KASAMA Central PF member of parliament Geoffrey Mwamba says Edgar Lungu must step down as secretary general of the party.
And Mwamba has warned the PF against choosing an unpopular candidate for the presidential by-election.
In an interview, Mwamba said it was clear that Lungu was a contender and an interested party in the presidency of the PF.
He said Lungu’s continued stay in his position as secretary general did not promote a level playing field among other members who wish to vie for the presidency.
Mwamba said that is why there should be no question of whether the party should go to a general conference or not.
“The central committee, if allowed to pick a candidate, will be biased because already, Edgar Lungu in as far as I am concerned is the secretary general, so he has an upper hand over other contenders. What he should do is out of principle, he should relinquish his position as secretary general of the party, since he is also an interested party,” he said.
“All stakeholders of the party must agree on a candidate not to be hand picked by the central committee. That is what will bring divisions in the party. For those who want to vie for the presidency under the PF party, stakeholders should be consulted.”
Mwamba warned that if the grassroots were not involved, the party should expect massive divisions and litigations.
He said the view of the 63 members of parliament, five of whom were opposition members, that the party did not have financial resources to hold a general conference did not hold water.
“The issue of resources for me is not even something that we should talk about. I think money can be found. Money has been found in many instances of parliamentary by-elections and if I can take my colleague to 2010, late president Sata, may his rest in peace, single-handedly sourced for funds which took us to a general conference so I think the issue of money in as far as I am concerned does not hold water,” Mwamba said.
“There were so many friends of the party who are ready to assist us.”
He said the issue of time would also not apply if the party picks on a popular candidate.
“What the general conference should come up with is a candidate that will be easy to sell. If they are going to pick a candidate who is not known across the country, it will be very difficult, we may even lose the election because of a wrong candidate, so we have to be very careful in the way we pick a candidate,” said Mwamba.