UNLESS the UPND is rebranded and its leadership changed, the party will continue losing members through resignations and there is a danger that by 2021, the party will be irrelevant on the country’s political platform, Edwin Lifwekelo has warned.
Mr Lifwekelo said the resignation of Dr Canisius Banda and Edward Mumbi from the UPND was a clear sign that the opposition party needed to undergo rebranding for it to survive until 2021.Mr Lifwekelo, who was UPND deputy spokesperson, was the first to leave the party to rejoin his former party PF, followed by Mr Mumbi and Dr Banda who resigned on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Dr Banda left the UPND after he was suspended for advising Mr Hichilema to consider calling for a national convention.Mr Lifwekelo said UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka should stop demonising and slandering Mr Mumbi and Dr Banda for their decision to resign from the party but should instead focus on whether the opposition party would still be relevant by 2021.
He said the departure of Mr Mumbi and Dr Banda from the UPND was the beginning of the crumbling of the once largest and strongest opposition political party in Zambia.He said it was unwise for Mr Katuka to launch attacks against Mr Mumbi who had made a decent exit from the UPND without being acrimonious or antagonising its leadership.“I warned the UPND and Mr Hichilema to brace themselves for resignations unless there was a change of leadership in the party.
I know that many senior members are not going to stay in the UPND,” Mr Lifwekelo said. On Tuesday, Mr Mumbi relinquished his position as presidential spokesperson and resigned from the UPND but on Wednesday, the party’s secretary general launched a scathing attack against Mr Mumbi declaring that people leaving the opposition party had no social shame.
But Mr Mumbi warned Mr Katuka against demonising him because should that continue, he would be forced to respond and that would not be good for the UPND and its leadership.