THE United Party for National Development has predicted that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) will suffer mass defections claiming that some ministers and members of Parliament Have personal ambitions for the presidency.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said the violence that rocked the PF during the transition following the death of president Michael Sata was likely to engulf the PF again because some senior leaders had not shelved their ambitions to take over the leadership of the party.
He said the violence that characterised the ruling party national congress last year would be nothing compared to what would happen in the next intra-party democracy because some PF leaders had not shelved their ambitions to contest the presidency under the ruling party ticket.
Mr Hichilema said the wrangles, controversy and violence that characterised the transition period should not be allowed to happen against and called on President Edgar Lungu to root out violent cadres from the ruling party.
He said there would be more confusion and consternation in the Patriotic Front after the disolution of Parliament in 2016 and that a number of Ministers and MPs were likely to abandom President Lungu.
Speaking at a media breifing at Pamodzi Hotel yesterday, Mr Hichilema claimed that there was instability in the PF which had directly affected the political stability of the country and that unless President Lungu addressed the many challenges facing the country, he was not going to have it easy in 2016 general elections.
“As we get towards 2016, the violence that charcterised the transition period in the PF will come back. There will be more confusion in the PF after the MPs and Ministers have been paid their gratuity and most of them are going to be with us. The violence will get worse because some of the PF leaders still have the ambitions to lead the party because they feel President Lungu forced his way to the PF presidency,” Mr Hichilema said.
And Mr Hichilema has called for a united opposition stating that there was nothing that could keep the opposition political parties apart because they had a common agenda of serving Zambians who were the victims of what he termed poor governance.
Mr Hichilema claimed that the PF had failed to improve the lives of the people alleging that most of tthe people in Government were serving their personal interests at the expense of the majority poor Zambians.
He alleged that some of the PF government officials were involved in corrupt activities and that they were allegedly buying expensive and exotic properties in South Africa’s plush towns such as Sandton.
He said it was shocking that some leaders in Government had suddenly become opulent in their life-styles when many Zambians were struggling to barely survive because of the economic hardships they were going through.
Mr Hichilema said the opposition political parties should unit and demand from Government to have the private members motion of banding the use of firearms during elections to be taken back to parliament because the culture of using guns by cadres during elections was promoting violence.
“When our time comes, the public media will be freed so that it can criticise the UPND in Government. We want to turn round the economy of the country but the PF are in government to serve themselves. I have been recieving calls from my freinds in South Africa who have been asking me about some Government officials who have been looking for agents to buy estates and they are looking for such property in Sandton. Where did they get the money to buy such expensive property. I am in business and I know how lont it takes to make money,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema saisd that it was saddening that the motion that could have banned the use of firearms during elections was defeated by the ruling party in Parliament and that it was the duty of the opposition to demand for the recalling of the motion to Parliament.
He accused President Lungu of abusing his office alleging that the Head of State had directed the police to arrest opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi.