UPND chairman for Legal affairs Jack Mwiimbu says he is not interested in being appointed party president Hakainde Hichilema’s running mate in this year’s general elections.
There have been calls from the Copperbelt that Mr Mwiimbu is picked for the position of running mate over UPND vice president for administration, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) and his counterpart for politics, Canisius Banda.
But Mr Mwiimbu has explained that the presidential running mate shall be chosen as per procedures of the party and that he was not one of the people interested in that position.
Mr Mwiimbu said in a statement yesterday that he was aware that the so-called UPND cadres calling for his appointment as running mate were sponsored by one disgraced known PF conman who was once a member of UPND and that this was a Patriotic Front (PF) strategy to label the opposition party tribal.
“My goal and interest is to ensure that the UPND and Hakainde Hichilema form government in August 2016. The intention of the PF is to malign me and bring the nauseating stench of tribalism to the fore, with a view to disadvantage us in the next elections,” Mr Mwiimbu, who is Monze Central Member of Parliament, said.
Earlier, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma alleged that there was a scheme by the (PF) to continue to paint the opposition party as being tribal and that the ruling party was sponsoring groups on the Copperbelt, Luapula as well as Lusaka provinces to call for the adoption of Mr Mwiimbu as the party’s presidential running mate in this year’s general elections.
Mr Kakoma disclosed this in a telephone interview yesterday in Lusaka.He said the scheme was a PF’s ploy to brand the UPND as a tribal party.
He said the people who are calling for the adoption of Mr Mwiimbu were actually masquerading as UPND members when in fact they were a sponsored group by the ruling party.
“First of all, there is a scheme by the PF who are sponsoring groups to call for the adoption of Hon Mwiimbu as our party’s presidential running mate; these are not UPND members but PF. They want to continue to paint our party tribal as only belonging to the Tonga- speaking people,” Mr Kakoma said.
Mr Kakoma said he has spoken to Mr Mwiimbu at length and that the Monze Central parliamentarian does not harbour such ambitions now or in the future and that he will not accept the said position of presidential running mate.