THE UPND in Northern Province says Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s remarks that he will make sure that the northern circuit of Zambia becomes a no-go area for the opposition party is tantamount to threatening violence.
Northern Province UPND chairman Nathan Ilunga says the remarks by the former UPND vice-president, who is popularly called GBM, were: “divisible, tribalistic, careless and senseless” in a multiparty dispensation.
He stressed that no amount of knee-bending and flattery would truly endear the former defence minister to the Edgar Lungu administration.
Mwamba made the remarks last Friday in Kasama at an event where President Lungu was present.
“I wish to respond to GBM’s statement which he made while pleading with President Edgar Lungu to accept him wholeheartedly and pardon or forgive him for all the insults and the invectives he had made towards him after leaving PF…” Ilunga stated in a press statement yesterday.
“He went on to say that the northern region comprising Northern Province, Muchinga Province and Luapula was a no-go area for HH (Hakainde Hichilema).”
He wondered why the northern circuit should be a no-go area for UPND officials when: “a few days ago, president of MMD Felix Mutati was in Southern Province doing his political activities and no politician from that area rose to say that ‘it’s a no-go area for Felix Mutati who does not hail from Southern Province.’
“Therefore, why should the northern region be a no-go area for president Hakainde Hichilema? As UPND in Northern Province, we condemn this statement because it is divisible, tribalistic, careless and senseless in a multiparty democratic dispensation,” Ilunga stated.
“It is also tantamount to threatening violence and therefore, we wish to make an earnest appeal to Kakoma Kanganja the IG (Inspector General of Police) to take note of GBM’s tantrums and innuendos because as a registered and established strongest opposition political party, our party president is a free citizen and needs no passport or permit to visit any part of the Republic of Zambia.”
The UPND in Northern Province, according to Ilunga, has since invited Hichilema to visit the region: “to see for himself how organised and strong the party has become, owing to GBM’s exit, which is a blessing in disguise.
“In the same vein, we appeal to the clergy, traditional leaders of wisdom and all well-meaning Zambians to condemn this kind of divisiveness and tribalism perpetrated by some shameless leaders who have fallen from grace and have now become an embarrassment to society. They just roam like a compass needle which unless it points to the north, cannot settle,” Ilunga stated.
He further stated that: “no matter how much knee-bending and flattery” that GBM would exhibit towards President Lungu, the Head of State was not so naïve to bring close a potential challenger after Kelvin Fube Bwalya “turbulence or violent storm which has just been abated.”
“He’s merely using him at a reasonable distance to help him secure a third term,” stated Ilunga.
Bwalya resigned as UPND vice-president to rejoin the PF in April, a few days after saying he would have to be mad to returning to the ruling party, which he described as a “sinking Titanic”.