(By Isaac Zulu in Kabwe)
ALBERT Chifita has accused the ruling Patriotic Front of fomenting divisions in the opposition UPND.
Addressing the media in Kabwe on Monday, the Central Province UPND chairman alleged that the PF was colluding with some national management committee members.
“We are aware that some members of the UPND’s national management committee are working with the Patriotic Front. The Patriotic Front is sponsoring some members of the national management committee in the UPND with the sole aim of destabilising the UPND ahead of the 2021 general elections. They want to make our party ungovernable,” said Chifita. “The PF leadership has realised that the UPND is a force to reckon with in the Zambian political arena, and they are trying by all means to destabilise our party.”
He stressed that the UPND membership in the province would take on anyone “causing chaos” in the party.
“Whoever touches HH [Hakainde Hichilema] is touching on the nerves of UPND members across the country. And I would like to take this opportunity to warn individuals trying to destabilise the party that the Central Province UPND members will take on anyone that is causing chaos in the UPND,” Chifita warned. “And as UPND members in Central Province, we are in full support of HH and we shall rally behind HH during our forthcoming national general conference. Furthermore, I would like to bring to the attention of the UPND membership and the nation in general that the UPND will be holding a national general conference to elect leaders and prove the doubting Thomases that the UNPD is a democratic party…. We believe in the tenets of democracy. And those that want to contest against president HH are free to do so, but as a province we shall rally behind HH.”
Meanwhile, Chifita said the UPND would not want to be part of the National Dialogue Forum because those spearheading it had ill-conceived motives.
He said the PF leadership want to use the Forum to manipulate the Republican Constitution.
“As you may be aware, the issue of dialogue started with the Commonwealth but the PF rejected that on the justification that Zambia is a sovereign state capable of handling its own internal issues. Then they said that they wanted the ZCID [Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue] to lead the national dialogue, but that did not go well with most stakeholders, and it was agreed that the Church should spearhead the national dialogue. But in a dramatic turn of events, the PF opted to shun the start of the Church-led dialogue,” recalled Chifita.
“And now, without wide consultations, they have crafted the National Dialogue Bill and rushed it to Parliament. We are sceptical that our colleagues in the PF might push clauses like raising the presidential term from five to seven years, or if someone runs for presidency more than three times, he or she should not be allowed to contest the elections. Therefore, the UPND will not want to be part of the National Dialogue Forum because we know that the people spearheading it have ill-conceived motives. The Patriotic Front leadership wants to use the National Dialogue Forum to manipulate the Republican Constitution.”/