PATRIOTS for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo has hit back at the Edith Nawakwi-led opposition group saying they have been hired to parrot a Patriotic Front agenda.
He said the quartet had been resurrected from their political slumber and was being used as a tool to advance PF interests because the ruling party itself did not want to get its hands dirty.
On Sunday, opposition party leaders Nawakwi, Wynter Kabimba, Felix Mutati and Sakwiba Sikota held a press briefing in which they rubbished the church-led saying it was just meant to propel the UPND to power.
Speaking on behalf of the alliance, Nawakwi said what was needed were legal and constitutional reforms of the electoral process.
She said the UPND was in league with the Church and its alliance partners to push for regime change.
Nawakwi also revealed that at one point, Tembo leaked a memorandum of understanding to the church leaders before the co-chairmen of the opposition formally went to deliver the same.
But Tembo said the four were non-factors in the Zambian political arena.
“Wynter still has a hangover of being fired from the PF and that is why even after he formed his own party, he decided to call himself a secretary general because he wants to be reminded of the SG that he was in PF. So Wynter is a non-factor, he has never been a factor. Wynter was only a factor when he was under the shadow of the late president [Michael] Sata. That is the only time he was a factor. On his own, Wynter is not a factor at all,” Tembo said.
He said MMD faction leader Felix Mutati was nothing without the PF because he was eating from the palms of the ruling party.
“When you look at the other gentleman, Mutati; this is a person who only managed to get some kind of relevance when he was nominated as an MP and appointed to a ministerial position but now he has been fired and replaced by his junior party member, his secretary general [Raphael Nakacinda], and yet he still has the audacity to continue aligning himself with the people that fired him and replaced him with his subordinate. By all means I would see that as an insult personally but he doesn’t see it like that because he is eating off the palm of the PF. He is nobody if he stood by himself,” Tembo said.
He said Nawakwi had been mute on various issues that affected ordinary Zambians but only awakened to push the PF agenda.
“When you look at Nawakwi, when was the last time Nawakwi stood up to speak on behalf of the citizens of this Republic apart from when she was fighting with Chifumu Banda when they were fighting within their party? Those are the last headlines I remember of Nawakwi – her fighting with Chifumu Banda in the papers. I don’t remember Nawakwi speaking anything on behalf of the suffering Zambians. It is we, the alliance, that have been standing up and speaking on behalf of the suffering Zambian people. These people have been sleeping only to be woken up from their slumber so that they can parrot on behalf of the Patriotic Front at a fee of course,” Tembo argued.
He said ULP leader Sakwiba Sikota was unknown as a politician.
“If you did a survey and asked people if they know Sakwiba as a politician, I think 99.99 per cent would say they didn’t know that Sakwiba was a politician until that press briefing because he has never spoken anything under his ULP party in terms of the political dispensation of this country. God knows if he has even been filing returns for his party with the registrar of societies. My take would be that he has not filed those returns for more than 10 years now,” Tembo mocked.
He said the issues they raised at their briefing were laughable and comical.
He said it was undeniable that the UPND was the largest opposition political party and that any reforms would benefit it.
Tembo said the PF and its surrogates were constantly frustrating the dialogue process because the status quo where the public order Act prevented opposition from holding meetings and public media was only accessible to members of the ruling party benefited it.
He said the alliance which intends to field a single presidential candidate would win the 2021 general elections with a landslide with or without dialogue.