ZAMBIA Congress for Former Freedom Fighters’ children chairperson Howard Banda says Tilyenji Kaunda has made UNIP irrelevant in Zambia’s political sphere.
He told The Mast after a meeting of the grouping that the independence party’s current leadership has failed and there was need for fresh blood.
Banda is a grandson of former minister of foreign affairs, Wilson Chakulya.
He is currently secretary general of the Forum for Democratic Alternatives.
Banda said the children of freedom fighters felt Tilyenji had made UNIP, a party that should be held as Zambia’s heritage, irrelevant.
“At the end of the day the Tilyenji Kaunda regime has failed and we need fresh blood,” Banda said.
He said all values practiced when UNIP was in power had been lost due to greed, inconsistency and failure to adhere to the laws of the game.
“So we who are siblings of former freedom fighters, we feel that as PF is damaging the country, so is UNIP being damaged. We need a leadership that will influence the factors that were established from 1964 to 1991,” Banda said. “In short, all the Njekwa Anamelas (UNIP vice-president) they have to go, they have overstayed in office.”
Banda said Tilyenji had failed to run UNIP.
He said running a party like UNIP from home would not help.
“But if we have a mother party like UNIP failing even to secure a councillor’s position then our democracy is doomed. As siblings of former freedom fighters we are saying UNIP has failed to provide checks and balances in the country as a mother party,” Banda said.
He also said UNIP’s assets have been looted.
Banda said the party that ruled the country for almost three decades from 1964 must be revived.
“As siblings of freedom fighters, we are saying we want to see a creative, innovative and powerful UNIP so that it motivates other parties that are coming up,” Banda said. “At the moment UNIP is not inspiring, the only thing we see is failure – no congress, no convention, how do you run a party like that? UNIP needs to be rebranded.”
He urged surviving children of freedom fighters to work together to help UNIP resurrect.
“We can’t have a mother party being nowhere in the alliance (of opposition political parties), nowhere near concerted opinion, nothing but it’s just called a political party, only chewing the assets our forefather left. But UNIP does not belong to the Kaundas, UNIP is a national asset and is our independence heritage. We need to look at it as a tourist site.”
Banda said the congress of siblings of former freedom fighters was not after UNIP’s properties but its relevance.
“But our issue is that UNIP has been sidelined because of poor leadership. We view UNIP as a heritage and it is a backbone of our freedom, our democracy and everything aligned to the Zambian growth has a background through UNIP,” he said. “So we cannot let that party go down just like that under the leadership of Tilyenji Kaunda. So we are crying to say the mother party which brought us together is out of the political game because of greed; they need to keep it alive. Our concern is the existence of the party and its structures.” Banda said UNIP must participate fully in political activities taking place in the nation.
“Why is Mr Kaunda taking UNIP as a company? It’s not a company, it’s a party; they need to go for congress, they need to bring in new leadership that will bring checks and balances in view of the current situation,” said Banda.