POLITICAL hooligans the United Party for National Development (UPND) has embraced in a desperate attempt to dethrone the Patriotic Front (PF) from power have now become a threat to the dim chances of the opposition political party winning the general elections in August, Frank Bwalya has said.
Mr Bwalya who is PF deputy spokesperson said the UPND had recruited some of the most violent cadres who had been rejected and expelled from the PF and that such members had become a danger to the stability of the opposition political party.
Reacting to a story in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Nation in which it was reported that UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango was verbally abused by a senior official of the party, Mr Bwalya said the opposition political party had damaged its political image and chances of being a factor in the general election by embracing members with rogue behavior.
He said UPND president Hakainde Hichilema committed a political fatal political guff by welcoming and elevating people whose violent conduct was well-documented.
Mr Bwalya said there were some leaders within the UPND who believed were financially powerful and that Mr Hichilema should be ready for a real showdown if he was not going to adopt the said ambitious leader as his presidential running mate.
He stated that there were some leaders in the UPND who believed money was about everything in politics and that despite being relatively new in the opposition political party; the said leaders had started positioning themselves to take of the leadership of the party.
“Revelations that UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango was verbally assaulted by a known senior member of the party are a sign that the opposition political party has embraced political hooligans who have either been rejected or expelled from the PF. The reports that a senior UPND official almost beat up Mrs Nalumango should make the UPND and Mr Hakainde know why PF celebrated when such a leader left the PF. Mr Hichilema should prepare himself for a real showdown with some of his senior members should he not adopt one of them as a presidential candidate,” Mr Bwalya said.
Mr Bwalya explained that it was expected that some of the UPND leaders were going to use their money to flaunt their popularity and would use their financial muscle to wrestle the presidency from Mr Hichilema.
He said old UPND members such as Jack Mwiimbu and Ackson Sejani among other founding members should be wary of people who were positioning themselves to hijack the opposition political party.
“As the PF, we are happy such leaders left. Our advice to Mr Hichilema is that if he is going to embark on recruiting violent cadres who have been rejected and expelled from the PF, he certainly should forget about ever becoming president of Zambia. Some of the UPND officials are known for violence and terrorized citizens when they were in power,” Mr Bwalya said.