Deputy Minister of Justice and MMD MP for Chilanga, Keith Mukata, has resigned from his ministerial position and has immediately backed the UPND and Hakainde I Hichilema for the 2016 elections.
Speaking this morning during a colourful Press Conference event held at Lusaka’s Chainama Hotel, Mr. Mukata disclosed that he tendered his resignation letter to President Edgar Lungu this morning.
Mr. Mukata, who came along with several MMD Councillors and members, said his resignation from the PF Government was meant to pave the way for him to campaign full throttle for the UPND.
He was among the MMD MPs, political leaders and supporters who this morning backed the UPND and Hakainde Hichilema.
Speaking on behalf of the MMD MPs, Sinda Constituency MP Levy Ngoma said only the UPND would liberate Zambia economically.
UPND President Mr. Hichilema called on his party members to embrace the MPs and other members from various political parties who joined the team today.
Mr. Hichilema, who was flanked by his two Vice-Presidents Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and Dr. Canisius Banda, National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango, Secretary General Stephen Katuka, and other senior party officials and MPs, described the new members as Ambassadors of Change.
He stressed to UPND members that it is now time to work even harder and focus on mobilising the party at grassroots, rather than jostling for positions.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hichilema has given President Lungu a one month ultimatum to reintroduce meal allowances for students, reminding him that it is the duty of government to support education and not a favour.
The UPND leader, who condemned the ongoing violence in the country, has also given Lungu 30 days in which to end violence as he has the instruments of power to do so.
He said he was aware that while Lungu sometimes openly condemns violence, he (Lungu) was clearly not fully committed to ending it as no serious action has followed.
Mr. Hichilema said that while the Church is important in the promotion of peace through dialogue, it is imperative that President Lungu also takes bold steps to end the violence using law enforcement agencies, as past presidents have done when required.
He went on to say that UPND members across the country were becoming regular victims of police brutality and PF thuggery, as was the case during Youth Day commemorations around the country this weekend.
Mr. Hichilema said he did not want to inherit a country with deep scars as his focus is on fighting poverty through economic growth.
Among the MPs that backed the UPND and Mr. Hichilema this morning are Keith Mukata, Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, Ronnie Shikpwasha and Sara Sayinfwanda.
Others are Levy Joseph Ngoma, Dr. Chris Kalila, Prof. Geoffrey Lungwangwa, Elijah Muchima, Moses Mteteka, Kabinga Mpande, Mundia Ndalamei and Dr. Brian Chituwo.
The following MPs and their structures have defected to UPND
1. Hon. Brian Chitiwo MMD Mumbwa Central Province
2. Hon. Levy Joseph Ngoma MMD Sinda Eastern Province.
3. Hon. Kieth Mukata MMD Chilanga. Lusaka
4. Hon. Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane MMD Liuwa Western Province.
5. Hon. Dr. Chris Kalila MMD lukulu Western Province.
6. Hon. Prof. Jeff Lungwangwa MMD Nalikwanda Western Province
7. Hon. Elijah Muchima MMD Ikelengi North Western Province.
8. Hon. Sarah Saifwanda MMD Zambezi East NWP.
9. Hon. Moses Sebeka MMD chisamba CP .
10. Hon. Kabinga Mpande MMD Kasempa NWP.
11. Hon. Mundia MMD Sikongo WP.
12. Ronnie Shikapwasha