For the first time, Antonio Mwanza has a salary and he can’t keep his mouth shut, UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka has charged.

And Mucheleka says if President Edgar Lungu is serious about fighting corruption, he should show leadership by firing the people involved instead of leaving the duty to investigative wings.

Mwanza, who recently defected to the ruling party from the FDD said, Wednesday, that his party would make sure that the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema died in prison if he continued making “seditious and treasonous pronouncements”.

But Mucheleka reacted angrily to Mwanza’s statement when he featured on 5FM’s ‘Burning Issue’, Thursday, observing that the PF deputy media director was too excited.

“There is a young man who for the first time has been able to receive a salary. He has become so excited such that he is even saying things which he does not understand. Mwaiche wandi [my young brother] Antonio Mwanza, we have a lot of respect for you. Continue being a person we know. I know in PF you are trying very hard to even be more relevant than the people you found but please bola panshi [relax] mwaiche wandi. Wilasabaila tawishibe icho ulelandapo [stop yapping, you don’t even know what you are talking about]. Zambia is a democratic dispensation. In a constitutional democracy it is our right to provide checks and balances to the party in government and you shall not threaten us. Don’t have a one party state mindset, this is not a dictatorship. By the way you are saying ‘mukekata ba HH mukabatwale [ku prison], not tulya tu 127 days’. Mwaiche wandi akulalyafye ututwine tundalama balelekupela [my young brother just keep enjoying the little money they are giving you]. For the first time I’m told naukwatako salary. Mwaiche wandi tekanya sana [my young brother you need to tone down,” Mucheleka said.

And Mucheleka urged President Lungu to show leadership by firing corrupt ministers instead of leaving the duty to investigative wings.

“Corruption is killing our people. All the sectors have negatively being affected because of corruption. It is laughable today to hear that President Lungu is exonerating himself from corruption. No, you cannot say that you are asking the investigative agencies to bring your ministers to book when you yourself are on record that in state house, people that you work with have been mentioned in corruption. You are the one to provide leadership. When President Mwanawasa heard that one of his ministers was implicated in corruption, he immediately took steps. He didn’t wait for the investigative agencies to move in. Today ACC and DEC can never move an inch to investigate any minister because those institutions have been hijacked, they are not adequately funded. So you, President Lungu must be the first one to take leadership and fight corruption if indeed you are interested in fighting corruption. Which I think you are not. Take steps, you fire any one involved then the investigative wings will be able to move in,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mucheleka said UPND would not allow anyone to steal their votes again.

“Talking about the elections, HH loosing. HH did not lose 2015 elections, 2016 elections. Elections were rigged. We have seen a video that has gone viral where someone is saying ‘you voted us out in 2015 and 2016, we are still here’. I want to say please, that talk is dangerous. Don’t put this country on fire. We only have one country some of us. We shall not allow that to happen in 2021 or before,” he said.

Mucheleka boasted that UPND was the only party which had a balanced regional structure.

“In the past people out of ill motive, they have tried to paint UPND as a party which entertains regionalism, tribalism [but] that’s far from the truth. I want to repeat that UPND is the only party that has a national character. For example, of top six, we have president Hakainde Hichilema, the vice president Dr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba who is Bemba, our national chairman honourable Mutale Nalumango also Bemba, myself Patrick Mucheleka deputy secretary general, Bemba. So you can see. Since our detractors like talking about tribalism in political parties, we don’t have that in UPND. Out of perhaps six or even eight senior positions, three of those are occupied by the Bemba speaking. Tell me of a political party other than UPND where you have a balanced structure? Its only UPND,” he said.

Mucheleka said once in power, UPND would be allocating at least 10 per cent of the budget every year to the agriculture sector.

“We shall be allocating not less than 10 percent of our annual budget to the agriculture sector. Once we do that, it means that we shall have sufficient resources to ensure that we procure the agricultural inputs on time. If anything, we will distribute the inputs through out the year. So that farmers at their own time can go and access these inputs and make decisions with what type of crops they want to grow. And with sufficient allocation of resources, we shall engage in crop diversification. We shall also promote irrigation farming. Also, so that the majority of our people can only participate in the meaningful economic activities through agriculture,” said Mucheleka.