SOUTHERN Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe says he has decided to support UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, rejecting the position of Cabinet minister allegedly promised by PF president Edgar Lungu because it was time for the Tonga-speaking people to govern.
Speaking at a mammoth rally in Choma yesterday, Mr. Munkombwe told the residents of Choma that Mr. Lungu sent emissaries to plead for his support in exchange for the position of Cabinet minister if the PF won the election next week.
Mr Munkombwe said other tribes have governed the country and that was time for the people of Southern Province to produce a leader to take over the governance of the country.
“Patriotic Front president Edgar Lungu promised me the position of Cabinet minister if I supported and campaigned for him in Southern Province but I have declined because I am no longer thirst for the position of Cabinet minister anymore,” said Mr. Munkombwe.
Mr. Munkombwe said he would not wait to resign for him to make a decision about who he should support ahead of next week’s presidential election, but that his desire was to guide the people of Zambia on what was best at the moment.
“This Lungu promised me to become Cabinet minister if he was elected president, but I have to tell him that I am no longer thirst for Cabinet minister. Who told him that HH cannot look after me? Who told him? I will go round in the next four days; I will not sleep in my house, I will go round campaigning for Hichilema, I am a worker, I am a political animal, I will sleep in your house to persuade people to go to vote, finish,” Mr Munkombwe said.
He said that it was shocking that some people were accusing him and other senior citizens in the province of tribalism for supporting and endorsing Mr. Hichilema when not too long ago in 2008, all the 41 Tonga traditional leaders supported MMD presidential candidate Rupiah Banda.
Mr. Munkombwe said it was sad that his efforts to unite PF had failed because the PF leadership was incorrigible and could not unite. “I tried to unite them at their last convention but those people cannot be united, they are terrible things, they are terrible people, I can tell you.’’
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has urged the people of Southern Province to vote for him in next Tuesday’s presidential election. Mr. Hichilema who is being accompanied by Lubansenshi member of Parliament Patrick Mucheleka said it was now time for the UPND.
He said the onus was on the people of Southern Province to lead by example by voting en mass so that the PF can be kicked out. Mr. Hichilema said failure to vote for the UPND would result in the people’s continued suffering at the hands of PF.
He said that since the PF over power in 2011, the country has gone into serious debt.
Mr. Hichilema assured farmers that the UPND would address their problems. Mr. Hichilema said once voted in power, he would work for the people because he was their servant.
And speaking at the same meetings, Mr Mucheleka said Zambians were clever and were fed up with the PF.