SOME Patriotic Front (PF) youths in Lusaka have demanded for the resignation of some top officials who they allege are against the endorsement of President Michael Sata as the party’s sole presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.
This is contained in a petition presented on Saturday to Lusaka Deputy Mayor Mulenga Sata who has promised to deliver it to the President.
In the petition, the members also want President Sata to quickly intervene in the matter which they said was bringing divisions in the party.
The youths, led by provincial publicity secretary Ackson Nkhoma, said they wanted some senior party officials to resign because they had failed to provide leadership in the perceived wrangles arising from the endorsement debate.
According to the petition, the group of youths who at the weekend fought running battles with an opposing camp at Northmead Secondary School said they were angered to find that the other group was carrying banners reading ‘No Sata 2016’.
They said they were further upset by a slogan by the other camp saying “aleisa, aleisa” (he is coming, he is coming) wondering who that individual was.
They called for the immediate dissolution of the district and provincial executive committees, accusing them of being against the endorsement of President Sata.
They called on Mr Sata to give direction to the party so that the division of loyalty currently going on was resolved in the best interest of the party.
Meanwhile, the Lusaka deputy mayor confirmed receiving the petition from party youths who asked him to convey it on their behalf to the President.
He said he would by the end of today present the petition to the party president.
He said in an interview that the party youths told him that they were, among other things, concerned about the organisation of the PF.
The youths felt that being a civic leader and son of the President, Mr Mulenga Sata would find it easier to convey their concerns to the Head of State.
“Yes the cadres came to present a petition hoping I can pass it on to the PF leadership …they are raising concerns about party mobilisation and organisation and you know as a civic leader and son of the President, the best I can do is to hear them because the moment I refuse, I become irrelevant,” he said.
Lusaka PF provincial chairperson Geoffrey Chumbwe said calls for the endorsement of Mr Sata were uncalled for because it was obvious that the Head of State would be the party candidate.
Mr Chumbwe said there should be no misunderstanding on the matter because Mr Sata had only served two years in office.
Meanwhile, Police in Lusaka have apprehended one person in connection with the Saturday fracas where PF youths clashed.
This follows a complaint by PF Mpulungu ward 23 councillor Christopher Shakafuswa that he was assaulted and had his motor vehicle damaged by some cadres.
Police acting spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirmed in an interview yesterday that Police had received a complaint of assault and malicious damage of the motor vehicle from Mr Shakafuswa and a docket was opened.
Mr Shakafuswa had his unregistered Mercedes Benz CE240 damaged while five other people were injured in the confrontation.
Efforts to get a comment from senior PF officials, including Secretary General Wynter Kabimba, proved futile by Press time.