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UPND convention is on – Andrew

ANDREW Banda says the UPND will go for a convention before the 2021 elections and people will be allowed to stand against party leader Hakainde Hichilema.

During the ‘Political Hour’ programme on Breeze FM on Sunday, Andrew who is a senior UPND member said anyone who wants to stand against Hichilema was free to do so.

“We are going to the convention, preparations are underway and very soon an announcement will be made which will give the dates when we are going to the convention. Anyone who wants to stand against HH is welcome. We are hearing the issue of sole candidates in the PF but that’s none of our business, it’s their business. If Mr Lungu wants to go for the third term that is a PF business,” he said.

Andrew said even if the UPND had reservations with the ruling of the Constitutional Court which gave President Lungu a go-ahead to stand in 2021, it had no problems with him standing.

“Here is a political party which has failed Zambia. Mealie-meal is at K150, petrol is at K15, the dollar/kwacha change rate is almost at K14.

Everything has gone wrong and they are insisting… the President, I feel sorry for him. The time when he is at his weakest he wants to stand. I can tell you, the people of Zambia will speak and the same people that are encouraging him to stand, telling him lies that ‘you are popular’ they will run away like they ran away from my own father [former president Rupiah Banda]. They ran away from Dr Kaunda kubasiya amdala (leaving the old man). That’s what will happen to President Lungu,” he said.

Andrew said the UPND was prepared to face President Lungu on the ballot in 2021.

“I am speaking as a human being that he is at his weakest politically. I am saying, lekani awele (let him come). I am just saying that at personal level. If I was his son or his advisor I would say to him ‘Dad, I think this is the best time for you to retire peacefully and leave a legacy.’ I tell you he would be humiliated and the same people who are telling him that things are okay because they want jobs will scamper. They did it to my own father and I took my own father to hand over power. It was sad,” he said.

Andrew said the UPND convention would be transparent.

“I can tell you I am a democrat. My father was in UNIP (I was in MMD), we stood against them and we beat UNIP in 1991. I will not allow any political party that I belong to, to be undemocratic. As long as newo nilimo ma elections nizayangana (as long as I am there for elections at the convention) they will be transparent and we are going to come up with a victor. Those who want to stand against Hakainde should stand but my candidate is Hakainde Hichilema. To hold a political party together for 14 years, he is a superhuman. I can tell you others cannot manage. But let them come,” he said.

Andrew also said the current load-shedding was killing industries as well as small-scale businesses.

He said crime had increased in Chipata as a result of power outages.

Andrew said Zambians have mismanaged themselves.

“How is it that Zesco owes Maamba Collieries which supplies 300 megawatts to the national grid? They have not paid Maamba Collieries and they have shut down… Why do we owe ESKOM as much as 89 million Rands? Why did we do that? We borrowed money to a tune of million dollars Eurobond to try and mitigate problems like this,” he said.

Andrew claimed that some cadres were on Zesco wage bill, which he said was too high.

He said 80 per cent of the power utility’s earnings were going towards wages.

Andrew said it would take UPND 18 months to sort out the power challenges once in power.

He said the UPND would not over borrow.

Andrew said the UPND does not support homosexuality and that Hichilema does
not look like someone who could support it.

He said the issue of homosexuality was just propaganda against UPND which had failed.

Andrew also discussed a number of areas that were of concern to the general populace.

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