THE resignation of PF Kitwe women’s vice-chairlady Jennifer Bwembya has shaken the party hierarchy that fear she will go away with the popular PF Chibe Chibe choir and the women’s league because of her firm political stance, say senior party officials.
But the PF in Kitwe says the resignation of Bwembya, who is commonly known as Chibe Chibe, was a personal decision that only makes PF in the area even stronger because it has remained with loyal members.
Chibe Chibe has resigned from the PF along with Nkana Constituency Mukuba ward vice-secretary Alice Mwape.
She said she had decided to ditch the ruling party because President Edgar Lungu was deaf to the cries of the poor and that greed and hatred had taken over the PF.
“This was a punch on the face for us the PF on the Copperbelt. That woman has great influence among the womenfolk, not only in Kitwe but the entire province. I don’t know how we failed to keep her. We needed that woman going into 2016 and we should not pretend that she is not a factor. She is! She did great works even for the women’s league and if such people are aggrieved, we should be in a position to listen to them and quickly address their plight. But what is unfortunate is that we want to move on quickly because we are a ruling party. We should pay attention to such people because we will end up having inexperienced people in the structures and that will be costly for us,” a senior Copperbelt PF official that declined to be named said yesterday.
Following her resignation, panic gripped the PF in Kitwe, which forced the leadership to hold a press briefing on Saturday where they stated that Chibe Chibe was not a factor.
“The reported resignation of one person from the women’s wing is a personal decision that only makes PF in Kitwe even stronger because we have remained with loyal members. Her position will be filled immediately as we conclude our internal consultative process. The remaining PF members from the womenfolk provides us with a pool of disciplined and dedicated members. PF wants performers, not people occupying positions but not working to grow the party,” said
Chileshe said the women’s league in the district was intact, stronger than before and solidly behind President Edgar Lungu in readiness for the 2016 general elections.
But some members from the Chibe Chibe choir said Bwembya’s resignation had left them weak.
“She was the pillar and the boss of the group. She founded the choir and she went out of her way to lobby for funds for the choir but now we don’’t know what will remain of this choir. This our chairlady (Chileshe) does not even know what she is talking about,” a female member of the popular PF choir, who declined to be named for fear of victimisation, said yesterday.
And some PF senior officials in Kitwe wondered why a press briefing was organised to react to the resignation if Bwembya was not a factor.
“This shows you the gap and damage she has left. The problem we have in the PF is that people have become selfish, leaders are eating alone. Today, we could have been talking about the miners who have been retrenched at that briefing but Chibe Chibe’s resignation needed to be talked about because she was extremely influential in the party,” said a PF Kitwe district official.