Reacting to his suspension by PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba, Phiri said the decision taken to suspend him was irrational and that it was done in haste. He noted the party did not even give him an opportunity to exculpate himself and wondered why the suspension was indefinite.
The PF through Kabimba suspended Lameck Mangani, Phiri and others for allegedly sowing seeds of discontent among party members on Monday. Most members of the party provincial leadership were suspended indefinitely without a chance to explain themselves.
Phiri noted he campaigned hard for the party to win the elections and wondered how Kabimba can base his decision to suspend him on an alleged complaint from one district out of the eight districts in the province.
He said the decision to suspend him will dim the popularity of the party in the province because of the in-fighting that are starting to show up and the failure by the party to handle differences in a fair manner.
“Unfortunately, I don’t know how the party came up with this decision to suspend me and it was shocking. This seems to suggest that there is a group of people that has come to distabilise the PF in Eastern Province. This is really sad, shocking and unfair.
“Why should people who worked so hard to bring the PF into power be targeted? It is sad to know that is how events can be. This time we should have been telling the President to construct the road that can connect the province to Muyombe, the improvement of farming in our areas and other development projects. But one year into office, we are facing suspensions, I don’t understand how,” he said.
Phiri said he had been a member of parliament in UNIP and that he had never seen the kind of leadership exhibited by the PF.
“I am not a beggar, my family is stable and I have got a farm. I have been using my vehicle for party business and even as provincial chairperson, the party has not given me a vehicle for official business. Now they come around and say I am confusing the party?”
The PF is engaged in leadership crisis with Kabimba trying hard to replace those perceived as serious challengers to his ambitions of taking over as PF president and eventually contest the 2016 elections when President Sata steps aside.