THE January presidential election may not be free and fair, peaceful and credible because the Patriotic Front (PF) is divided, disorganized and does not believe in respecting electoral rules governing their own party, former Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Bishop Paul Mususu has observed.
Bishop Musussu said the death of President Michael Sata had left the PF a ‘‘headless ‘chicken’’ and that it was doubtful if the coming presidential election would be credible particularly that the ruling party was deeply engulfed in succession wrangles.
He said unless there was a dramatic turn of events in the PF in the next two weeks before nominations, there was little hope that the presidential election would be conducted under internationally accepted electoral protocols because the ruling party was in disarray.
Bishop Mususu told the Daily Nation that there were a lot of things to worry about over the coming presidential election particularly that the PF which was critical in assisting the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in organizing the poll was inflicted with factions and legal challenges against itself.
He said Zambians had for the first time in democratic history been witnesses to worrying intra party violence and wrangles that had polarized the political environment.
Bishop Mususu said the tension in the ruling party was spilling over to the country and that governance was being threatened unless an amicable solution was found that would unite and pacify the PF.
He said Zambians had hoping that the extraordinary general conference called by Acting President Guy Scott was going to resolve the differences within PF but were disappointed that the ruling party came out of their conference more divided than ever.
Bishop Mususu said it was the prayer of the Church that the PF should resolve their differences so that the presidential election could be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere that would give Zambians a leader of their choice.
“As things stand, there is little hope that the coming presidential election will be free, fair and credible because the PF, the party in power, is engulfed in serious succession wrangles. Am only hoping that in the remaining 15 days before nominations, things will change but there is a lot to be worried about. The PF has been behaving like a headless chicken since the death of President Michael Sata.
We have been witnesses to dismissals, reversals of dismissals, two general conferences, nullifications, injunctions and counter injunction in the ruling party which is expected to play a critical role in ensuring that the ECZ organizes the presidential election,” Bishop Mususu said.
“Each faction has been talking about extending an olive branch but the question is who is ready to accept that branch. The issue now should not be about extending an olive branch. There is need for a truce in the PF. The atmosphere is not good and the sooner they realized that they need to put their house in order the better,” Bishop Mususu said.