TIME has come for the UPND to reorganise itself and go for a convention to elect a new leadership if the opposition party is to remain relevant to the country’s democratic dispensation or risk becoming extinct under the same old and rejected leadership, Greyford Monde has charged.
Mr Monde, who is former Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, said the UPND has had no convention since Mr Hichilema assumed the presidency of the party and that it was democratically wrong for the UPND leader to continue recycling himself.
He said in the last ten years Mr Hichilema had been president of the UPND, he (Hichilema) had lost five presidential bids and that there was urgent need to change the leadership if the opposition party was to remain relevant.
Mr Monde said the UPND under Mr Hichilema had continued to be rejected by Zambians because it had failed to come up with a manifesto which could be used to convince the electorate to vote for the party.
He said the last time the UPND had a manifesto was during the time of Anderson Mazoka whom he said had been accepted across the country unlike Mr Hichilema whose dominance had remained largely in selected regions of the country.
Mr Monde said in the last five years, the PF had managed to win three elections in 2011, 2015 and 2016 because its messages were resonating well with the masses while the UPND under Mr Hichilema had continued to be rejected.
He stated that Mr Hichilema had been losing the presidency from 2006 way up to 2016 and that it was unfair for the UPND membership to continue going to the elections with the leader who had been rejected.
“There is no presidential candidate who has ever lost the presidency as many times as Mr Hichilema in Zambia. Mr Hichilema has lost the presidency five times in the ten years he has been UPND president and on average, he has been losing the presidency in every two years. On the other hand, the PF has won three elections in five years starting from 2011, 2015 and 2016. Time has come for the UPND to call for a convention and elect a new crop of leaders because under Mr Hichilema, it has become clear that the UPND will never form government,” Mr Monde said.
Mr Monde stated that it was folly on the part of the UPND membership to think that the party would be able to grow to take up the governance of the country with the same old leadership that had been rejected.
Mr Monde said having been a member of the UPND, he knew that there was poor leadership and bad management of the party by Mr Hichilema.