Lungu election free, fair, credible,says returning officer

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Edgar Lungu was dully and validly elected and Vice-President Guy Scott should stop issuing confusing statements alleging any form of irregularity, a presiding officer at the just ended extraordinary general conference has said.

Tutwa Ngulube, a presiding returning officer said all the procedures as stipulated by the PF constitution were followed and it was only Dr Scott who abdicated his responsibility by failing to attend the meeting which he had convened.

Mr Ngulube advised Dr Scott desist from making inflammatory and hate speeches against party leaders because they have the potential to cause civil strife in the country.

And Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya said the PF has been behaving like a headless chicken since the death of President Michael Sata and has called on the ruling party president Edgar Lungu to bring sanity to the party if it has to be relevant in the coming presidential election.

He said it was political naivety for Dr Scott to claim that he had nullified the election of Mr Lungu when the PF president was duly elected at a legally constituted general conference.

He said Dr Scott was causing confusion and that his alleged nullification of MrLungu’s election was only an act of desperation meant to frustrate the impending campaign trail for the PF presidential candidate.

He said Dr Scott as the convener of the general conference abdicated his responsibilities for having declined to open the conference he had called to elect the party president and could not therefore blame the national chairperson InongeWina for presiding over the meeting.

MrNgulubaexplained that he had decided to defend his decision of declaring Mr Lungu PF president because Dr Scott was insinuating that the general conference was illegal when he had called for it himself.

He said it was shocking that Dr Scott could announce the nullification of Mr Lungu when he was the dully appointed returning officer for the PF general conference.

“The Vice-President must desist from making inflammatory and hate statements against leaders of the PF because that could easily result into civil strife. That general conference was convened by Dr Scott and my appointment as returning officer was done by former secretary general Bridget Atanga and they looked at my qualifications before settling for my name.

“We risked security barriers in this process. We went to Dr Scott in Kabwe town more than four times to persuade him to address the delegates but he declined and the PF constitution is very clear on who assumes the functions of the party president in the absence of the president,” Mr Ngulube said

He said the delegates that attended the conference Dr Scott declined to attend were selected and ferried to Kabwe by Dr Scott and his team.