By KANYANTA KATONGO (Daily Mail)
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Namwala member of Parliament Robby Chizyuka says logically, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata should be the presidential candidate for the alliance of the two parties in the 2011 elections.
Major Chizyuka said, however, that while Mr Sata is reportedly saying that he will be the candidate for the alliance, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema is allegedly telling the electorate in some parts of the country that he (Hichilema) will be the candidate.
He was clarifying a story in yesterday’s Sunday Mail edition in which he was quoted as having said Mr Sata does not qualify to be PF-UPND pact presidential candidate because people in the UPND stronghold of Southern Province do not recognise him as their representative.
He said democracy is about numbers and between Mr Sata and Mr Hichilema, the PF leader has the figures in his favour.
Maj Chizyuka said the PF has more MPs and more provincial strongholds than the UPND and that Mr Sata got more votes than Mr Hichilema in the 2006 and 2008 presidential elections.
Maj Chizyuka noted that in the 2008 presidential elections, for instance, Mr Sata got more than 700,000 votes while Mr Hichilema had less than half that number.
He said there is, therefore, no basis on which Mr Hichilema can be the pact’s candidate.
Maj Chizyuka said despite these facts, Mr Hichilema continues to cheat people in Southern Province that he will be the pact’s presidential candidate in the 2011 elections.
“I was in Chief Chikanta’s area five days ago. People there think that HH (Hichilema) is the president of the pact. Recently, I was in Mumbwa and Nambala in Chief Moono’s area and people there are telling me that as far as they know, Hichilema is going to be the president of the pact,” Maj Chizyuka said.
He said Mr Hichilema does not have enough support on the ground and can, therefore, never be the president of the pact.
“He will never be president of the pact and because he will never be president of the pact, he will never be president of the Republic of Zambia,” Maj Chizyuka said.
A week ago, Maj Chizyuka said it is a pipe dream to think that Mr Hichilema will be the pact’s presidential candidate.
He also said the PF will ride on the back of the UPND to win the 2011 elections.
On Chinese investments, which Mr Sata reportedly condemned, Maj Chizyuka said no nation is an island and that foreign support such as that from the Chinese must be appreciated because it is benefiting people across the country in various sectors.
He said in his constituency, the Chinese are constructing the Namwala-Choma road at a cost of K167 billion.
Maj Chizyuka said other Chinese investments that Zambians are benefiting from include the nickel mine in Mazabuka, the Tuta Bridge in Luapula Province and the TAZARA line from Kapiri Mposhi to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
He said it must be appreciated that when Zambia’s export routes were cut due to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in the mid-1960s in then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), western countries refused to help build the rail line to Dar es Salaam, claiming that the project was not viable.
Maj Chizyuka said the Chinese agreed to build the railway line and that Mr Sata was then in the Zambian government that made that decision and accepted the help from the Chinese.
He wondered why Mr Sata should now turn around and condemn Chinese investment.