THE United Party for National Development (UPND) says it is ready to unite and work with any opposition political party including the Rainbow Party because Zambians have for a long time been crying for a formidable and united opposition, Charles Kakoma has said.
Mr Kakoma, who is UPND spokesperson, said the Rainbow was on the political scene to remove the Patriotic Front (PF) from Government and it would be politically wise for the Wynter Kabimba-led political party to join hands with other opposition political parties to defeat the PF in the August general elections.
And UPND vice-president for political affairs Canisius Banda said the Rainbow Party should not demonize Matero Member of Parliament (MP) Miles Sampa and former vice-president Guy Scott for having chosen to endorse the candidature of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in the coming general elections.
Meanwhile, Mr Sampa has said between now until after the general elections, the Democratic Front (deregistered) would continue engaging in talks with opposition political parties for a common agenda of removing the PF and President Edgar Lungu from Government.
Mr Kakoma said the endorsement of Mr Hichilema by Dr Scott and Mr Sampa was not a betrayal of the trust of Zambians because for a long time, citizens had been demanding for a united opposition that would have the ability to dethrone the PF from Government.
He said in an interview yesterday that the Rainbow Party was a breakaway from the PF and that its leaders had decided to leave the ruling party because they did not want to be associated with the failures of the governing party.
“The Rainbow Party is unhappy with the PF and that is why they left the ruling party. They are participating in the country’s political affairs because they want to remove the PF from Government, the same reason other opposition political parties exist for. As the UPND, we are ready to work with any opposition political party including the Rainbow because Zambians have been demanding for a united and strong opposition for a long time,” Mr Kakoma said.
And Dr Banda said it was important for all the opposition political parties to unite so that regime change could be effected in the coming general elections.
Dr Banda said citizens had the constitutional liberty to associate with any political organization of their choice and that the conduct of Dr Scott and Mr Sampa was within the boundaries of the country’s Constitution and should therefore not be blamed for having endorsed the candidature Mr Hichilema.
Dr Banda said the UPND was treating the endorsement of Mr Hichilema by Dr Scott and Mr Sampa with a lot of respect because the two PF members of Parliament had realized the need for unity in the opposition to effect regime change.
He said it was clear that the goals upon which the PF was founded had been abandoned and it would have been hypocritical for Dr Scott and Mr Sampa to continue associating with a political organization that had completely failed citizens.