PATRIOTIC Front members who decided to stand as Independent candidates in the August 11 general elections should have no claim of affiliation to their former political party.
They are no longer bona fide PF members. They are rebels.
Independent candidates by nature are free of political affiliation. They are not answerable to any political leadership but the people when elected to office.
It is, therefore, surprising that an Independent candidate in Chipili Constituency Jewis Chabi and his supporters had the audacity to confront members of the PF who were waiting for President Edgar Lungu with the view to airing their grievances over the party selection process.
Mr Chabi should have been the first to know that the mere act of standing as an Independent candidate was unpatriotic to the Patriotic Front which by now should have put its disciplinary committee in motion with a possible expulsion as verdict.
There is no way a loyal members of a political party can defy the belief and decision of his party over selection of candidates.
Members of political parties should know that there are special considerations of time and strategy when picking candidates.
This does not mean those left out of the selection process are the worst members in a party.
It could be that time is not right for such a member or such a member was not best suited in the strategy being employed.
Therefore, it does not matter who is picked to represent the party as long as the manifesto is fulfilled.
In fact, political affiliation means one being in agreement with the ideals and aspirations of the club.
It is surprising that this year’s elections have witnessed a high number of Independents who are products of being left out in the selection process for the August 11 general elections.
This begs the question whether the Independent candidates, whose number is 118, believed in the ideologies of their former political parties or they had set their eyes on something else.
We are happy that President Lungu rejected Chipili aspiring candidate Mr Chabi publicly so that Patriotic Front members were not confused about who their candidate is.
We urge other political leaders to reject double-faced candidates who want to eat with both hands.
Such candidates want to be members of political parties and at the same time claim their Independent stance.
We say this because Independent candidates who recently left political groupings have done a disservice to their former parties.
The Independent candidates will eat into the votes of their former political parties, reducing the chances of the genuine party contestants.
Therefore, such betrayal by Independents cannot be repaid with support of a political party.
Independent candidates should live with their rebellion instead of promoting unnecessary confusion as the case was yesterday in Chipili.