ALL the MMD members of Parliament (MPs) who endorsed and campaigned for president Hakainde Hichilema in the 2015 presidential election have resigned from the MMD to officially join the United Party for National Development (UPND).
But PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri has described the MPs as desperate people whose endorsement of Mr Hichilema was not going to make the UPND form government because Zambians had already made up their mind to give President Lungu a fresh mandate to continue governing the country.
Meanwhile, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has condemned the violence that characterized the Youth Day celebrations and has appealed to President Lungu to immediately end the vice because as Head of State, he had all the power to decree the end of political violence.
The MMD MPs who officially joined the opposition party included Brian Chituwo of Mumbwa Central, Levy Ngoma of Sinda, Situmbeko Musokotwane of Liuwa, Christopher Kalila of Lukulu East, Sara Saifwanda of Zambezi East, Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa from Nalikwanda, Elijah Muchima of Ikele’ngi and Kabinga Pande of Kasempa.
Others were Ndalamei Mundia of Sikongo and Keith Mukata of Chilanga.
Mr Mukata who was until yesterday serving as deputy Minister in the ministry of Justice, said he had decided to join the UPND because he believed that Mr Hichilema was the only leader with the abilities to change the economic course of the country.
Speaking on behalf of the MMD MPs who joined the UPND yesterday, Sinda MP Levy Ngoma claimed that there were many MPs from the opposition and the ruling party who would soon be joining the UPND because they had allegedly failed to fit in the ruling party.
“As the MMD MPs, we have decided to endorse the candidature of Mr Hichilema because we believe he is the only leader who can deal with the economic challenges the country was facing.
Mr Hichilema is the only hope and Zambians have the test of the time and if Mr Hichilema is going to lose this election, Zambians will have themselves to blame,” Mr Ngoma said.
But Mrs Phiri laughed at the MMD MPs and mocked them as a bunch of individuals who did not know what they were looking for in politics.
Mrs Phiri said this was not the first time the MMD MPs were endorsing Mr Hichilema and recalled that in the January 2015 president election, the same Parliamentarians endorsed and campaigned for Mr Hichilema but the PF and President Lungu emerged victorious.
She said the support the UPND was getting from the MMD MPs would not change the results of the August general elections and that President Lungu was now in-charge and Zambians had a lot of confidence in the Head of State.
“We knew they were going to endorse Mr Hichilema again and it is not new. They endorsed Mr Hichilema in the January 2015 president election and their leader lost. Mr Hichilema is going to lose again with their support because Zambians have their confidence in President Lungu and they will give him a new and fresh mandate to continue governing,” Mrs Phiri said.
Meanwhile, Mr Hichilema has called for peace ahead of the August general elections and has appealed to President Lungu to ensure that the law took its course on all perpetrators of violence irrespective of their political affiliation.
Mr Hichilema said he was angry that political violence had continued between the UPND and the PF, stating that the vice should never have space in Zambia’s political arena.
He said President Lungu could easily stop the violence by declaring that whoever was going to engage in the vice should face the wrath of the law irrespective of political affiliation.