…but Edward Mumbi says PF and Kambwili are troubled
Southern Province members of the UPND who are in formal employment including civil servants and policemen are contributing K150 to the opposition party for operations and campaigns for the elections of Hakainde Hichilema as president in next Thursday’s general elections, Chief Government Spokesman Chishimba Kambwili has charged.
But UPND presidential spokesperson Edward Mumbi has rubbished the claims describing them as a futile attempt to characterise the opposition party as a regional political organisation.
Dr. Kambwili claimed that the UPND has been levying its supporters who were employees in formal and informal sectors K150 in Southern Province and some other parts of the country and that the money was solely being administered by their President.
Dr Kambwili, who is Patriotic Front (PF) Roan parliamentary candidate, said the ruling party was aware that the UPND had appointed agents in all the districts in Southern Province who were collecting the K150 from its supporters and sympathisers who were either in formal or informal employment.
Mr Kambwili also disclosed that the UPND had appointed a University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer and another at Chainama College of Health Sciences as agents who had been collecting the K150 from employees in Lusaka Province.
“We have been accusing the UPND of being regional and we have just discovered that, in fact, the UPND has been pushing politics of regionalism for some time now. The UPND has been collecting K150 from its supporters in Southern Province and some other selected parts of the country. The money is being taken directly to UPND president Hakainde Hichilema for party operations. This is the worst form of regionalism and it has never happened in the history of the country,” Mr Kambwili said.
But Mr Mumbi, the UPND spokesperson said the UPND was not collecting any money from its Southern Province supporters and that Mr Kambwili was being petty to continue playing a tribal song against the opposition because Zambians were no longer interested in petty politics.
Mr Mumbi said it was irresponsible for Mr Kambwili to insinuate that the UPND was only getting support from Southern Province because the opposition party was national and had accommodated all tribes in Zambia. He said while Mr Hichilema was from Southern Province, his spokesperson as well as his running mate were Bemba from Northern Province while the vice-president for political affairs was from Eastern Province.
“The PF is more troubled than any other political party in the history of Zambia and it is not surprising that Mr Kambwili whose chances of retaining the Roan seat have dashed is inventing baseless assertions. The UPND is a decent party and is not collecting money from any of its supporters in Southern Province or any other region. We are in all the ten Provinces and if the members want to contribute to the operations of the party in each region that should not be characterised as being tribal” Mr Mumbi said. Mr Mumbi said had the UPND been tribal, Mr Hichilema would have chosen a Tonga to be his spokesperson but had settled on a Bemba because the opposition party was representative of all regions.