The Patriotic Front (PF) in Lusaka has resolved that President Michael Sata’s son, Mulenga, will not stand unopposed in Lusaka’s Mayoral elections slated for this week on Friday.
Earlier reports revealed that the councilors had been warned against challenging Mulenga Sata so that the President’s son could sail through to the position of Lusaka Mayor unopposed.
But PF Lusaka district secretary Captain Davison Mulenga has said that the party had extended the deadline for applications for the position of Deputy Mayor and Mayor for the Lusaka City Council which would be held this week on Friday to allow those aspiring to submit their applications.
Captain Mulenga said that the assumptions created that the party had issued instructions or directives not to challenge President Michael Sata’s son Mulenga for the position of Mayor were incorrect.
He explained that the Lusaka district leadership was of the view that democracy should be promoted and would therefore allow other councilors with ambitions to challenge Mulenga hence the extension of the deadline for the application from yesterday to Wednesday.
“As the party in Lusaka, we have not given instructions to stop other councilors from challenging President Sata’s son Mulenga for the position of Mayor. What we have done is to ask interested councilors to apply directly to the party for Deputy Mayor and Mayoral position for purposes of scrutinizing the candidates before the actual date for the elections,” said Captain Mulenga.
He revealed that so far ten councilors had applied to the party to contest for the position of deputy Mayor for the Lusaka City Council and that two had applied for the position of Mayor.
Captain Mulenga named those interested in the deputy mayor position as Potipher Tembo from Chawama Ward 2, Christopher Shakafuswa of Mpulungu Ward 23, Humphrey Kapapula from
Lubwa ward 15 and George Nyendwa. The rest of the councilors who applied for the position of deputy mayor are Casius Nyendwa from Kabwata Ward Six, Joyce Banda of Kamwala Ward five, Maggie Zulu from Chilenje Ward 8, Chikutano Nkhoma of Silwizya Ward, Pio Phiri from Kapwepwe Ward 25 and Mcbride Sekeleti of Independence Ward 14 closes the list.
For the mayor position, Mulenga Sata was the first one to submit his application before Robbson Kalota of Munali Ward 23 filed who his papers late last week.
Captain Mulenga said that the party needed a strong deputy mayor who would articulate issues correctly and intelligently to accommodate the party manifesto and party programmes.
He said the council cannot do it without the party, hence the involvement of the party in the selection of the mayor and his deputy.
“There cannot be a council without the party, you know some can use money to get to those position but what we want as PF is to have loyal members hold such sensitive and high positions,”he said.
And Councilors have said that the PF should allow the councilors elect their own deputy and mayors without any party influence.
“We have been told that it is only a bemba who will replace a bemba for that position.
So we shall boycott the elections if they don’t give us lee way to independently elect our own mayor. Issues of the council are not PF but national matters,” the officials said.
The Councilors felt that the PF leadership wanted to impose President Sata’s son Mulenga whom they say would go unopposed.
“The statement given by Captain Mulenga is not a true reflection of the Local Government regulations on how the councilors should elect the mayor and the deputy mayor. The party has nothing to do with the elections, it is the council itself that sets up dates for such elections and the Electoral College is not PF but the councilors.
So Captain Mulenga has just confirmed how deeply the PF were interfering in the local government governance. Challenge him, let him tell you when did the councilors start applying through their political parties to contest for the position of mayor and deputy mayor?” asked the officials.