SYLVIA Masebo is ‘‘an expired political product whose relevance in Zambia’s politics has diminished below any recognisable levels’’ and that is why she has been hopping from one political party to another, Harry Kalaba has charged.
Mr Kalaba, who is Foreign Affairs minister, said here on the sidelines of President Edgar Lungu’s visit to Saudi Arabia that Ms Masebo had been a ‘‘serial opportunist’’ who had always defected to associate herself with a political party in power.
Mr Kalaba said Ms Masebo’s move to the UPND had not added any value to the opposition party and she would this time be one of the contributing factors to the electoral defeat of Hakainde Hichilema in the August general elections.
He said in an interview that Ms Masebo’s claims that the PF was going to rig the 11th August general elections was a sign that she had realised that the UPND had no chance of winning the elections and was, therefore, inventing reasons to psyche Mr Hichilema’s refusal to accept the people’s wish.
Mr Kalaba advised Ms Masebo to ‘‘grow out of her political immaturity’’ and begin to conduct herself in a sober manner rather than use her emotions to express her political frustrations.
He was reacting to claims by Ms Masebo that the PF was going to rig the coming general elections because, according to her, the ruling party was not in a state where it could manage to win a free, fair and transparent political contest.
“For now, Ms Masebo has failed to read correctly the political times and her UPND will be defeated for the umpteenth time in the coming general elections. Ms Masebo has not added any value to the UPND and Mr Hichilema; and as a matter of fact, she will be one of the reasons the opposition party is going to lose the elections again.
‘‘She has been a serial defector in her political life and her relevance has now diminished beyond any recognisable levels and that is why she is making wild allegations that the elections will be rigged,” Mr Kalaba said.
He challenged Ms Masebo to provide evidence that the PF was going to rig the elections, stating that the ruling party won the 2011 general elections, defeating the MMD when it was not fashionable to unseat a ruling party.
He recalled that President Edgar Lungu won the January, 2015 presidential elections when a combined force of former Vice-President Guy Scott, Ms Masebo, Miles Sampa and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba was against the Head of State.
Mr Kalaba said the UPND had totally lost its ground and complexion after Dr Scott and other disgruntled former PF leaders invaded the opposition political party.
He said Zambia was safer under President Lungu because the Head of State had managed to shepherd the country’s economic direction to a point where Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows had exponentially increased.
He said various sectors of the economy had been galvanised and the general performance and outlook of the country’s economy was giving Zambians hope that given a five-year mandate, President Lungu would be able to make Zambia a politically, economically and socially favourable country.