PF members wanted Malanji as running mate – Chipango

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By Speedwell Mupuchi

KEEGAN Chipango, a former MMD councillor, says the PF received a protest vote over the choice of running mate.

He warns that the PF runs into the danger of sinking into oblivion if they do not handle the postmortem of why they lost elections with honesty.

When announcing Professor Nkandu Luo as his running mate, President Edgar Lungu told off members who did not want her saying they should choose their own in 2026.

But Chipango said Zambians never like Prof. Luo because of her attitude.

“It was very difficult to market Nkandu Luo and that protest was from within PF. Although they never showed it, people were never happy with the choice of running mate,” he said. “The truth is that people wanted honourable [Joe] Malanji to be the running mate. That’s what people expected. But immediately that was not done, people on the Copperbelt were not happy.”

Chipango said people in PF had been fighting Malanji, a former foreign affairs minister, from the time he emerged on the political scene.

He said the battles over the party vice-presidency cost the PF the election.

“People have been fighting Malanji but if God had anointed him for leadership, these people cannot do anything. You can do your own investigation, my brother, people wanted Malanji to be the running mate. Even here in Southern Province, you will find that Malanji was more appealing to people. Even in North Western Province, people wanted Malanji but those guys who deemed themselves as the big guns, who thought they own PF didn’t want Malanji and wanted to start frustrating him,” Chipango said. “These people know themselves. The choice of Nkandu Luo was too early and premature. They should, may be, have considered Nkandu Luo as running mate in 2026. Not now because Zambians harbour a lot of things against her. And even the students, they have not forgiven her [for removing meal allowances]. And these tribal talks again, how can you have a running mate who goes in and starts engaging in tribal talk? That has been a problem.”

He counseled the PF leadership to learn to tell each other the truth during “this time of the postmortem”.

Chipango warned that the former ruling party risks going into oblivion if they fail to tell each other the truth.

“PF runs into the danger of sinking into oblivion if they will not have a constructive postmortem of why they lost. People wanted Honourable Malanji, my brother,” he said. “When they didn’t listen to that, people pulled out and they were not happy. Malanji has a following in Southern, Western, North Western, Copperbelt. You don’t talk about that, it’s his home ground. Eastern Province, he has a following, Northern Province, that’s the man they expected. So people pulled out and left them to market Nkandu Luo by themselves.”

On the judiciary, Chipango congratulated judges and lawyers that stuck to professionalism in the last 10 years.

He said it was time the Judiciary redeemed itself and get back to professional ethics.

He noted that almost everyone had lost confidence in the Judiciary because of the behaviour of some judges, magistrates and lawyers.

Chipango said people now say the courts were heavily politicised.

“So I am calling upon the acting Chief Justice Michael Musonda, he is one of the biggest legal brains we have got in this country, to ensure that the judges operate in a professional manner. They should not allow the Judiciary again to be politicised,” he said. “This is the time for the Judiciary to redeem itself. And I am calling upon the Judiciary to read the mood prevailing in the country. Zambians cannot except anything contrary to what they have been given by God, change of government.”

Chipango said the current election victory was not for UPND but Zambians.

“Zambians decided to fight so there is no way the judiciary should come and reverse what Zambians have decided and what they want. Two million Zambians have spoken, even those that were not decided and those who didn’t register, they have spoken. Let Zambians enjoy what they have decided upon,” he said.

Chipango said the Judiciary should reclaim its position like what it used to be in the 70s up to the 1990s.

He also advised lawyers not to always look for monetary gain but be professional.

“I am even very disappointed with some senior lawyers, who are State Counsels, who have allowed themselves to be politicised, who have actually lost track, lawyers of repute but today because of the kwacha, they have decided to throw their professional ethics to the wind,” Chipango noted.

He advised senior lawyers to help judges to reform the tainted image of the Judiciary.

Chipango said people have gone to extents of saying if one had a case against the government, they should forget about it because they will lose.

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