A SENIOR retired politician is arranging a grand coalition of political parties and civil society organizations that would be compelled to support one chosen opposition political party for purposes of ousting President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF) from power.
The coalition is being organized under the guise of discussing, among other things, the Public Order Act, electoral violence, media coverage and other electoral matters when the motive is to deliver the forum to the named political party.
The coalition is being mooted away from the auspices of the legitimate Oasis Forum because of the partisan nature it intends to take.
But PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya said the ruling party was aware of the meeting intended to endorse a chosen political party and its leader and also to agree what would be in it for the small political parties and the NGOs that were supporting the formation of this pact.
The first meeting of the coalition will be held on Friday January 29 and among the organizations and individuals being canvassed are Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), People’s Party, Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), National Restoration Party (NAREP), Rainbow Party, 4R, the MMD and the United Party for National Development (UPND) among others.
NOGs being targeted are Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) and the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordinating Committee (NGOCC).
President of the opposition 4R Eric Chanda said he was aware of the meeting but that his political party was not going to support the candidature of another political party and that if the meeting was going to discuss supporting a particular political party; he was not going to participate in the discussions.
“Our political party is not going to going to go to bed with any other political party in Zambia because we have the power to stand on our own. We did not form 4R to support other political parties and we have a 50-50 ideology which no any other political party is pursuing. So other political parties should not expect us to form an alliance with them.
“I am aware that there is a meeting that has been called for opposition political parties and the NGOs and from what I hear, we are going to discuss the Public Order Act, reforming the electoral process, electoral violence and media coverage and not to identify an opposition political party to support in the coming general elections,” Mr Chanda said.
FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said he had heard from the grapevine of impending the meeting but dispelled the agenda of identifying with a political party that should be supported in the general elections this year.
But MMD president Nevers Mumba when asked if he was aware about the meeting only said he had not received official notification and would only comment after receiving the invitation while Mike Mulongoti of People’s Party and the Zambia for Empowerment and Development (ZED) president Fred Mtesa said they were not aware of the meeting.
Efforts to get a comment from Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba failed as his mobile phone went unanswered.