NO Cabinet Minister nor indeed Patriotic Front (PF) members of Parliament has aligned with the United Party for National Development and predictions of mass defections by UPND President Hakainde Hichilema are nothing but a figment of his imaginations, Information and Broadcasting Minister Chishimba Kambwili has said.
And Mr Kambwili said he was going to ask the PF central committee to elect him as the campaign manager in the Kasama by-election so that he could prove to UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba that he was politically spent.
Mr Kambwili said it was cheap political propaganda for Mr Hichilema to claim that some Cabinet Ministers and MPs were in courtship with the UPND because the entire team of Government Ministers was united with unquestionable support for President Edgar Lungu.
He said the UPND will be shocked next year that even after the dissolution of Parliament, no MP would be willing to cross to the opposition political party because its chances of ever forming government had become remotely distant.
Mr Kambwili said the intra-party wrangles that rocked the ruling party after the demise of President Sata had completely been resolved that the party was happy with President Lungu whom he said had exhibited rare qualities of a Head of State in his leadership.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that Mr Hichilema was only day-dreaming that some of the Ministers and MPs were going to defect to the opposition political party that had no chances of winning the general elections next year.
Mr Kambwili who is chief government spokesperson said if Mr Hichilema enjoyed the confusion the ruling party suffered during the transition period, he should know that the PF was past such challenges and would never get divided again because President Lungu was a likeable leader who had been universally accepted by the PF and the general citizenry.
He said only those who were politically unstable and with the propensity of jumping from one political party to another with the desire of making newspaper headlines were going to defect to the UPND or other opposition political parties.
“There is no Minister in President Lungu’s Cabinet and no PF MP aligned to the UPND and the claims by Mr Hichilema are nothing but a figment of his imaginations. The PF has resolved its wrangles and all the Ministers and MPs are happy with President Lungu who has exhibited unmatched leadership qualities. We already have a presidential candidate who has been universally accepted and no Minister or MP is going to take the risk of jumping to a political party that has no chances of winning the elections next year. So I can only wish Mr Hichilema good luck in his day-dreaming but he will soon wake up to the reality of things,” Mr Kambwili said.
And Mr Kambwili said he would like to prove that Mr Mwamba was not a political factor in the UPND by ensuring that the ruling party should retain the Kasama seat.
“Let me tell you that I will be the campaign manager in the Kasama by-election because I want to prove to Mr Mwamba that he is politically finished.
I will tell the central committee to elect me the campaign manager because I want the PF to completely whitewash the UPND in Kasama. That ward by-election they won is not a barometer of their claimed improved popularity,” Mr Kambw”li said.
Mr Kambwili has also challenged Mr Hichilema to produce a list of Government Ministers and officials who have been travelling to South Africa seeking to buy estates in that country’s plush suburbs such as Sandton City using corruptly earned money.
Mr Kambwili said President Lungu was running a clean and corrupt-free Government and that it was untrue that there were Ministers and Government officials who had acquired sudden opulence and were buying expensive properties outside the country.
He said President Lungu was running a decent Government and that none of his Ministers or aides was involved in corruption adding that those accusing the ruling party of corruption should prove their allegations.
Mr Kambwili said Mr Hichilema was playing double standards in condemning corruption recalling that it was it was the UPND that accused former Kasama member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba of having been involved in corruption over the Zesco pole supply tender.