EASTERN Province NDC chairperson Samuel Lugomo-Phiri says decision by UPND to back his party’s candidate in the Roan Constituency by-election has come at the right time. And Phiri has complained of being sidelined by his party.
In an interview, Phiri said there was too much suppression of people’s freedoms in the country.
“There is no better time than now where the UPND and NDC have come together. They have come together at a proper time when I think the subduing or the oppression of the freedoms have been exposed,” he said. “This has been caused by the Patriotic Front government. The unity which has been exhibited in Roan between the two political parties is welcome.”
Phiri said it was difficult for a single party to emerge victorious in such by-elections.
“Even the PF itself, for it to have carried the day (in the previous elections), it took MMD and committed MMD officials that went alongside
convincing their members to support the Patriotic Front, hence President Lungu becoming a President in 2015. The same applied to 2016 general election,” he said. “Without the MMD’s input, these people could not have made it against the UPND. But when it happened (winning) it’s like they did it alone and they are now frustrating the efforts of the hard workers that helped them.”
Phiri said those that were used by the PF to win the previous elections should not allow themselves to be used again.
“The coming together that has been exhibited between UPND and NDC is welcome and we should be moving towards that direction. I only hope Eastern Province is going to follow suit, that from now onwards, we must every time consult each other and make comparisons and move together. We must go down to the voters and educate them about the importance of voting,” he said.
And Phiri said he had been a very sad person as provincial NDC chairperson for Eastern region.
“To begin with, I have been a sad person as provincial chairman for NDC Eastern Province. Listening to a lot of squabbles and quarrels that have been happening within our party, I for one as provincial chairperson Eastern Province, it has saddened me,” he said. “I would say I have been sidelined because all the happenings, at times I was picking them from the vice-president [Josephs Akafumba] who was updating me over the constituting of the disciplinary committee which sat and…suspended the secretary general [Mwenya Musenge] where he was given a suspension for 21 days and Bridget Atanga, the vice, was made to act.”
Phiri complained that he was only getting information about happenings in the party from the grapevine.