the PF was a democratic and tolerant party did not mean that members were free to engage in illegal activities for individual benefit at the expense of the party, adding that the leadership was watching those who had waged a mudslinging campaign keenly and that soon they would feel the wrath of the party.
“We have a number of people within our party who are working with our opponents to create an impression that our adoption process has been marred with corruption and this is the reason why such people are going to the media instead of reporting or complaining to relevant authorities in the party.
“We would like to sternly warn all such mercenaries that we shall deal with them strongly because what they are doing does not have any blessing from the party but is aimed at personal gain which we cannot condone especially now that the party is undergoing a serious process of choosing candidates which we will field in this year’s election.
‘‘We expect high levels of maturity because our members know very well what to do when they have concerns to raise. We don’t rush to the media but these matters have to be dealt with internally,” Mr. Bwalya said. He said the PF attached ‘‘great and special importance’’ to the selection of candidates to participate in any election because that determined the performance of the party as stronger candidates made it easier for the presidential candidate to accumulate more votes.
He challenged those who had complaints to use the rightful channels of communication so that their grievances could be addressed by the party rather than rushing to the media. He warned that those who were plotting to bring the ruling party down ahead of the elections would receive the full wrath of the party if they continued.
He said as a democratic party, the PF would not prevent anyone from contesting for adoption to any position but said no one would be adopted on a silver plate because positions were up for grabs to all, thereby increasing competition among prospective candidates.
“It is our desire as a party to ensure that we manage a clean and corruption-free adoption process that will give us credible candidates that would not only win us parliamentary seats but maximise presidential votes. We cannot condone corruption because it may get us wrong candidates,” he said.