Guy Scott expelled

THE Patriotic Front (PF) has resolved to expel Acting President Guy Scott from the ruling party for gross insubordination and making unilateral decisions without consulting the Central Committee.

The resolution was arrived at last night at a meeting held at Blue Nile Lodge in Lusaka and attended by more than half the number of the Central Committee members following several failed attempts to get Dr Scott attend the meeting

Earlier in the day, he refused to attend a meeting of Central Committee called at Government Complex. The meeting was adjourned to 20hrs to afford him an opportunity to attend which he again failed to do without giving an excuse.

According to article 58(c) of the PF constitution, the Central Committee has authority to discipline all members of the party. Under article 58 (m), the Central Committee can take action which in its opinion was in the best interest, security and development of the party.

The decision to expel Dr Scott, who controversially assumed the functions of the office of President, will be announced today at a media briefing.

The Central Committee members felt that Dr Scott had become a danger to the peace and unity in the party and should therefore be expelled for insubordination and causing confusion and divisions in the party.

Earlier yesterday, there was a joint MCC and Members of Parliament (MPs) meeting at which it was resolved that Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu should be adopted as the sole candidate for the presidential election to be held within the next two months.

Dr Scott was called for the meeting but refused to attend and declared the meeting illegal.

A delegation led by PF national chairperson Inonge Wina and Mr Lungu together with several other Central Committee members went to see Dr Scott at Cabinet Office where he was holding a press briefing but the Acting President refused to meet them.

He later fired PF director of media and communications Brian Hapunda, an act that was seen as usurping power from the secretary general of the party under which the office falls.

Soon after being conferred with the status of acting president, Dr Scott fired Lungu and banned all party meetings including that of the Central Committee.

He was made to rescind his decision after spontaneous demonstrations throughout the country.

Yesterday the Central Committee accused Dr. Scott of being undemocratic and ruling by decree.

They called on him to respect President Sata’s wish by reverting to his  position of vice president.

Southern Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe has urged PF  members to unite around Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu as the ruling party’s presidential candidate in deference to President Sata’s wish.

Speaking in a vote of thanks at the close of the meeting, Mr Munkombwe said although President Sata loved him, he did not love him “deep enough to leave me with the instruments of power as the case was with Mr Lungu.”

“We have decided and taken this message to Dr Guy Scott,” Mr Munkombwe said.

He was speaking after  PF Members of Parliament (MPs) endorsed Mr Lungu and petitioned the central Committee to adopt him (Lungu) as the sole candidate for the presidential election to be held in the next two months.

But the decision has riled Dr Scott who has described the act as illegal.

The meeting at Government Complex yesterday also resolved that Dr. Scott should revert and remain in his substantive position of Vice President of the PF.

The meeting was held after an earlier request that the meeting be a consultative one was rejected and instead was convened as a formal Central Committee meeting as formal notices of invitation were properly issued by the secretary general of the party.

The meeting also resolved that a committee amongst themselves should approach Dr. Scott to inform him of the decisions and resolutions of the Central Committee and the decision of the Members of the Parliament.

The motion to adopt Mr. Lungu as Presidential candidate and party president was raised by Ms. Esther Banda and seconded by Ms. Jean Kapata and Mr. Davis Chama.

The meeting was chaired by party national chairperson Inonge Wina.

But Dr Scott, who is acting Republican President, said the endorsement of Mr Lungu by MPs was wrong because that was the sole responsibility of the party’s general conference.

He said at a press briefing at his office at Cabinet Office in Lusaka yesterday that the party constitution would be followed in the election of the next president of PF.

“What is upsetting me or what is upsetting us is that there has been a petition which has gone round at Parliament. About 60 MPs are saying we have endorsed Hon. Edgar Lungu as our sole candidate for this upcoming presidential by-election. That is contrary to what is in the constitution,” he said.

“I have given instructions for preliminary payments to be made to Mulungushi University. I have plans for food, transportation and so forth.

I have started rolling out the general conference. If we will not impede it, it will be taking place at the end of next week and at latest a week after that,” he said.

At the Government complex meeting, the resolution to back Mr Lungu was read by Kafue Member of Parliament Obvious Mwaliteta who said the entire party leadership and membership had endorsed the candidature of Mr. Lungu as Presidential candidate.

Mr. Mwaliteta who presented a signed list of members of Parliament and the Central Committee said Mr. Lungu was the chosen one and there was no need to fight what was anointed.

The Central Committee considered the petition of support from 63 members of Parliament and resolved that it was in the best interest that both the position of President of the Party and Presidential candidate were harmonized.

Opposition name Presidential hopefuls