THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has disowned Southern Province Patriotic Front (PF) chairman Daniel Munkombwe and has dissociated itself from his tribal remark that Hakainde Hichilema should be voted republican president because it is time for a Tonga to take over the governance of the country.
The UPND said it was morally and politically incorrect for Mr Munkombwe, who is Southern Province minister, to insinuate that politicians got into government to eat and enrich themselves.
UPND campaign manager Dipak Patel said the opposition political party was seeking to get into government not on the basis of tribe but to serve and unite the country by forming an inclusive government devoid of tribal intonations.
Mr Patel said any appeal made to the electorate based on tribe will be rejected by the UPND campaign team because the foundation of the opposition political party message had always been on national unity, inclusiveness and equality.
He said the UPND stood diametrically opposed to Mr Munkombwe’s recent remarks that politicians go into Government to eat and not to serve, stating that Mr Hichilema was seeking public office to serve Zambia for the benefit of all regardless of their tribe, political affiliation or religion. Mr Patel said the UPND was encouraging Zambians to vote for Mr Hichilema as republican president to serve all Zambians, adding that the opposition leader had an unmatched track record as an economics manager apart from being a successful farmer with strong Christian values.
He said Mr Hichilema had dedicated his political messages to condemning politics of violence and tribalism and that his election as republican president next week will not be based on tribe.
“We wish to completely disassociate ourselves from the comments by PF Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe that Zambians should vote for Mr Hichilema because it was time for the Tonga tribe to rule. Any appeal Mr Munkombwe made to voters based on tribe is rejected by our campaign team. The foundation of our campaign message has always been one of national unity, inclusiveness and equity. We are opposed to the past remarks by Mr Munkombwe that politicians vie to get into government to eat,” Mr Patel said.
And Mr Hichilema has appealed to the Zambia Police Service to immediately ban all offensive weapons such as pangas and knives in the possession of cadres who have been using them to hack and maim citizens belonging to other political parties. Mr Hichilema has asked the police to criminalise pangas and knives and ban them from being publicly sold on the streets until after the presidential election next week. He said the police should declare an amnesty so that all youths holding pangas and knives in their homes can hand over their weapons. “Political parties instigating violence must be condemned in the strongest terms and the UPND recognizes the need for political parties to co-exist and will not take kindly to any member resorting to violence.
“We appeal to all UPND members to preach peace and love to one another even in the face of extreme provocation from those in the ruling party,” Mr Hichilema said.