Mumbi Phiri Comments On Sangwa’s Threat To Challenge Lungu’s Nomination
Responding to the possibility of the PF finding itself without a presidential candidate should State Counsel John Sangwa succeed to block President Lungu from standing, Mumbi Phiri said anything is possible with these lawyers.
The PF deputy secretary general expressed confusion with the provision in the constitution that says that one could not be deemed to have served a full term if they served less than three years, while also indicating that someone was not eligible to stand if they had twice held office.
And Phiri has challenged all the seating MPs who are into their third terms to vacate their seats and leave the stage for young people, saying old people should not be fighting with young ones over positions.
Speaking with Daily Revelation, Phir was asked if the ruling party did not fear finding themselves without a presidential candidate in the 2021 general elections if Sangwa went ahead to challenge President Lungu’s candidature and the court ruled in his favour.
Responding, Phiri said: “Anything is possible with these people called lawyers. Lawyers are a disgrace to this country. Do you know why. I was there when the ruling was being made. The ruling said, before that issue was taken to court, there was an argument especially from our brothers and sisters from UPND. When president Edgar Chagwa Lungu finished the term of President Sata it’s Jack Mwiimbu who was saying he’s not entitled to his gratuity because he didn’t do three years.”
Phiri accused the same Mwiimbu of spearheading the argument that President Lungu was asking for a third term.
“These are some of the ambiguities which were supposed to be cleansed by bill 10. On the other side it said a term is counted when you do three years, in the same law it says a term if you are sworn in twice. Which is which can our confused lawyers on these two, me I am a house wife, can they guide us, which is which? Which is which?” Phiri asked. “Because less than three years doesn’t constitute a full term, if you are sworn in twice it is regarded as two terms, so which is which? That’s my question, and write it as such. Can our confused lawyers help us.”
Asked if Sangwa was helping the ruling party by announcing his intentions now so that they could put in place contingency measures in the event President Lungu were blocked, Phiri said Sangwa was not doing anybody a favour.
“He’s not doing anybody any favour. If he had self conviction he should just keep quiet, wait for President Lungu to go and file in then he moves but because he wants to bring unnecessary attention that’s why he’s doing what he’s doing. Ibuluma taikata yes,” said Phiri.
And Phiri said she would not contest a parliamentary position in the 2021 general elections, and that the others who were into their third terms, from both the ruling PF and opposition should do likewise, in order to allow more women, youths and the disabled to contest for leadership. She said since there would not be proportional representation on account of the bill 10 collapse, Phiri said those who had served longer in parliament should not contest the forthcoming elections.
“I am throwing a challenge to these members of parliament who are going for a third term, (both in the ruling party and opposition) yes please, leave the seats for the women, the youth and the disabled and me I will lead by example, anybody who is going to stand as a woman, a youth because that’s the category I fall under I will support. So ba Jack Mwiimbu, everybody,” Phiri said, mentioning the UPND member of parliament in that category.
“Ba Jean Kapata,” the author chipping in, mentioning the Lands minister who is into her third term as member of parliament (PF) for Mandevu.
“No, don’t mention names, please I am recording. Let us leave because we have let the people of Zambia down,” Phiri retorted. “Let us show leadership by walking the talk that it is not necessary that the woman should be represented, the youth should be represented, people living with disabilities they should not be represented, they can still be elected. Let’s use it as an example for those who are going for third term as parliamentarians, all of them across the board.”
Phiri said she had announced this position when she appeared on Joy FM, on the very day the bill collapsed later in the evening.
“You know why I have made this decision, because I am very comfortable, I am the deputy secretary of the ruling Patriotic Front and I am very confident that we are coming back in 2021,” Phir said. “That’s why I am not bothered to start fighting for constituencies with children, you children I am a grandmother…I am turning 51 on 15th of November.”
Some prominent members of parliament who have served three or more terms include Justice minister Given Lubinda (Kabwata), Garry Nkombo (Mazabuka), Mwiimbu, Kapata, Information minister Dora Siliya, Housing and Infrastructure minister Vincent Mwale, among others.
Phiri said she had been reflecting and realised that there was no modeling of young people to take over leadership positions from the older people, saying that was why people kept moving from one political party to the other.
“When I retire from PF I will come home and continue where I left from, cooking for my husband…I will never ever look for a job, these people you see making noise it’s because they are job seekers and the record is there to prove,” Phiri said. “Bashi Nono (Bob Sichinga) came to PF at the 11th hour and he was given a ministerial position when he didn’t even fight for PF, not even intellectually. Bamushanina bwali.”
Phiri said even the NGOs who were known to be noise makers shut up the moment they were given government jobs.
“They even forget the cause they came on the scene for because they have been given jobs, they have been given vehicles they are are getting salaries. They are comfortable. For me as Mumbi Phiri I stand to change that,” Phiri said. “Not ba Zulu my age mate, Naba Nawa who can go and demonstrate on behalf of the youths calling themselves youths. I am not even ashamed there are very few women who reveal their age, me I am not ashamed. Under the pretext of being a youth mwaya namumpanga. Nangu Pilato bushe ali 35? I was elected as member of parliament at 33 as a youth…I have said we have to leave this to young people.”
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