When Mr. Hichilema was arrested, the party was almost dead because most of these appointed leaders are just cowards. As long as such leaders are allowed to occupy those positions, we are not going anywhere as a party. The convention is the only way to go. We have been in opposition for a long time and some of us are not happy.
WE need to go for a convention now and put in new office-bearers to get rid of individuals who were elected as far back as 1999 or forget about forming government in 2021, the UPND in Sinazongwe has demanded. Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, district party spokesperson George Bbabbi said the UPND’s greatest enemy which had rendered it impotent in elections was an influx of leaders elected decades back but had continued occupying their positions because of lack of intra-party elections. Mr. Bbabbi said UPND had the potential to form government but that only if it called for a convention to allow party members choose leaders of their choice whom they felt would propel them to victory as the appointed leaders had continued to fail them.
“You will not believe it but in our party, we have people who were elected as far back as 1999 and are still in the
structures. These are the people who have failed the party. There is one person here in Sinazongwe who says he is the youth chairperson for Mchinji and was elected in 2000. Surely, does it mean we don’t have leaders who can take over? “This is why we are losing elections and the only solution is to call for elections from branches to the provinces and then go for a convention where our national leaders will be chosen and the earlier we do that the better for the party because we need a healing process after the convention as there will be casualties,” Mr. Bbabbi said. He took a swipe at some of the leaders whom he said were content with UPND’s losses because they were only interested in making money for themselves without realising that there was a bigger mandate ahead. He said most of the people who surrounded theirpresident Hakainde Hichilema, were the ones betraying him because they were not helping him actualise his dream for a better Zambia. “Mr. Hichilema has sacrificed for this party for a long time but the people betraying him are those close to him.
“When Mr. Hichilema was arrested, the party was almost dead because most of these appointed leaders are just cowards. As long as such leaders are allowed to occupy those positions, we are not going anywhere as a party. “The convention is the only way to go. We have been in opposition for a long time and some of us are not happy. “If we were working together and employed correct strategies, UPND would have been in power by now but there are individuals who are only interested in personal gains and don’t care whether we lose or not. These are the ones frustrating our progress,” he said.