THE Patriotic Front (PF) Central Committee meeting held at State House yesterday ended in total disarray and Acting President Guy Scott stormed out as the National Anthem was being sung.
According to members of the Central Committee who attended the meeting, 32 out of 37 rejected the convening of a general conference as there were serious concerns regarding time, resources, security and unity among PF members.
The meeting, which started at 11 hours to 14 hours and resumed at 15 hours to 16 hours started by amending the proposed agenda from “the general conference to the way forward”.
According to a statement released by five members – Rasford Chipolo Mwale, Kamayoyo Oyat, Silvester Mtonga, John Chisanga and Benson Chali – although the committee had many concerns regarding the previous conduct of the Acting President, Dr Scott pleaded for reconciliation and ‘urged us to start afresh’.
After a heated debate, it was unanimously resolved that the Central Committee will be the body to adopt the party presidential candidate. The majority spoke in favour of the motion and only a few were against.
“The meeting also resolved that time be given to other interested candidates to file their nominations and that the next Central Committee meeting will consider their applications,”
“We regret that the Acting President decided to unilaterally ended the meeting by giving excuses that he needed to consult further on article 52 and article 58 (l) and (m) and therefore it is not true that the Central Committee suspended debate on the adoption of the presidential candidate. If anything, Dr Scott ended the meeting in disarray and without reaching conclusion on the matter.”
“In our view, Dr Scott returned to his old ways of acting unilaterally. During the singing of the National Anthem, we were shocked that Dr Scott walked out of the meeting as it was being sung. This was being disrespectful to the meeting and to the sovereignty of the country as the National Anthem is a sacred symbol of the country.”
The Central Committee members yesterday unanimously resolved that the organ be used to select a presidential candidate, ending the feud that erupted between Dr Scott and the party over the mode of adoption of a candidate.
The Daily Nation has been informed that Dr Scott, who is also the party acting president has since adjourned the Central Committee meeting to Thursday as he had decided to seek the intervention of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) over the decision by the party organ.
Scott is said to be determined to have Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu knocked out of the presidential race despite massive support the PF secretary general has received from the party members, Central Committee and Cabinet.
The succession wrangles and acrimony in the mode of adopting a presidential candidate reached a crescendo last week when 70 Members of Parliament (MPs) and 11 Cabinet Ministers endorsed Mr Lungu and petitioned the Central Committee to adopt him (Lungu) as the sole presidential candidate for the coming presidential election.
The motion of how the PF would want to adopt its candidate was put to a vote and out of 37 central committee members, 32 voted against the proposal that the party should go for a general conference while five voted for the convention.
The Central Committee members who voted for the general conference were Emmanuel Chenda, Syvia Masebo, Geoffrey Chumbwe, Miles Sampa, Chishimba Kambwili, Kenneth Namutulo and Antony Kasolo.
After adjourning the meeting, Dr Scott stormed out of the hall while the national anthem was being sung.
“The Central Committee being held at State House this afternoon has rejected the proposal by Acting President Guy Scott that a presidential candidate be elected from a General Conference.
“The proposal was put to a vote and the results were 28 voted against the general conference while seven voted for it. “