Opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said he was shocked with Post Newspaper insinuations that he had declined an alliance with other opposition political parties.
And in an interview later, Mr. Hichilema said he will embark on a vigorous campaign and meeting people in the various communities and appreciate their problems than hiding behind the computer key board in addressing the nation.
Addressing the press this morning at the party secretariat when he welcomed defectors from the ruling PF and other political parties, Mr. Hichilema said at no time had he been called for an opposition political parties meeting.
He said he just arrived in the country from outside Zambia last night and was surprised with the Post Newspaper screaming headline that he had shunned opposition political party meetings.
“Records are there at the airport that I had been out of the country this whole week. I wish to warn other opposition political parties never to be used by the Fred Mmembe and the Post newspaper. Mmembe cannot be the champion of an opposition alliance because he belongs to PF and would like them to remain in power,” Mr. Hichilema said.
He observed that what was actually being championed by the Post newspaper and the PF was to cause confusion and hatred among opposition political parties so as do divert attention from the real issues of constitution making process.
“I have asked all my senior party officials as to the invitation and they have all said they are not aware except for media reports in the Post newspaper. You think Mmembe would be the best person to champion an opposition alliance when he wants PF to remain in power?,” he asked.
Mr. Hichilema told the media briefing which was also attended by former president Rupiah Banda’s son Andrew Banda that the whole debate about opposition alliance, while relevant, was for now merely aimed at diverting people’s attention from the PF’s failed constitution making process and a mess economic.
He pleaded with fellow opposition leaders never to be used by the PF through the Post newspaper propaganda machinery and that meaningful alliances could not be formed in the newspapers but behind closed doors.
“Today the quote Mike Mulongoti insulting me, yesterday it was Edith Nawakwi insulting Mulongoti, then Frank Bwalya is also quoted calling other opposition leaders names and you think Mmembe means well in having an opposition alliance?” We know each other in the opposition. We visit each other’s homes and the Post should not confuse us and the masses by diverting attention from the PF constitution failures,” he said.
And Mr. Hichilema said social media was a powerful too in communication that should not be disturbed but encouraged for the benefit of the country.
The UPND leaders said the PF should deliver the people driven constitution adding that whoever leaked the document was actually a good samaritan for the Zambian people.
He accused those against social media of having wanted to monopolise the flow of information.
But Mr. Hichilema said while he appreciated the importance of social media and other forms of media, he would not hide away from the people but will continue interacting with them at various levels.
“I will never hide behind the computer key board like other people have done. I do have regular meetings in the communities where I appreciate people’s problems first hand. I will soon embark on another nationwide tour to assess problems being faced by our farmers and other vulnerable groups as well as strengthen our party structures,” Mr. Hichilema said in apparent reference to president Michael Sata who has resorted to addressing the nation through the Facebook page being run by George Chellar.
Among those who joined the UPND are Forum for Democratic Alternatives (FDA) General Secretary Mr. Kevin Mayondi after abandoning Dr Ludwig Sondashi’s party and declared UPND and Mr Hakainde Hichilema as the only vehicle to develop Zambia as PF has taken Zambia back to colonial times and the citizenary grappling with acute poverty amidist endowment of resources.
Mr Mayondi officially welcomed by UPND National Chairperson Ms. Mutale Nalumango who encouraged all Zambians to join the opposition party regardless of where they come from and where they worship or who they worship.
Ms. Nalumango further challenged fellow women to come forward and support UPND a party that has an agenda to empower women to have sustainable socio -economic power.