Zambia’s interim leader suspended as party head

Xinhua
November 21,2014

LUSAKA, Nov. 21 Zambia’s governing party, the Patriotic Front (PF) on Friday suspended President Guy Scott as the party’s interim leader for “unconstitutional acts”.

Twenty-five members of the governing party’s Central Committee’ s 40 members have signed the letter suspending Guy Scott as interim leader of the party, which has been given to him.

“We regret to inform you that the Central Committee at its last meeting resolved to suspend you from your office for a period of 60 days with immediate effect,” the letter dated Nov. 20 reads in part.

Scott, who assumed the interim leadership of the party and the country following the death of President Michael Sata on Oct. 28, will however remain acting Zambian president.

The suspension of Scott, which has been supported by 70 of the party’s 82 lawmakers, was announced during a press briefing held by the lawmakers and some members of the Central Committee in Lusaka, the country’s capital.

Malozo Sichone, one of the lawmakers who read out the letter during the press briefing said Scott has been suspended for unconstitutional acts and usurping the powers of the highest organ of the governing party by making unilateral decisions.

Among the grounds of his suspension are that the acting Zambian leader has allegedly usurped the powers of the central committee and cabinet by dismissing the party’s secretary-general without consultation and by canceling an extraordinary central committee meeting.

The central committee members have also accused Scott of inviting applicants for the party’s presidential candidate ahead of a presidential election next January without consulting other members of the committee as well as organizing the general conference which will choose the candidate without consultation.

Zambia’s governing party has been embroiled in turmoil since the death of President Michael Sata, with succession at the center of the controversy.

Edgar Lungu, the party’s former secretary-general and justice minister has differed openly with Scott on a number of issues. Lungu, who is considered a front-runner among 10 candidates vying for the party presidency, said he has the backing of 70 of the party’s 82 lawmakers, including 11 ministers.

Among those aspiring to succeed Sata includes his widow, Christine Kaseba-Sata, his son Mulenga Sata and his nephew Miles Sampa.

On Thursday, Scott announced that the party will hold its general conference next Friday in the central town of Kabwe at which 5,000 delegates are expected to attend.

Zambia will hold presidential election on January 20.

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