HAKAINDE Hichilema is scared of going for a party convention because he knows that former vice-president for politics Dr Canisius Banda or somebody else can scoop the presidency having failed to win the general elections five times, UPND Lusaka district trustee member Ntheye Mpundu Mwewa has said.
And Mr Mwewa has charged that it was high time the party went to the convention and choose a new leader to show the people of Zambia that they believed in democracy and that they were willing to practice its tenets for the good of the country.
In a statement issued to the Daily Nation, Mr Mwewa said the decision to suspend former vice-president for politics Dr. Banda and to subsequently call for his expulsion before he exculpated himself was entirely an act of betrayal exhibited by the UPND president Mr Hichilema.
Mr Mwewa said the reasons given by Mr Hichilema with regard to Dr. Banda’s suspension were simply a disguise to hound him out from the party.
He wondered what was wrong with someone defending the image of the party, stating that the convention was something that was a preview of the National Management Committee (NMC).
Mr Mwewa also insisted that the vice-president for administration Mr. Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba was wrong to have said no convention for UPND because that was the mandate of the NMC to issue such a statement.
“This mannerism is extremely unacceptable where certain individuals want to run the party like a company.
“The problem with Hakainde Hichilema is that he is running UPND like the way he ran Lybrand and Coopers as CEO,” he said.
Mr Mwewa said the ugly face of tribalism had resurfaced which was justified by the statements issued by leaders from the youth and women’s wing of Lusaka Province.
He said both Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba’s fears was that once they go to the convention Dr. Banda would scoop the Presidency.
“It had entirely nothing to do with Dr. Banda having frequented State House, that can never be substantiated because they were simply malicious, mendacious and disparaging accusations to get rid of him because his is the only person who had the potential to succeed Hichilema and that he did not hail from Southern Province.
“Look at the people who were appointed as chief whip and leader of opposition in Parliament. You know their names,” Mr Mwewa said.
He wondered why the party did not appoint MPs from Central, Copperbelt rural, Western and North-Western provinces as chief whip and leader of opposition bearing in mind that the individuals appointed were already holding positions in the NMC?
“They are simply sending a message that UPND is for Tongas and that they are not a united party which embraces every one regardless of their ethnic affiliation but a united Tonga for national development,” he said.