PF, UPND continue bickering using Daily Mail

The story below has been published by the Daily Mail:
FORMER PF national youth secretary Eric Chanda has told United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema to swallow his pride and accept Professor Clive Chirwa’s proposals on the leadership of the pact.

And Mr Chanda says Mr Hichilema should declare whether his party is forming a pact with the MMD or will continue with the PF-UPND pact.

He said should Mr Hichilema and his party opt to continue with the PF-UPND pact, he should humble himself and accept UPND chairman for international relations Professor Chirwa’s suggestions on the allocation of positions in the pact.

“We want to challenge Mr Hichilema and his party to reflect, swallow their pride and be bold enough to accept Professor Chirwa’s proposals on the way forward in the pact,” he said.

Mr Chanda said in an interview on February 27 that it would be prudent for Mr Hichilema to be open instead of making allegations that the PF has killed the PF-UPND pact.

He was reacting to recent media reports in which UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma was quoted as saying the PF lacked political will to manage the pact and that it would be difficult for the UPND and PF to agree on important issues, unless the latter changes its attitude.

Mr Chanda said PF youths have no problem with the UPND forming a pact with the MMD if that will stop Mr Hichilema from making allegations that the PF has caused the demise of the pact.

“If they are going into a pact with the MMD, as PF youths we wish them well and we hope they can stop putting the blame on PF Secretary-General Mr Wynter Kabimba and PF President Michael Sata for the breakup of the pact,” he said.

Mr Chanda said he is beginning to believe speculation that the UPND is forming a pact with the ruling party, going by Mr Hichilema’s conduct towards the PF-UPND pact.

He appealed to the opposition leader to be clear about what he wants to do for Zambians.

Meanwhile, Mr Kabimba has charged that the UPND invited PF to form the pact with a pre-conceived idea of thrusting Mr Hichilema into the race for the republican presidency.

Mr Kabimba says the UPND’s idea was to see Mr Hichilema lead the pact before and after the 2011 elections in the same way he found himself at the helm of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the 2006 general elections.

Mr Hichilema led the defunct UDA, which comprised the UPND, UNIP, and Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) after the death of UPND founding president Anderson Mazoka.

Mr Kabimba said in a letter to UPND Secretary General Winstone Chibwe dated February 24, 2011 that the pact presidency is the major obstacle to the success of the alliance and not the social and economic programme under which ‘the UPND pretends to hide.’

“This may leave a bitter taste in your mouth and a sting in your ears but it is the truth,” Mr Kabimba said.

He said the UPND was hoping that something would happen to Mr Sata before the 2011 general elections or that he would be disqualified from the race.

“UPND went all the way during the National Constitutional Conference to support the degree clause. This level of duplicity coming from our pact partners was astonishing to me and other Zambians. However PF was charitable enough to continue with the pact,” he said.

Mr Kabimba said on February 22, 2011, he wrote to Mr Chibwe over UPND blaming the PF for the pact failure but the latter’s reply was full of personal attacks against him.

He said instead of responding, Mr Chibwe said UPND holds Mr Kabimba responsible more than any other individual for frustrating the pact’s work, since its formation in June 2009.

He said Mr Hichilema’s diatribes and aspersions against him during February 24’s live phone-in programme also confirmed the UPND’s personal attacks.

“I listened to him during the discussion but I refused to make a comment to the press. It is therefore clear to me from your letter and Mr Hichilema’s comments that this is no longer about the PF-UPND pact but something between Mr Hichilema and myself personally,” he said.

During the radio programme, Mr Hichilema accused Mr Kabimba of being mischievous and warned that the UPND will not tolerate his mischief for the next 30 days.

But Mr Kabimba said he found Mr Hichilema’s comments to be inappropriate and wished the UPND good luck on the 30-day ultimatum.

He said he is far above UPND chairman for international relations Professor Clive Chirwa’s confidential paper on the way forward for the pact, which seems to be the UPND’s highest yardstick for confidentiality.

Mr Kabimba said confidentiality should not be used to cover up dishonesty or duplicity of groups, individuals or organisations.

He said as PF secretary general, he is a very senior member of the party and deserves respect even when the UPND or Mr Hichilema does not agree with his opinion.

And Mr Kabimba says he refused to join the United Party for National Development (UPND) at inception because he disagreed with its founding doctrine of promoting ethnic hegemony of one group, over others, CHARLES MUSONDA, reports.

Mr Kabimba said in a letter to the UPND dated February 24, 2011 that he was one of the people UPND founding president Anderson Mazoka consulted before forming the UPND but he turned down the offer.

“This philosophy (ethnic hegemony) offends my personal character and beliefs. As an individual I have chosen to think with my brain and not tribe. It is therefore not a matter of coincidence to me that all the people who called me in protest after my February 17 press briefing on the proposed leadership structure of the pact were southerners.

“Their language was not different from Mr Hichilema’s uncivil language on Hot FM radio programme. This is what I refer to as thinking with your tribe and not your brain,” he said.

Mr Kabimba has been at the centre of a row with the UPND over his February 17 press briefing at which he disclosed UPND chairman for international relations Clive Chirwa’s proposals on the leadership of the pact.

Professor Chirwa gave an edge to the PF over the UPND but UPND argued that it had not approved the proposals and felt betrayed by Mr Kabimba’s action.

Meanwhile, NKWETO MFULA reports that the UPND on the Copperbelt says Mr Sata’s political life is expiring following the misunderstandings that have rocked the pact.

Party National youth chairman Joe Kalusa on February 27 urged the party leadership to call for a national management committee meeting to chart the way forward on the failed partnership with PF.

Mr Kalusa said in an interview in Ndola on February 27 that the differences within the pact show that Mr Sata’s political career is almost reaching a dead end.

He said facts against Mr Sata are that time is running out for him and his strength is diminishing as days go by.

Mr Kalusa said Mr Sata’s demand that he will not engage in any talks with UPND leaders until they become “mature and sincere” is the joke of the year.

Mr Kalusa said Mr Sata should not claim that UPND has killed the pact when he is to blame for his failure to provide wisdom and leadership.

“This is the reason why we are questioning his credibility to run the country,” he said.

He wondered why Mr Kabimba accepted the PF-UPND pact if he felt UPND was a tribal party.

He said in the PF, only one person makes decisions and it is clear that PF has wasted UPND’s time. Mr Kalusa said PF has proved to be untrustworthy and unreliable.

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