WE shall not adopt ceremonial members of Parliament (MPs) who have not done anything for the party and the electorate to contest the 2016 general elections, the United Party for National Development (UPND) has vowed.
UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo said the opposition’s current parliamentarians should not be comfortable and take their positions as personal-to holder because there were other members of the party who had what it takes to replace them.
Mr. Lifwekelo was reacting to UPND Southern Province youth trustee Steve Chikwenya’s allegations that the party was facing challenges from people who were discrediting MPs in order to be adopted in next year’s elections.
Mr. Chikwenya complained that some selfish aspiring parliamentary candidates for the 2016 elections were creating more problems in the party in the Southern Province and called upon the party leadership to deal with those who were creating anarchy.
He observed that power hungry elements in the party were capable of costing the party if it entertained them because they did not have the heart to serve the party.
Mr. Chikwenya said the recent wrangles in Kalomo had spread to other places such as Monze, Mazabuka and Siavonga where some members were allegedly fighting the sitting MPs.
“We call upon the UPND secretary general to come to Southern Province and sort out the mess that has been created by some people who have brought anarchy in the party because of their selfish ambitions of wanting to contest elections in 2016. It is not only in Kalomo; it is the same situation in Siavonga, Monze and Mazabuka,” he said.
But when contacted for a comment, Mr Lifwekelo told the Daily Nation that UPND was looking for men and women who had worked hard for the party and constituencies where they came from and that those who had not done anything would be overlooked.
Mr. Lifwekelo said no position in the party was reserved for one person and that the adoption process would be made on merit and not because someone was already an MP.
“UPND is based upon a democratic dispensation where anyone who felt they could represent the electorate and the party well will be adopted. Current MPs should not be comfortable that because they already occupy those positions, then they will get automatic adoption because those are not personal-to-holder positions,” he said.
Mr. Lifwekelo explained that all members of the party were free to talk to the electorates about their intentions and that no one should block them as long as they were not talking ill of those already in power.
“Everyone is free to aspire to any position in the party and if the party sees their potential, definitely they will be adopted because this time, we are looking at which candidates would make good cabinet ministers. We are looking at candidates who can sell the party as we plan to form government. As long as they are not insulting and are not deliberately undermining the incumbent, that cannot be a challenge.
“All those MPs who have not shown cause to the party and are just ceremonial MPs who have not done anything for the people will not be adopted. They will be kicked out just like they dethroned those who were MPs before them because we are looking for the cream of hardworking members of the party to fill those positions,” he said.