By Nation Reporter
IRATE UPND members of Katuba Constituency yesterday stormed president Hakainde Hichilema’s New Kasama residence over alleged adoption of unpopular parliamentary candidate and vowed to campaign against such candidates.
Some of the people spoken to near the residence of Mr Hichilema said that they went to seek audience with him but were told to go to the party secretariat where they would be addressed by party senior officials.At the secretariat, former Choma Member of Parliament Cornelius Mweetwa who is UPND deputy party spokesperson failed to calm the protestors down.
The protesting officials expressed displeasure with the alleged adoption of Patricia Mwashingwele, claiming that she was not a viable candidate and would not win the seat because she did not have the support of people on the ground. The protesting UPND members refused to be addressed by the party’s chairman for elections, Ackson Sejani, when word went round that he was tasked by the party to speak to them.
They instead accused Mr Sejani of being the architect of the confusion in the party’s adoption process.
They said Mr Sejani should leave the party if he had failed to organise the adoptions.
“We came here as early as 04.00 hours but no one is here to address us apart from Mr Mweetwa and we are told Mr Sejani will come but we don’t want; he is the cause of all this confusion. Only Mr Hichilema can address us. If the party is used to being in the opposition they should tell us so that we concentrate our efforts on our personal challenges other than adopt candidates who will not win votes,” he said.
Leader of the group from Katuba, who declined to give his name for fear of victimisation, alleged that Mrs Mwashingwele would be ‘‘easy meat’’ for former parliamentarian Jonas Shakafuswa, the Patriotic Front candidate.
And in Kaoma hundreds of UPND supporters yesterday stormed their party’s constituency office in Mangango after word went round that it had adopted former defence deputy minister Akakandelwa Mwedoi who they strongly feel is unpopular.
UPND Mangango constituency chairperson Michael Mutobo said that party members in the area were upset because they had made a decision during the primary elections to adopt Mr Godwin Putu as their parliamentary candidate and wondered why their feelings had been ignored.
The cadres accused the party’s National Management Committee (NMC) of not respecting the people’s will by adopting a candidate who was one of the tail-enders during the party’s primary elections.
Mr Mutobo said constituency officials in the locality also made recommendations that Mr Putu be adopted as candidate on the UPND ticket and were therefore dismayed that their endorsement had been made to appear irrelevant by the NMC’s decision to adopt Mr Mwendoi.
He claimed that UPND structures in Mangango constituency were quickly being dismantled due to the alleged adoption of Mr Mwendoi, the former Mangango Member of Parliament.