Monday, July 22, 2013

UPND is weakening opposition - MMD
By Allan Mulenga and Moses Kuwema
Tue 09 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

MMD national secretary Kapembwa Simbao yesterday described as nonsense UPND's continued poaching of his party's senior members. And Simbao says the MMD-UPND alliance will not work as long as the two opposition parties do not respect each other.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, Simbao, who is also MMD Senga Hill member of parliament, accused the UPND of weakening the opposition by poaching senior MMD members.

"As regards other people that are going to UPND, it is sad indeed. It is a pity that UPND does not see that they are actually weakening the opposition. Because this is how the opposition gets weakened. Things might look better for them UPND now, but there is no guarantee that this is the way it will be all the way to the end," he said.

"We would like to preserve ourselves. It is like churches going after other church members, it is nonsensical. There are so many people who are non-believers, and I think that is where we should be going."
Simbao advised the UPND to concentrate on consolidating the opposition, instead of the two opposition parties exchanging members.
"In this case, we as the opposition must target PF members because we believe that PF is not doing the right job and we would like to do the job but we need the numbers. It would be good if we had members from them (PF), not exchanging members between us," he said. "We are not going anywhere. I don't know if this is the plan of UPND, but if that is their plan that is very sad."
And Simbao said UPND's insincerity had made it difficult for the MMD-UPND alliance to materialise.
"Working together can only happen if we respect each other. If we don't respect each other, it is very difficult to work together. The only way we are going to respect each other is for them to recognise us and know that we have a membership that is duly ours. There also we recognise them, as we have always done, and respect their membership and now we can say 'let's work together'," he said.
Simbao accused the UPND of rating themselves highly.
"You know, when you go in a relationship, there shouldn't be somebody else who is junior or inferior to the other one; then that relationship won't last. It is as straightforward as such. So, if we have to work together, we should first of all have to come to terms. Even though they are a smaller party, we should recognise that they are our equal because we want to work together with them," said Simbao.
On Sunday, UPND vice-president for political Dr Canisius Banda denied allegations that his party was poaching MMD members, saying citizens were freely joining the party.
Dr Banda said it was MMD members that were daily knocking on his party's doors.
And MMD vice-president for political Michael Kaingu said it was political incest for the UPND to continue poaching MMD members of parliament whose seats had been nullified.
Meanwhile, Alliance for Better Zambia secretary general Eric Chanda says the UPND is only attracting corrupt and failed politicians.
Chanda advised the UPND not to grow big-headed and think that they would form the next government.
"The time for UPND died with Anderson Mazoka. For 15 years that the UPND has been in opposition, it has not recorded any progress. The UPND has declined and confined itself to Southern Province ever since the death of Mazoka. The UPND can only attract political failures that are corrupt and have failed the Zambian people," Chanda said.
Chanda said UPND was becoming more dangerous to the country because it was embracing corrupt MMD leaders who failed the Zambian people.
He said this should be a signal to the Zambian people that UPND could not offer true sacrificial leadership that the country needed.
"The UPND will only offer cosmetic change and not the real change that we have always wanted as Zambian people. Zambians should not even make a mistake of putting leadership in wrong hands. We need true leadership," he said.
Chanda said if the UPND were sincere, they would not be poaching members from MMD because the former ruling party was not a factor on the political scene.
He said UPND should instead be poaching PF members.
"We opposition political parties are not fighting the MMD. We are working towards getting power from the PF as the opposition. If the UPND attracted members from the PF, then we can say they are going somewhere. There is no need to fight MMD because MMD is the next UNIP because they are finishing slowly the same way UNIP did," Chanda said.
And Chanda said ABZ had no problem with President Michael Sata but were only concerned about who would take over from him.

"Zambians should look around on the political scene and there is only one leader who has emerged Frank Bwalya. The UPND can never form government. MMD cannot bounce back into government. These are facts which every analytical leader can see," said Chanda.

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