Saturday, April 12, 2014

Greed will cost opposition in 2016 - Mucheleka
By Abel Mboozi
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

GREED and egoism of opposition leaders in Zambia will cost them in the 2016 general elections, says Patrick Mucheleka. Mucheleka, who is Lubansenshi independent member of parliament, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that time had come, especially for opposition leaders, to embrace unity of purpose.

"You see, PF today appears to be having a field day and indeed they are likely to continue having a field day on the basis of how it perceives the opposition. Practically, the opposition is in disarray, it's so fragmented," he said.

Mucheleka said times had changed and opposition leaders should not mislead themselves that they could win elections single-handedly like the PF did in 2011.

"If there is anyone thinking like that, either MMD or UPND, they have gotten it wrong. It's not possible. They must not think and believe that they can win on their own; it's impossible. The only way out is to put aside individual interests, greediness among party presidents," he said.

"See where we are as a country, we seem to be having no hope whatsoever. There are a lot of issues; there are a lot of questions we should be asking ourselves; this is the time we must come together and ask ourselves genuine questions."

Mucheleka said Zambia had the challenge of the constitution, and now was the time when the opposition and all stakeholders should come together to address such a problem.

"We have a challenge of the constitution; that in itself is good reason for us to work together as Zambians and say 'Look, we are putting aside our differences, we're coming together to defend our country'," he said.

Mucheleka said people should realise that there could only be one President at a time.

"We can't all be Presidents. So my challenge to opposition political parties, particularly party presidents, is that please, for the sake of this country, can we unite. This country requires another liberation; and the moment to do that is now," he said.

"Let us give formidable opposition to the PF; for the PF to govern properly and to be sensitive to the needs of the people, they require strong opposition. They seem to be having a field day because political parties in the opposition are in disarray."

Mucheleka said it was sad that there was no strong opposition in Zambia at the moment.

"...opposition can only be strong when you are united, you put aside your individual self-interests. So let us forget about this issue of a particular political party being strong in a certain region, a political party being headed by a president from a particular region. We are Zambians, we only have one country and we must not be seeing ourselves through the spectrum of tribe, ethnicity; we must only be seeing ourselves through the spectrum of being Zambians," he said.

Mucheleka said there was no political party which could win on the basis of being supported by one or a few tribes in Zambia at the moment.

He expressed sadness that some of the opposition leaders had become comfortable with being in the opposition.

"When you are in the opposition, you must start looking at yourselves as alternative governments but to do that, you should be able to have certain characteristics," he said.

"One such is to have a national appeal; another is to be able to unite; to be able to put your houses in order by reorganising their structures ahead of the 2016 general elections."

Mucheleka said the opposition needed to have trust and confidence of the Zambians, a feat that takes time.

"So you are not going to confine yourselves in one location and think that a miracle will happen and suddenly take over power from the PF, no, it doesn't work like that," said Mucheleka

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