ALLIANCE for Better Zambia (ABZ) secretary general Mulenga Shula says her party shall no longer be part of the Grand Coalition that has been pushing for a people-driven Constitution.
Ms Shula said the decision had been necessitated by what she termed as a conspiracy by some members of the Grand Coalition to expel ABZ leader Frank Bwalya from the Coalition for supporting President Edgar Lungu as candidate for the Patriotic Front (PF) in the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
“On Thursday 12th February 2015 during a meeting for the Grand Coalition held at Protea Hotel at Arcades in Lusaka to which Fr Bwalya was invited, some members of the Grand Coalition tried to embarrass our leader by demanding for his ejection from the meeting on grounds that he was close to President Lungu and therefore was not welcome in the Grand Coalition,” she said.
Ms Shula said the party was prompted to pull out after some members of the Grand Coalition defended Fr Bwalya for his democratic choice to support Mr. Lungu and the PF.
She said the members wondered why Fr Bwalya was singled out when there were other political parties who were members of the Grand Coalition that supported Mr. Lungu and campaigned for him.
“Fr Bwalya made it clear that he had done nothing to undermine the work of the Grand Coalition in demanding for a people driven constitution,” she said.
Ms Shula said Fr Bwalya’s decision to support President Lungu drew the attention of the Grand Coalition members.
She said Fr Bwalya’s statement was very clear about the need for the PF to deliver a people driven constitution as promised.
Ms Shula said the decision to support Mr. Lungu was made by the party’s national executive which was also the decision making body.
“As a party we are very disappointed at the attempt by some members of the Grand Coalition to malign and embarrass our party president for implementing a decision of our party to support Mr. Lungu. We believe that the Grand Coalition should promote tenets of democracy and constitutionalism,” she said.
She said the party shall not allow anyone to force it to endorse their preferred candidate just because he or she signed a social contract promising to satisfy the demands of the Grand Coalition.