By Nation Reporter
THE departure of senior party officials that were at the core and strength of the United Party for National Development (UPND) is an indication that the party is crumbling and will have weakened by 2021, Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davies Mwila has said.
Commenting on the number of high-profile individuals who have ditched the UPND after its loss in the August 11 general elections, Mr. Mwila said there was no way the opposition political party would come out of the election quagmire stronger because politics was a game of numbers.
He said the people that left the party were senior members who contributed immensely to the strength of the party and that their departure was an indication that members within the UPND were dissatisfied with the leadership of the party.
He said going into the 2021 general election, the UPND would be depleted and weaker force because more people were yet to leave the party as there was no hope for the party winning the elections adding that some UPND members had already started applying to join the PF.
“A party cannot be said to be strong when senior members are leaving it because politics is about numbers and when party members are leaving, then the strength of the party is compromised and that is what is happening with the UPND. Senior party members are leaving because they have realised that the party leadership has nothing to offer them and that is making the party to grow weaker every day.
“By 2021, the party will be weaker because it will continue losing its members. Right now we have a number of UPND members who are already applying to join the PF and so, since politics is a game of numbers, we will continue growing bigger and stronger as we head to the elections in 2021 while the UPND will continue getting weaker and weaker,” Mr. Mwila said.
On Tuesday, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s spokesperson Edward Mumbi resigned and became the second senior member after former deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo re-joined the ruling few days after the UPND’s defeat to the PF in the elections.
Mr. Mumbi’s resignation comes at the backdrop of the suspension of party vice president for politics Canisius Banda for gross misconduct.
In a letter dated 22 September, 2016, Mr Hichilema explained that in addition to other negative activities, Dr Banda has issued several inflammatory, derogatory and defamatory statements against other senior members of the Party.
Dr Banda has been a subject of “impending defection” to the PF within the party ranks, an issue he has categorically rejected, saying he would have joined the PF a long time ago if he wanted and that he had remained loyal to the UPND out of principle.