PRESIDENT Lungu is becoming a skeleton in his own province, says Mung’omba Ngoma, who is aspiring for the PF’s Eastern Province chairmanship. A former diplomat who served in Angola, Ngoma also says there is no running away from the fact that the country is experiencing an economic crisis that calls for serious economic managers to help develop the nation. In a statement, Ngoma, who served as provincial information and publicity secretary before his deployment to Angola, stated that people were tired of leaders who were in positions just to enrich themselves.

“My team and I believe in a leadership that should act in the interest of our people, cadres and other party functionaries. 2021 will be a unique election and we cannot continue with a leadership that wants to exaggerate the strength of the party in the province. The truth of the matter is that the [Felix] Mutati-led MMD is winning hearts and souls in the province, and the UPND is becoming a formidable force as can be attested by the recent by-election in Petauke district where the PF lost to the UPND,” Ngoma stated. “The provincial leadership is behaving like a drowning horse and the President is becoming a skeleton in his own province, and this makes sad reading. We cannot continue to have a provincial leadership that is less interested in telling the truth, and more interested in mudslinging others. I think the only honourablething for them to do is to resign and pave way for a new leadership.”

 

Ngoma stated that the PF should reflect on its loss to UPND in the Lusinde local government by-election.

“The current leadership is only interested in the glory of the moment and enriching themselves. There is need for us to look at the defeat in Petauke in greater detail, and we need to think critically from a rational perspective if we are to avoid such losses in future,” Ngoma stated. “Therefore, my team and I cannot allow a situation where our political party (PF) should fade into insignificance in Eastern Province. It is on this basis that I want to officially declare my candidature for the position of provincial chairman for Eastern Province.”

Ngoma stated that easterners were looking for a leadership that would inspire and help overcome challenges in the province.

“Our people in the province are in search of a new provincial leadership that will help government generate sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. People in Eastern Province are tired ofbeing led by known political spivs who only want to pursue their private agenda and enrich themselves,” he stated. “We cannot run away from the fact that our country is experiencing an economic crisis, and our own cadres have not been spared. The country is in need of serious economic managers to help develop the nation, and this has to start with electing credible leaders in our party structures that have the requisite knowledge and experience. Given the difficulties of the present period our country is facing, easterners are looking for a leadership that will inspire them at the province and help them overcome their challenges.”

Ngoma stated that authoritarian tendencies should not be given room during intraparty elections.

“We need a radical break with the past in which spivs were appointed to positions of influence in the party structures at the expense of serious economic managers,” he stated. “Authoritarian and despotic tendencies should not be given room as we conduct these intraparty elections. Our people should be allowed to participate in these elections without fear.”

Ngoma stated that the elections should not be held under rules meant to block potential challengers to the current provincial executive committee.

He stated that it was time for an indigenous easterner to be at the helm of the party in the province.

“Let us not allow self-interested economic agents of the Luapula United to have any foothold in Eastern Province. Eastern Province has had two consecutive provincial chairmen coming from the northerncircuit, something which has been very annoying even to our traditional leaders and their royal highnesses,” Ngoma stated. “Time has come for an indigenous easterner to take over the leadership mantle of the province. We cannot become mute accomplices to what is going on in the province, and [Michael] Sata’s generals have vowed to help salvage the situation in the province. We will not allow any attempts by the Luapula United to impose leadership on the people of Eastern Province.”

 

Ngoma claimed that enemies of democracy were busy plotting how best they could prevent others from taking part in the electoral process.

“We are well aware that the decision by the President to allow the party to hold elections in the province has been met with unease by those who want to continue swindling government through the awards of contracts and other corrupt means,” Ngoma stated. “My team is also aware that it will be competing against spivs who want to go and use all forms of undemocratic means and indiscriminate violence to block others fromcontesting and participating in the upcoming provincial elections. The enemies of democracy are busy plotting how best they can go and stop others from taking part in the electoral process. Some provincial leaders are busy using their own unfounded jealousies and false alarm to block others. Hunger for government contracts is producing political businessmen with insatiable political appetite and unbridled determination to satisfy their personal ego at the expense of our people and cadres.”

Ngoma called on the party leadership to ensure provincial elections are held in a credible manner.

“We call upon the chairperson for elections committee Mr Yamfwa Mukanga to ensure that electoral transparency and corruption-free campaigns take centre stage at the provincial conference. These elections if conducted in a credible manner will help consolidate the democratic process in our country,” stated Ngoma. “Any forms of authoritarian and despotic tendencies should not be allowed to prevail as we conduct these elections. Easterners will not be coerced into voting for a leadership that has not been accountable and transparent when it comes to issues of finances. During the last visit to Eastern Province by the secretary general Mr Davies Mwila, our cadres complained on how they have been sidelined and not benefitted from government-led empowerment programmes. We believe that time has come for our cadres to hold their rulers accountable to the ruled.”

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