FORMER Chipata Central PF chairperson John Mkhazika and 12 others have defected to UPND for allegedly being sidelined and later suspended because they did not support Edgar Lungu at the party general conference. But Eastern Province PF chairperson Atanny Mwamba says the members that have defected to UPND were liabilities to the ruling party. Mkhazika said it was unfortunate that some party leaders who were supporting Lungu wanted officials from the district and Chipata Central constituency executives to vote on tribal lines at the general conference. “They told us that we cannot reject Lungu whom they said was our own. For us, our candidate was Miles Sampa but we told them that we were ready to follow the adopted candidate after the convention. Now, when we came back here, that’s when problems started. Our friends gave us suspension letters with flimsy charges. After these suspensions, we went to Lusaka where we had an audience with Sampa, Jean Kapata, Davies Chama and acting President Guy Scott, who told us that the suspensions were null and void but problems continued here,” he said. Mkhazika said after they sat and reflected on their political future, they decided to defect to the UPND. Former Chipata Central constituency PF vice-chairperson Francis Sakala claimed that their defection to UPND with about 600 other party members was because the PF was not a united party. But Mwamba said it was good riddance that Mkhazika and his group had defected to UPND. “We chased those people from PF a long time ago. Those were like scavengers. It’s not true that they have gone with 600 followers; let them show those people. Those were liabilities and we have nothing to do with them,” said Mwamba.