Saturday, January 05, 2013

UPND MP resigns, says HH will never be President

UPND MP resigns, says HH will never be President
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Sat 05 Jan. 2013, 14:40 CAT

HAKAINDE Hichilema will never get into State House as long as people surrounding him don't tell him the truth that Zambians view the UPND as being tribal, says Rev Howard Sikwela.

In an interview yesterday after he resigned as Livingstone UPND member of parliament, Rev Sikwela said UPND was tribal. He said Hichilema was filled with a sense of egoism generated from lies about his popularity told to him by his inner circle.

"My experience with the UPND has been so good and my feelings about the party and its leader HH are that they will never get anywhere near State House. HH will never be anywhere near State House as long as people surrounding him don't tell him what is on the ground," he said.

Hichilema said there was a tendency, in the UPND, of members surrounding Hichilema peddling lies and not telling him the real feelings of Zambians and what must be done.

And speaking earlier during a press briefing at Armadillo Oriento Restaurant, Rev Sikwela apologised to the nation and Livingstone residents for taking such a costly decision but that he smelt a rat ahead of the PF parliamentary petition which was due in the Livingstone High Court as UPND was not prepared to provide him legal representation.

He said he could not afford to meet the financial cost and the party leadership was not willing to help him.

"One would conclude that The Post edition of October 4, 2012 under the heading 'UPND queries Sikwela's stance' was correct. In this article the UPND is said not to be interested in providing legal assistance to me.

From the time my election results were petitioned in 2012, nothing much has been done to prepare for the same. What is prevailing as of now is that the party is preparing for a victory cerebration in Livingstone. One would like to ask what the logic of these celebrations is when the election results are being challenged in the courts of law. One smells a rat concerning these celebrations," he said.

Rev Sikwela said while political parties, just like churches, had their own strongholds, the 'ncicesu' It's ours syndrome was impacting negatively on the UPND.

Rev Sikwela said the other reason for his resignation was the UPND's hostility towards the PF government, which he described as baffling.

"My pronouncement in September 2012 was that I was ready to work with the government of the day for development in Livingstone, and this pronouncement provoked all sorts of insults, animosity and threats towards me by some members of the UPND. It is this attitude and spirit that I have failed to drink of," he said.

Rev Sikwela said Livingstone had more challenges than what could be seen and needed a parliamentary representative who would collaborate with the government so as to generate the required resources for development.

"I have refused to be an MP who is like clouds without rain. An MP must think, talk and dream development, but as of me, I have become irrelevant because whatever steps I take are met with a lot of resistance and suspicion," he said.

Asked by The Post what his political future was like, Rev Sikwela said he wanted to resign without any political or party affiliation so as to make decisions clearer and would also await people's guidance.

"It is the people who will guide me. I will listen to the cries of the people. As of now, I put myself as an open cheque," said Rev Sikwela.

And UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa accused Rev Sikwela of resigning due to a lot of pressure arising from his adulterous court case and his interest in politics of the belly.

"Sikwela has insulted and slapped the people of Livingstone in the face by resigning as their representative. We as a party are aware that Sikwela was under a lot of pressure arising from his adultery case because he claims the lawyer who defended him in that case was PF and that there was need to follow the demands of the PF. So he is good riddance because we can't have an MP who can't respect the people. We are ready to reclaim the seat," said Mweetwa.

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