THE UPND has just realised that it is no longer popular in what it believed was its stronghold and is now resorting to violence and thuggery to get into State House, Edith Nawakwi has charged.
Ms Nawakwi, the FDD president, claimed the UPND was an ‘‘extremely violent political party’’ and it was shocking that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had not moved in to disqualify Moono Lubezhi who has been arrested for allegedly attacking Charity Kabangamono, the FDD Namwala constituency parliamentary candidate.
And Ms Nawakwi said she was also shocked that the women movement in Zambia had failed to speak out on the thuggery being exhibited by the UPND and that she did not understand why the civil society had not condemned the barbaric assault of Mrs Kabangamono.
Ms Nawakwi said while Mrs Kabangamono was nursing her wounds in hospital, the alleged assailant, Lubezhi, was free and conducting her campaigns in Namwala after allegedly attempting to kill her opponent.
She said in an interview that she had given the ECZ all the evidence of how Mrs Kabangamono was savagely attacked, brutalised and left for dead with a broken arm but the UPND
candidate had been allowed to continue with her campaigns.
Ms Nawakwi said it was disappointing that the ECZ had taken a non-committal position on the violence that was being perpetrated by the UPND.
She said the UPND in its desire to impose its presence in Southern Province had been engaging in barbaric acts and that a few days ago, the FDD parliamentary candidate in Mapatizya was also attacked while campaigning.
“The injury that has been caused on the FDD as a party by attacking our candidates by the UPND is extremely serious and we had expected the ECZ to have taken action by now. But the ECZ has taken a non-committal stance on the criminal and barbaric acts of the UPND.
‘‘We have provided evidence of what happened but the assailant has been allowed to continue with her campaigns. The ECZ should tell us what they want because Lubezhi should have been disqualified by now for her behaviour,” Ms Nawakwi said.
She said Ms Lubezhi had not been to Namwala for the last two years and that the people in the area were no longer interested in voting for her because she had failed to serve the people.
Ms Nawakwi said a lot of UPND supporters were calling her to sympathise with her but that she was surprised by the silence from the top leadership of the opposition party. She said UPND president Hakainde Hichilema had not called to apologise for the barbaric acts of his parliamentary candidates and the general violent conduct being perpetrated by his political party.
“The UPND does not want to accept that it is the most violent political organisation and they are living in denial. There is a cancer of violence in the UPND that must be plucked out or this country can easily be thrown into chaos,” Ms Nawakwi said.