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 2011-03-28 11:42 pm Back to NEWS
UPND W/Province leaders join PF
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema (l) with his vice Richard Kapita

Eight members of the UPND top leadership in Western Province have decided to endorse Michael Sata for presidency following the break up of the PF-UPND pact.

In an interview yesterday, former Sikongo UPND member of parliament, Colonel Best Makumba said he had decided to support PF because UPND was currently being managed like a small civil servants' union. He said the UPND leadership never consulted the members when they decided to pull out of the Pact.

“I have been a member of UPND since 1998 but the boys in UPND have frustrated me. It's like in UPND you can't advise anyone. What the top leadership decides is what is taken. When we saw the Professor Clive Chirwa proposals, we were even celebrating here because we thought that was the best proposal,” Col Makumba said. “But the top leadership in UPND appears to be upset with the Chirwa proposals. In our view, that was the best proposal and we still support the Chirwa proposal.

“As far as we are concerned the Chirwa proposals were one of the best proposals made open to us.” Col Makumba said as far as he was concerned, he was for Sata in the forthcoming general elections. “That's what I have told my members as well. I am not alone, we have good numbers. PF is making inroads in Western Province and I can assure you that we are working very hard to ensure that we improve the ratings. I am supposed to be a member of the UPND National Management Committee (NMC) but I don't even go for those meetings,” he said.

And UPND provincial trustee for special duties, Induna Imikendu Imbwae said people in Western Province want change.

“I am a former member of parliament for Liuwa. I took over from the current Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa and I was also district commissioner for Kalabo for three years up to 2006,” he said. “The cry of the people is very enormous and the MMD has lost it. The people now want change and for us to change, it was through the Pact but then someone from nowhere has just decided to come out of the Pact. As Western Province, we were in National Party and it never took us anywhere. We had Agenda for Zambia, it also never took us anywhere. And this time around it’s UPND that wants to split the votes, that's why we are saying no! We don't want these votes to be split. We want to form government through PF because Mr Sata is supported all over while UPND only has support in Southern Province and a bit in North-Western Province.”

Induna Imbwae said UPND was now a non-starter in Western Province.

“We want to form government instead of regional politics. That’s why we will support president Sata. The people of Western Province are in a crisis and this government has failed to save that situation. Therefore, now that we have failed to fight the government of the day, now it’s through the ballot, after all it will even be peaceful,” Induna Imbwae said. “We want to put in place a government that will discuss the Barotse Agreement because the current government has refused to discuss. They have just resorted to butchering people.”

And UPND Western Province publicity secretary, Teddy Chimbinde, said he decided to support Sata because they were never consulted on the decision to pull out of the Pact.

“In the last two years we have gone flat out telling people to support the Pact. The Pact was not for Hakainde or Mr Sata. It was people-driven.

“Even when they were pulling out of the Pact, they never consulted us,” Chimbinde said. “We just heard it on news. Right now I am in Senanga campaigning for PF. We are now PF and we are campaigning even those things they are showing on TV for Chanda Chimba, they are just wasting their time, they have no effect here.”

And UPND provincial youth chairman, Candy Mundia said when he read the Chirwa proposals he was excited.

“I wrote on behalf of the UPND youths in Western Province that 'its time for the UPND to embrace the Chirwa proposals'. But they later suspended me. I welcomed the suspension and I said, ‘I am ready to be crucified for telling the truth’,” he said.

Mundia said the UPND youths in the province felt that the decision to support Sata was correct because he heads a bigger party.

“Youths in Western Province are still united and we will make sure that we support PF in the next elections. I am currently in Senanga to tell my fellow youths,” he said.

And PF Western Province chairman Kenneth Namutulo said his provincial executive committee and the new PF members have a master plan, which would make UPND irrelevant in Western Province.

“In the next two weeks, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema will be history here. UPND will just be a shell. There is a political earthquake in form of a political tsunami, which is shaking the foundations of both UPND and MMD,” Namutulo said. “The political pendulum is swinging in favour of Sata. Western Province would this year be a swing province, it will be a kingmaker.”

He said MMD had been wiped out because of corruption, underdevelopment, unemployment and the Mongu killings.

“How does the MMD ask for votes from people who are crying? People who are still morning their children? If they want votes, let them exhume those they have killed. When people in Mazabuka were killed, this government quickly apologised but they have never apologised for the children they killed here,” Namutulo said. “Do the people here not deserve an apology from this government after butchering their children? People here are upset with this government. Before the cock crows a third time, MMD will remember Bishop Duffy's wise counsel. The situation has changed for MMD in Western Province.”

And PF national chairperson Inonge Wina, who is currently in Western Province, said Hichilema's decision to pull out of the Pact has caused some uneasiness within the rank and file of UPND in Western Province.

She said UPND members believed that the two parties would make tremendous progress if they forged ahead.

“Eight members of the Western Province UPND executive have defected to PF in order to give more impetus to Sata to win the elections. Those that have defected agreed with the Chirwa proposals. These people have a following in the province. For example, the day they joined PF they have come with 153 members. We have got in our custody 150 cards and we know that more will join and more will follow their leaders,” Wina said.

She said the defections would have an adverse effect on UPND operations.

“As for MMD, it's a desperate situation here because the party is associated with a government that is using its police force to kill their children. This is the message on the ground and you have to be a very brave person to wear an MMD chitenge especially in Mongu,” Wina said. “I don't know where MMD is getting the courage and arrogance to say that the party is still popular in Western Province.”

The UPND leaders that have endorsed Sata include Col. Best Makumba, David Muzinda provincial vice chairman, Inonge Mub-uyaeta provincial chairlady, Induna Imikendu Imbwae provincial trustee - special duties, Teddy Chimbinde provincial publicity secretary, Candy Mundia provincial youth chairman, Rosemary Munalula provincial vice-secretary for women and Friday Makondo constituency youth chairman for Mongu.

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