By Nation Reporter
THE opposition UPND is likely to have more problems over the adoption of a running mate if the party continues to keep its membership in the dark over the matter, says the Gallant Youth in Zambia (GYZ) executive director Henry Mulenga.
Mr Mulenga told the Daily Nation yesterday that the reluctance by the party leadership to unveil its presidential running mate was creating unnecessary anxiety among party members.
He said the party’s delay in announcing its running mate may cause confusion and divisions if not well handled, adding that procrastinating the announcement was giving room to already simmering discontent among its followers, many of whom had openly expressed displeasure at the way the party had handled the adoption process for MPs.
He said this year’s election was a litmus test not only for the Zambia, but also intra party democracy where decisive decisions where supposed to be taken at the right time to allay possible revolts from members of the party.
He said UPND was courting trouble for itself if it continued keeping its members guessing over its leaders to participate in this year’s elections as it would have very little time to deal with differences that could arise from the announcement of the running mate.
“Stakes are high in the UPND. Just like in the PF, we have seen several protests over the candidates the party has settled for especially parliamentarians and as if that is not enough, the party hasn’t even tackled the main issue of the running mate which can create a lot of problems if not handled properly,’’ he said.
He said there was need for the party to treat the issue of the running mate with the urgency it deserved as keeping party members in suspense will create more confusion in the party.
Mr. Mulenga has however appealed to political parties participating in this year’s elections to accept the will of the people and the party leadership over the adoptions, saying the trend to defect to other political parties in the event that their preferred candidates were not picked was not the best of options.