THE challenges which the United Party for National Development (UPND) is currently going through including the bickering between the vice-president for administration Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and vice-president for politics Dr Canisius Banda can only be resolved by going for a national convention, Former Home Affairs Minister Lameck Mangani has charged.
And Mr Mangani has told the Daily Nation that the fight between Mr Mwamba and Dr Banda was expected following the August 11, 2016 political tsunami.
Mr Mangani said the UPND should also consider revisiting their own programmes as a political party and ascertain where they could have gone wrong during the August 11, 2016 general election campaigns.
Mr Mangani said the UPND should go back to the drawing board rather than “crying over spilt milk” by going to all the courts.
“They should consider going to a convention. They should also reflect on the newcomers that they hurriedly brought into their party.
What contribution did they make on this election?
“My brother Nevers Mumba came to UPND immediately after being disappointed because of failure to run his own political party which was MMD but hurriedly joined the UPND and become a focal point, what effect did he have?” he asked.
Mr Mangani said even the people who left PF because they were not happy in one way or the other with President Lungu could have contributed to their loss.
He said some of the people who joined the UPND left the PF because they were against the leadership of President Lungu.
“These were some of the issues that the UPND needed to reflect on and see how they can reposition in order to move towards 2021. “They should never think 2021 is too far because in politics it is never too far. What is important is for them to see where they were having serious challenges and work on them. It takes time to work on the mistakes which politicians make,” he said.
Meanwhile, UPND Lusaka province women chairperson Rose Zulu has challenged Dr Banda to come out in the open and tells the nation whether he was still a UPND member or he was under pressure to join the Patriotic Front.
In a statement issued yesterday Ms Zulu said there was no way the general UPND membership could be subjected to stories of their vice-president holding dark corner meetings with Patriotic Front officials and secretly visiting statehouse.
“He is our vice-president for politics for God’s sake and not an ordinary member. Let him come out in the open and address us.
“If he cannot make a decision, then we advise him to go on a break and look at which way to go unlike the current situation where most members look at him with suspicion,” Ms Zulu said.
She said Dr Banda was an intellectual who seemingly got entangled in issues of defections.
Ms Zulu said defections were common and most acceptable among young cadres.
“However, we are aware that PF are short of credible leaders, hence hunting down our vice-president so that he takes up a professional and technical role,” Ms Zulu said.
She said the UPND was a democratic party with ideals, adding that if one felt he no longer believed in the ideals, he or she was free to leave.
Ms Zulu said Zambia needed UPND because this was the only party whose leadership had a vision and technical knowhow of fixing the economy and making life better for all.
“President Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate have demonstrated in their private lives that they can make life better for all.
“All we want as women in the party is to stop all speculations about our vice-president moving to the PF by him addressing us or the nation on his position and that should be done now,” Mr Zulu said.