THERE has never been any differences between UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and his vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba over the issue of running mate and no amount of propaganda will make the former Defence minister abandon the party that is preparing to form the next government, Edward Mumbi has said.
Mr Mumbi who is UPND presidential spokesperson said Mr Hichilema has continued to enjoy the best relationship with Mr Mwamba and vice-president for political affairs Canisius Banda and other leaders in the UPND and that assertions that the party was at the verge of a split were as baseless as they were unfounded.
Reacting to a Daily Nation report that Mr Mwamba had threated to leave the UPND if he was not going to be named as the running mate to Mr Hichilema in the coming general elections, Mr Mumbi said the opposition political party was as united and solid as ever and was ready to win the election peacefully. Mr Mumba said the enemies of the UPND had always been looking for Mr Mwamba and Mr Hichilema to differ but were disappointed that the two leaders had remained the best of friends despite innuendoes of differences between them.
He said the UPND understood the anxiety in other political parties participating in the coming elections and was not surprised that stories were being concocted meant to cause confusion in the party.
“It is important for those who embark on political speculation that does not have any influence on the outcome of the election results to attempt to be factual. We also hold the media in Zambia in high esteem and it is our expectation that they should verify their facts before publishing them.
‘‘Let it be made clear that Mr Hichilema is under no pressure from Mr Mwamba and the two leaders are always together in their political campaigns. We know that there are people who would want to weaken the UPND by imagining differences but this will not happen and we are going to win the coming elections peacefully as a united party,” Mr Mumbi said.
Mr Mumbi has challenged those peddling rumours that Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba had differed to provide evidence instead of imagining things which were not there.