The Patriotic Front has shifted to high gear with its exercise of recruiting opposition UPND councillors around the country.

The UPND, which is the biggest opposition political party has complained that the ruling party is coercing councillors with K50,000 bribes to resign and defect.

But PF media director Sunday claims the councillors were defecting to PF because the UPND was in a crisis and lacked a clear sense of direction.

Speaking when he received UPND defectors from Nyimba and Sinda districts in Eastern Province, Chanda wondered why some Zambians had continued to cling to a party like UPND where the leader, Hakainde Hichilema presented himself as a god who could not be questioned.

“We want to welcome the councillors from the UPND from Nyimba and Sinda districts respectively. We are so honoured that our colleagues have continued to see that the UPND is in a crisis and lacks a clear sense of direction. And the people on the ground, including elected officials are saying that they cannot continue belonging to a political organistion which has become a poisoned chalice, a political organisation that continues to champion tribal politics, a political organisation that promotes norms that are contrary to what the Zambian people believe in,” Chanda said.

“The people are saying we cannot continue belonging to a political party that promotes and believes in gay rights such as the UPND. The lack of leadership and direction by the UPND is the more reason why ordinary members of the UPND and elected officials can confirm without doubt that people are fatigued with the leadership of Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the lack of democratic space within the UPND. There is no intra party democracy and Mr Hichilema has become this small god and their is nothing new he’s bringing to the political equation,” Chanda said.

Chanda mocked the UPND for boasting that they had taken over PF structures in Eastern Province about two weeks ago when Hichlema conducted a rally in Chipata.

“The people in the UPND are seeing it very clearly that Mr Hichilema’s relevance is to continue deceiving the masses that there is a petition before the courts, that there will be elections before 2021 and by so doing, he seeks to hoodwink the unsuspecting membership of the UPND. So I want to welcome our two colleagues, councilors from the UPND. This is Eastern Province and we heard our colleagues boasting that they had penetrated and taken over Eastern Province; we re saying to them that you are only glorifying your own bubble. The Patriotic Front is on firm ground under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu. And people can see and attest that whilst we’ve had challenges in certain areas, the fact is that positives keep on rising. So in welcoming our two councilors, please feel free, you are now members of the PF and you’ve got the right that every member of the party enjoys,” Chanda said.

And Chanda called on the rest of the members in UPND to join the ruling party.

“Through these colleagues, we want to extend a clarion call to those that have remained in the UPND that PF is an open Church, welcome on board, feel free to join us anytime and let us join hands to take Zambia to the promised land as we implement our 2016 to 2021 manifesto under President Edgar Lungu. So our dear colleagues (the defectors), go back and speak to your supporters, speak to he structures in Eastern Province, let them come and join hands with us. Let’s work together and they must reject an agenda that continues to suffocate the democratic space that we enjoy as a country,” he said.

“You cannot have an opposition that cherishes discrediting Zambia’s image at every opportunity that they get. The people in Nyimba and Sinda must be told in categorical terms that UPND is championing homosexuality and the people of Zambia must say to Mr Hichilema that he should come out clean on this matter, what is the position of UPND on gay rights? If he cannot answer that question then the people of Zambia must get it as a clear statement from us that UPND is pro-homosexuality, lesbianism and gay rights. But we are not going to accept UPND’s agenda to auction this country to the highest bidder.”

Meanwhile, Chanda said the UPND supported impeachment motion against President Lungu would terribly fail.

“For those of our colleagues who are still in UPND, what are they in UPND for to this hour? Because Mr Hakainde Hichilema is not becoming President tomorrow, he’s not becoming President next year. Even in 2021 Mr Hakainde Hichilema is losing for the sixth time. This is the more reason why you would see him trying to get into parliament with misplaced calls about the impeachment [of President Lungu]. I want to make it very categorical, the impeachment agenda that Mr Hakainde Hichilema has called, we know that that motion is not going anywhere. The moment they lose that motion in Parliament, the people of Zambia must say to Mr Hakainde Hichilema, once again you have lost to Edgar Lungu and he must be ready to concede defeat. We wonder why UPND has take so long to wake up and realise that Mr Hakainde Hichilema is not taking them anywhere,” said Chanda.