United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has joined his party juniors to refute reports that the pact has settled for Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata as its presidential candidate, according to the Mail.
PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba told a press briefing that his party had received proposals from UPND through its chairman for international relations Clive Chirwa, indicating among other issues that Mr Sata should be the pact presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections.
But Hichilema said it is mischievous for Kabimba to publicise suggestions made by an individual member of the UPND.
Hichilema, who also held a press briefing later, said no decision had been made on the pact presidential candidate.
“It is important that we present facts. Anybody issuing contrary statements to this fact is being malicious and is misleading the nation,” he said.
Hichilema said UPND had requested the PF to dialogue but that it had taken eight to nine months without the meeting taking place.
He reiterated the need for both parties to agree on the national social economic programme.
He said the issues include the provision of health and education and clean water.
“We don’t want to go into government as a bunch of jokers. We don’t want to bring old politics of hide and seek and opportunism. If the PF is ready to talk, we are ready,” he said.
And asked what he thought Mr Kabimba’s motives were, Hichilema replied, “One has to check his motives. Anyone with interest in this matter can only speculate.”
“Our management style is different and, therefore, we will not be driven by Mr Kabimba’s style. For me, what is good for the Zambian people is what matters.
We should not rush to choose candidates. What’s the point of having a position if you can’t deliver? The presidency and public office must be taken seriously, so let us not be excited about the views of one individual,” he said.