The United Liberal Party (ULP) says it is disappointed by UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s continued attacks on the party and its president Sakwiba Sikota.
ULP secretary general Langstone Sichone says Sikota’s leadership credibility cannot be compared to that of ‘Mr. Hichilema’s highly questionable character whether it is in the privatization of mines in Luanshya or tribalism in UPND.
In a statement to the Watchdog, Sichone said that “The United Liberal Party (ULP) is not in the habit of time wasting debates and quarrelling with other political leaders including Mr. Hichilema. Mr. Hichilema’s continued attack is only meant to distract the ULP from its progressive organization of the party towards the 2011 Presidential elections.
“The United Liberal Party (ULP) does not think that by attacking its Party President, the UPND could win popularity with the electorate, Zambians are now sick and tired with the insults that have become more traditional in the UPND ranks.
“Mr. Hichilema has many issues surrounding his leadership such as his involvement in the mines in Luanshya where some miners died without getting their terminal benefits. He used tribalism, corruption and violence to get to the leadership of UPND. UPND Members of Parliament from Southern Province have said Mr. Hichilema is a tribal leader and thirsty for violence. Mr. Hichilema is a frustrated and tribal politician.
“The United Liberal Party (ULP) wishes to remind the nation that there was no walk away by ULP members from the tribal and violent UPND convention in 2006. The ULP members did not want to associate themselves with Mr. Hichilema’s tribal and corrupt leadership which was supported by violence at the UPND convention.
“Mr. Hichilema’s conduct at the Tribal and Corrupt UPND convention in 2006 is well documented by the Post Newspapers, Times of Zambia and other national papers. During a campaign rally in the 2006 Presidential elections in Kaoma district Mr. Hichilema’s tribalism was clear when he said that people should not vote for Hon. Sikota because he had teamed up with Mr. Sata and the Bembas in PF.
“On September 15, 2006 the Post newspaper questioned how Mr. Hakainde Hichilema acquired some of the property and houses that belonged to Lima Bank employees. His involvement in the privatization of mines in Luanshya is clouded in suspicious circumstances with some miners dying before getting terminal benefits.
“It appears that Mr. Hichilema can not get over the fact that ULP does not want to associate itself with his tribal, corrupt and violent leadership. Mr. Hichilema’s continued attack on ULP is only reminding the people of Zambia on how he used tribalism and corruption to get to the leadership of the UPND.
“Mr. Hichilema should stop dragging Hon. Sikota and the ULP into his failed bid to get the leadership of the PF/UPND Pact. The whole nation is aware that Mr. Hichilema cannot be the leader of the PF/UPND Pact. We all remember that Mr. Hichilema and UPND Members of Parliament supported the degree clause on the hope that it will knock out Mr. Sata from the 2011 Presidential elections.
“The people of Zambia should not be fooled into supporting the likes of tribal leaders.The people of Zambia still remember the infamous tribal slogan at the UPND convention of “Only a Tonga can lead UPND”. We would like to appeal to Mr. Hichilema to concentrate on explaining his involvement in the privatization of mines in Luanshya.”