Friday, July 18, 2008

Masheke accuses Tilyenji executive of contributing to UNIP's downfall

Masheke accuses Tilyenji executive of contributing to UNIP's downfall
By Allan Mulenga
Friday July 18, 2008 [04:00]

FORMER UNIP vice president General Malimba Masheke has said old party members cannot sit by and watch UNIP go to the grave under Tilyenji Kaunda. But Tilyenji refused to comment, saying he did not want to talk about the issue anymore. Commenting on Tilyenji’s earlier statement that he would not step down despite calls from some of his party members to do so, Gen Masheke said UNIP was a democratic party and members would not accept any kind of tinpot dictatorship from any quarter.

“UNIP has a constitution which all along it has kept from 1964. According to the constitution, elections are supposed to be held every five years which is not the case with the current leadership,” he said.

Gen Masheke said under the leadership of Tilyenji, the party had been performing badly whenever there was a by-election.

“We as old UNIP members cannot sit back and watch the party go to the grave. It is clear that the Tilyenji-led executive has failed to deliver,” he said.

Gen Masheke, who is also the newly formed UNIP national revival forum chairperson, accused the current UNIP executive of having contributed to the downfall of the party.

He said UNIP had crumbled because Tilyenji had no leadership qualities, saying he was leading the party as if he was herding cattle.

“Tilyenji has been intimidating all members of the party. He used to threaten all members who talked about his administration of the party with suspensions and expulsions,” he said.

“As senior members of the party, we noticed that there were a lot of anomalies in the leadership of the party, hence the need for us to come together and revive the party.”

And UNIP member Dr Kamoyo Mwale said the current UNIP executive had no blessing of the party and therefore was clinging on to power illegally.

Dr Mwale said the executive members were worried that if they were voted out of the offices, they would be held accountable for the party assets that were allegedly missing.

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