Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu has said anybody who calls another person stupid is also stupid.

And Mwiimbu says their leader, Hakainde Hichilema, is legitimate and not a failure on their part, saying they will encourage him to continue leading the party until they are in power.

Meanwhile, Mwiimbu says Dora Siliya and Bowman Lusambo have no principles that can make them resign their ministerial positions.

On Thursday, Lusambo, the Lusaka Province minister, charged that Hichilema was useless and a failure, and that if he was still on the streets, he could have called him stupid.

He joined Siliya, the chief government spokesperson and information minister, and Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu in saying they will resign should Hichilema fail to prove that ZAFFICO and ZNBC had been sold.

But in an interview with News Diggers!, Mwiimbu expressed disappointment with Lusambo’s language saying they didn’t expect him, as a leader, to be using such unpalatable language against a leader of an political party.

“In my view, anybody who calls the other stupid is also stupid. I want to make it very clear and categorical that I wholly support the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema, he is the legitimate leader of UPND and we shall support him for any election, whether now or 2021. There is no other person we are going to support. He is not a failure on our part. He is a leader who is going to lead us and who is capable of leading this country. He is a winning trump card so we can’t distance ourselves from him,” Mwiimbu said.

“There is no way that I’m going to advise him to stop. If anything, I’m going to encourage him to continue leading the UPND until the next elections, until we are in power.”

He added that Lusambo’s statement was insulting and a reflection of hate speech.

“I would like to express my disgust pertaining to the language that was used by honourable Lusambo against my leader Hakainde Hichilema. I’m aware that the PF and their leadership have always been stating that we in the opposition have been propounding hate speech against the Chinese, against leaders of PF. What is good for goose is good for the gander. The statement by honourable Lusambo is insulting, it’s a reflection of hate speech which should not be condoned in this country. Honourable Lusambo is supposed to be a leader in this country, we don’t expect him to be using such unpalatable language against a leader of a political party,” Mwiimbu said.

Regarding Lusambo’s claims that UPND members of parliament had been jostling to see President Edgar Lungu because they had lost confidence in Hichilema, he said the minister was merely hallucinating.

“He is merely hallucinating. All the MPs of UPND are loyal to the party and they are loyal to the presidency of Hichilema. They will stand by him through thick and thin,” Mwiimbu said.

Meanwhile, Mwiimbu said he was not concerned about Siliya and Lusambo’s statements that they would resign when Hichilema proved that ZAFFICO had been sold, because the two had no principles.

“Honourable Siliya never resigned when she was being prosecuted for corruption. Why didn’t she resign at that time? That is the time she should have resigned if she has any principles. Honourable Lusambo, I don’t know which principles he will use to resign. Honourable Lusambo was MMD die hard and he was saying he was going to die in MMD. But because he lacks principles, he decided to stand on the PF ticket without formally resigning from MMD. I’m not concerned in any way by those who are issuing those statements. If they were principled, I would say ‘yes we will go by that challenge’,” said Mwiimbu.

“The issue of ZAFFICO, who started it? They came to the House and said they were going to float the shares of ZAFFICO on the Lusaka stock exchange. And the people heard. As far as an ordinary person knows, when you float the shares, you are selling and they were alarmed. And the strikes pertaining to ZAFFICO did not start in Kitwe. They started from Kapiri Mposhi, spread to Kalulushi and the other towns of the Copperbelt before the so called statement by HH. And most of those issues were being raised by the workers themselves who know what is happening.”