THE United Party for National Development(UPND) has said that the party in North-Western Province is still intact and strong despite the defection of its Vice President for administration Richard Kapita to the ruling Patriotic Front(PF) on Saturday.
UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma told the Daily Nation in an interview that there were rumours before Mr. Kapita defected that the entire provincial executive would go with him but that the former UPND vice-president had defected alone.
He said that the departure of Mr. Kapita had not left any cracks in the party particularly in North-Western Province where he hailed from and added that it was however sad that Mr Kapita had left UPND for the PF.
“The party is still strong and intact in North-Western Province and there are no cracks that have been left. Actually before the defection on Saturday, there were rumours that he was going to go with the entire provincial executive but that were not the case. Only about two of his cousins and a few others followed him,” Mr Kakoma said.
And Mr. Kakoma said that Mr. Kapita made valuable contributions during the 17 years that he had been with the party.
He said just like any other member Mr. Kapita’s contributions to the party could be downplayed as he had been a senior member of the party for a long time.
He said Zambia being a democracy, the UPND could not stop Mr. Kapita from deciding to join a party of his choice.
“Mr. Kapita has been with the party for the last 17 years and we cannot downplay his contribution. Just like any other member, he made valuable contributions to the party but Zambia being a democracy, we cannot stop him from making decisions like the one he has made of joining the PF,” he said.
Mr. Kakoma said it was wrong to talk ill of people after they had left and wished Mr. Kapita well in his future political endeavours.
But in a statement written by UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo yesterday, the party said Mr. Kapita’s departure was good riddance.
Mr. Lifwekelo said this was an opportunity for the party to grow because the former vice president was divisive and antagonistic.
“The departure of the UPND vice president Richard Kapita from the party is an opportunity for the party to grow because Mr. Kapita was a very antagonistic and divisive vice president. His departure is good riddance and soon the PF will wake up to a rude shock that in fact Kapita is not a factor in North-Western Province,” the statement read.
He accused Mr. Kapita of having been inspired to defect from UPND because of the ‘‘desire to eat and not to serve.’’
On Saturday at a rally addressed by President Edgar Lungu in Mwinilunga Mr Kapita resigned to join the ruling PF.
He said he had decided to work with President Lungu because he had demonstrated an inclusive and selfless spirit of leadership.