UPND consulting on way forward, Times says

Sources in the UPND have disclosed to the TIMES OF ZAMBIA that the party was now consulting on the need to work with President Banda and the MMD.

“We are now consulting on the need to chart the way forward, that is either to go it alone in this year’s general elections or to forge new alliances with other “progressive” political parties. The most likely outcome of these consultations is that we may just end up working with President Banda and the MMD. We will just have to agree on a common economic agenda,” said the source.

UPND secretary general Winston Chibwe also confirmed yesterday in a telephone interview that the opposition party would hold a national executive committee (NEC) meeting soon on the way forward.

UPND sources hinted during the week that Mr Hakainde Hichilema was currently consulting with various party functionaries on what route the opposition party should take now that the pact with PF had failed.

“It is clear to all sundry that the pact with the PF is a failed bid, as we speak the president has tasked some people to get views from various leaders and functionaries on the way forward whether we must go into the election on our own or we should partner with the ruling party.

According to the source some senior members of the party in the national management committee (NMC) and some MPs had already been consulted.

“People are still cagey although most of them are agreeable to work with the MMD,” said the source.

However, when contacted for a comment, Mr Chibwe said the party would soon meet although the outcome “is obvious.

“We are already campaigning on our own and as I speak to you the two vice-presidents are out in the field. One is in Southern Province and another one is on the Copperbelt Province. The president (Hakainde Hichilema) is also in Southern Province and he will be going to the Copperbelt later. We are going on a countrywide tour of all the provinces,” he said.

Mr Chibwe said the UPND letter to the PF was categorical that they would wait to hear from Mr Sata’s party on how they would mend the broken down pact.

The two parties had been rocked by a leadership crisis which had spelt doom for the opposition alliance between the two main opposition parties.

The two parties had been rocked by a leadership crisis which had spelt doom for the opposition alliance between the two main opposition parties.

Meanwhile, former PF national youth secretary Eric Chanda has challenged the UPND leadership to state its position clearly whether the opposition party would continue in the pact with the PF or it would go with the MMD.

“We have got reliable information that UPND is headed for a pact with the MMD and this is the reason why they are refusing the call by the PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba for a joint national council central meeting to discuss Professor Clive Chirwa’s proposals.

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