Sunday, July 27, 2014

UPND converting MMD structures - Mulusa
By Kombe Chimpinde
Tue 21 Jan. 2014, 14:00 CAT

THE UPND has now gone flat out to convert MMD structures to itself, says losing Mufumbwe member of parliament Stafford Mulusa.

And Stafford says former Solwezi Central MMD member of parliament Lucky Mulusa should show gratitude to him because he (Stafford) gave up an opportunity to contest the seat in 2011 so that Lucky could be adopted as he had just lost employment.

Lucky revealed that UPND had been blackmailing him into re-contesting the seat on its ticket.

Lucky, who said the UPND had put a gun to his head, said he was shocked that the opposition party had taken advantage of problems in MMD to poach its members, including Stafford, whom it has adopted for the Solwezi Central by-elections after he refused to defect from MMD.

But Stafford, who also contested the Mufumbwe by-election but lost to PF's Steven Masumba in November 2012, said he was the favourite to win the Solwezi Central seat in 2011 but was convinced by party officials to give Lucky a chance and to help market him as he had been in South Africa for some time.

He said time had come for him to contest the Solwezi Central seat and that he was surprised by Lucky's claim that he would ride on his name.

"I have applied to stand because I gave him (Lucky) chance to stand in 2011. A lot of people came to say, 'no, give your brother chance, he has lost employment' and I gave him chance. Because of my name, he won. As you know, I stay in this constituency. I have never stayed in South Africa for a long time like him. I have been in Solwezi, Solwezi Central in particular," Stafford said.

"I am surprised that Lucky Mulusa is actually speaking like that. I gave him chance in 2011 (in the adoption process). His name was nowhere here. We helped him win the election here."

He said Lucky would not retain the seat and that victory in the by-elections was certain for him going by his performance in Mufumbwe where he lost by a small margin when he stood on the MMD ticket.

"I am surprised that he is saying that I am riding on his name because even now if you as The Post come, they will tell you that 'we know Stafford Mulusa, we don't know this Lucky Mulusa'. I don't think he is going to win even if he is standing on a finished party, MMD. Also you see the problem with MPs is when you are chosen as an MP, you run away from your people so the link with the people is not there. The people are saying it is even good his (Lucky) election was nullified because they could have suffered. He has never been with the people and so he has found it difficult to come back to say, 'I am now standing'," Stafford said.

And Stafford explained that he moved from MMD because it was sinking.
He said the UPND was now converting the MMD structures to itself.

"People have realised that MMD is sinking. All the structures of MMD here have moved to UPND, those that haven't are waiting for a time when we start campaigning so that we start demolishing them one by one. Otherwise there will be no MMD here. I don't even think a split of votes can be there even if MMD fields Lucky but should they field a candidate, they will be the least or come third runners-up," said Stafford.

"Us we stand with the people. If the people are saying, 'this thing is finished, you move to another place', we move. Immediately we are done with this constituency, we will go round the districts to convert MMD structures to UPND. That is my job and everyone else in UPND, even at provincial level."

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