President Edgar Lungu and all 54 contestants for the position of Member of the Central Committee have been elected unopposed at the Patriotic Front (PF) General Conference.
The convention has seen 18 women get elected to the PF’s Central Committee as members of the ruling party’s highest decision-making organ.
President Lungu, Vice President Inonge Wina, PF National Chairman Samuel Mukupa and Secretary General Davies Mwila were among the officials that went unopposed as MCCs.
Other Notables include Former Minister of Health Dr Chilufya Chitalu, former Community Development Minister Emerine Kabanshi, PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri and Geoffrey Mwamba, popularly known as GBM.
President Lungu and the 54 new MCC were endorsed by the over 2,000 delegates attending the ruling party general conference from 20 different locations in the country’s 10 provinces.
The PF is holding its general conference from 10 to 11 April from two sites per province in line with prescribed Covid 19 measures.
And speaking at the PF General Convention in Lusaka, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Leader Chishimba Kambwili called for the reduction of presidential candidates and support to the ruling party.
Mr Kambwili appealed to pro PF parties to stand down and give support to the PF to battle against the United Party for National Development (UPND).
He said it is a well-known fact that the August 12 general elections are between the PF and UPND and that contesting elections will only weaken the ruling party’s chances of retaining power as votes will be split.
“It’s Red versus Green. We need to reduce on the number of presidential candidates to allow the PF to win than give a chance to other people I wouldn’t want to mention,” said Mr Kambwili.
He pointed out that the country is divided in two regions and that politicians must put aside their personal interests and ensure that the country does not slide into problems.
Mr Kambwili praised the PF for inviting other political parties to attend its general conference stressing that such actions have the capacity to end political tension in the country.
Rainbow Party Leader Wynter Kabimba called for co-existence among political parties in the country.
Mr Kabimba said it is the responsibility of all Zambians to ensure that peace is maintained before, during and after the August 12 polls.
And Forum for Democracy and Development President Edith Nawakwi said there is a need to build upon the political interaction PF has initiated and take it to the national level and secure national interests.
Mrs Nawakwi said if political parties were united, Zambia would have gone to the August 12 polls under a new republican constitution.
And in a message read on his behalf African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Ace Magashule paid glowing tribute to Zambia for the sacrifices the country made in ensuring that countries in Southern Africa and the continent got liberated.
In a speech read for him by Lindiwe Maseko, Mr Magashule said South Africa will forever be indebted to Zambia’s sacrifices and paid glowing tribute to the selfless leadership of Dr Kaunda and other Zambian leaders for ensuring that other countries got liberated.
The ANC leader proposed the establishment of a Heroes Cemetery to honour South Africans and Zambians who died during the liberation struggle.
He praised the PF for the social economic transformation the country has undergone and wished the PF well with its convention and the August polls as it seeks a fresh mandate from Zambians to continue governing the country.
And ZANU PF Secretary General Obert Mpofu said in a speech read for him by Cyril Manerva recounted the influential role Zambia played in Zimbabwe’s liberation at the cost of several Zambian lives.
He wished the PF to emerge strong from the convention in order to address the issues affecting the country and strive to continue improving the welfare of Zambians.
Burundi’s ruling party, National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy(CNDD-FDD)’s Secretary General Reverien Ndikuriyo also said in a message read by a representative, wished the country peaceful elections and hoped for greater cooperation between the two ruling parties in enhancing development and improving the welfare of the two peoples.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Li Jie who represented the Chinese People’s Communist Party hailed the strong relations between the two countries and two ruling parties in their efforts to improve the welfare of their people.
Ambassador Jie said China through the Communist Party remains committed to supporting the PF’s development agenda for the country.
Russia’s Communist Party was also represented at the PF Convention, along with other local political parties such as the Christian Democratic Party, National Revolution Party and Economic and Equity Party, which were invited by the ruling party to its convention.