THE UPND faces a split in Kabwe with supporters of various candidates vying for adoption threatening to ditch the party if their preferred candidates are not adopted.
The development follows a rumour that Kabwe deputy mayor and MMD Luansase ward councillor MacDonald Mwamba, who recently defected to the UPND, has been sidelined in the Kabwe Central adoption process.
Several of his supporters told KNC radio that if UPND adopted someone else other than Mr. Mwamba then they should forget about winning the Kabwe Central seat and that they will support a different party.
They eulogised Mr. Mwamba as a caring leader who had done a lot for them.
“If Mr. Mwamba is left out then UPND must forget about Kabwe Central because we defected along with him. He has done a lot for us people in Luansase ward since his election. It’s like they have tricked us into defection,” said a supporter from Luansase ward.
But Mr. Mwamba appealed for calm among his supporters and asked them to rally behind anyone who the party will adopt.
“Let us remain calm and offer support to whoever the party will adopt. It’s a long process but at the end of the day only one will be adopted,” Mr. Mwamba said.
He defected to UPND recently during a meeting addressed by party leader Hakainde Hichilema at Hindu hall.
But UPND Central province chairman Albert Chifita who confirmed that Mr. Mwamba was facing other challengers said that the process had just opened and there were many applicants.
He said many people had shown interest in being adopted on the party ticket and expected more after the dissolution of Parliament.
Mr Chifita said so far six applications had been received for Kabwe Central while Bwacha had two applicants.
He named some of the Kabwe Central contestants as a Mr. Fisonga, a Mr. Mwiinga and district chairman Mr. Khondowe as having expressed interest but did not name the applicants for Bwacha.
However some party sources who sought anonymity said that former PF Bwacha constituency chairman Saidi Chibwana, who is front runner for the seat, may face a challenge from former first lady Dr. Maureen Mwanawasa.
Mr. Chibwana has been instrumental in mobilising the party in the area and defectors from both the PF and UPND.
Mr. Chibwana who was also once deputy mayor for Kabwe could not be reached for comment as his phone went unanswered.