GEARS initiative offer PF-free advice

Kaumba urges PF to use alternative means to resolve internal wrangles which have engulfed the former ruling party

GEAR Initiative Council Chairman Kaumba

By Francis Maingaila
Lusaka (23-02-2023-Zambia24) – GEARS Initiative Zambia has urged warring parties in the opposition 
Front (PF) to use alternative means to resolve internal wrangles which have engulfed the former ruling party.

GEARS Initiative Zambia Council Chairperson Kaumba Patrick told journalists at a media briefing that recent developments taking place in the opposition PF is not healthy for the furtherance of internal democracy and the nation at large.

Kaumba explained that failure to amicably resolve internal differences such as the one involving Miles Sampa and the Party leadership is worrying and has the potential to weaken and disintegrate the party.

“As GEARS Initiative, we get concerned when we see divisions in the biggest opposition party and any other Party because we would want to see a thriving democracy with strong opposition parties that can provide effective checks and balances to the government.”

Kaumba said adherence to the party Constitution, rules and regulations and tolerance is key for any political party’s survival and unity.

“GEARS Initiative wish to array public and some  PF members fears that Mr. Miles Sampa’s action to request the Registrar of Societies to intervene in their party matters might result in mass by-elections should he succeed.”

Even if the worst scenario is to happen where the party is de-registered, Kaumba expressed the Constitution of Zambia is very instructive on the dissolution of a political party.

He said Art 72(9) of the Constitution provides that If a political party is dissolved, a Member of Parliament shall retain the member’s seat as an independent member

GEARS Initiative is of the considered view that the deregistration of any political party with representation in the National Assembly by the Registrar does not trigger any by-election.

Nonetheless, Kaumba expressed that any deregistration means that only the party dies with its leadership while the MPs remain duly elected as independents.

However, Kaumba said what is not clear in the Constitution is whether the same applies to seats of the Mayors/Chairperson and councilors once the party on which they held the seats is deregistered.

He said the law is silent on this category of elected political leaders on whether or not they also mutate into independents.

In light of the above developments, Kaumba said GEARS Initiative wish to call upon the patriotic front to exhibit a high level of leadership qualities in handling internal matters considering that they have been in existence for more than 20 years. The party should have learned from 2014 to 2015 unfortunate happenings when the party had internal leadership wrangles that weakened the party.

He said this should be done in the interest of the party and people who are displeased about the happenings in PF.

He also urges all political parties to respect their party constitutions and electoral procedures with clear leadership succession provisions that promote intraparty democracy.

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