Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sata, HH must resolve Pact presidency – Kabanda

Sata, HH must resolve Pact presidency – Kabanda
By George Chellah
Thu 15 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

PF and UPND leaders (above) are yet to announce the Pact president

CITIZENS Forum executive director Simon Kabanda yesterday said PF leader Michael Sata and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema must resolve the Pact presidency now.

Commenting on the confusion in the Pact, Kabanda described the recent developments as regrettable. He said PF and UPND should be able to identify the differences between them and see how they could harmonise them.

“It is a big task that they have. As we are going towards the 2011 elections, up to now it’s not clear who is going to be the presidential candidate. We think that’s a puzzle the Pact must solve now. Sata and HH must solve this now,” Kabanda said.

“One of them should humble himself and be able to say ‘I am ready to work under my friend.’ If for example, Mr Sata says ‘I will work under HH, I will given him support’, that will work. And if HH says ‘I am ready to work under Mr Sata, that he has more experience than me, and I want to learn from him’, then the Pact will work,” Kabanda said.

“What we have observed is that none of them is willing to be humble and say ‘I am ready to serve under my friend’. That’s a big problem. They should not rely on waiting for the last hour in trying to solve that.

“If, for example, they say 'we are going to go for an election', whoever is going to lose in that election between the two of them will say ‘I am going out with my people’, and that will be the end of the Pact. The election is not the way to go.”

Kabanda said similar difficulties were faced by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which comprised UNIP, FDD and UPND.

“I remember on UDA they never agreed on consensus until Anderson Mazoka died. And then HH took over and there were arguments that HH was newer in politics than Nawakwi and Tilyenji. That created a problem until a short period before nominations, that’s when they agreed on HH to be the candidate,” Kabanda said.

“That was too late and that contributed also to the campaigns; they did not campaign much because there was no time. The same will happen to the Pact if they don’t choose a candidate now.”

Kabanda stressed that events in the Pact were regrettable because at the time things were supposed to be consolidating, the Pact was having differences over fielding candidates.

“We have seen similar things happen before. Before the 2001 elections, UNIP and UPND, I think, went into an agreement where they said 'we should not be fielding candidates during the same by-elections',” Kabanda said.

“But there was a time UPND fielded in Southern Province and they won. Then there was another by-election in Northern Province and it was UNIP to field a candidate and they lost. When UNIP lost that was the end of that agreement.

“Why am I saying this? I want to illustrate that when two political parties with different ideologies come together, they are bound to face differences in terms of popularity in certain areas. And also another difference is in the way they handle issues.”

Kabanda warned the PF and UPND that Zambians had a lot of hope in the Pact.
“A word of caution to the Pact is that a lot of people have a lot of hope in the Pact, those saying ‘we need change of government’. If the Pact messes up, they will face the wrath of the people,” Kabanda warned.

“The stakeholders in the Pact are not only the UPND and PF; the electorate are the key stakeholders in the Pact, and they are in the majority. So they should not annoy the majority.”

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