UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) says he is ready to let someone else from the Opposition Alliance become running mate as long as that person helps the alliance win the 2021 general election.

And GBM says the Opposition Alliance will formally reach out to Democratic Party (DP) president Harry Kalaba with an invitation to join the pact.

GBM said this in an interview when he was asked if he would be okay with someone else standing as UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s running mate in 2021.

“My dear, let me tell you, with time, if that is the situation that would prevail at that particular time, we’ll do that, as long as that person will be able to see us win and form government so that we oust these criminals, these PF criminals, I am ready to support,” GBM said.

“I wouldn’t like to spend more time talking about the alliance, but what I can tell you is that the friendship that we are enjoying with other political parties is very solid and it will be a waste of time to comment on something that I think is water under the bridge, and we have moved on I think, that issue has already been buried.”

And GBM said the Opposition Alliance would reach out to Kalaba and formally invite him to join the alliance.

“As far as I am concerned as GBM, in my personal view, I think that’s the right decision that Hon Kalaba has made (not to challenge his expulsion from PF), so that he can concentrate on mobilizing his party, we wish him all the best. With our alliance partners, we will reach out to him because we want to bring more opposition political parties on board because we mean well; we are not trying to be selfish as some people have accused us that UPND is selfish. We are convinced as opposition political parties that we have to unite in order to fight the ills of the PF and ensure that we secure space for ourselves to conduct our political activities freely, ensure that the playing field for elections is levelled, that the law such as the Public Order Act is applied fairly and that human rights are respected in our country,” GBM explained.

He said only the opposition could rescue Zambians from extreme poverty.

“The high levels of poverty, which the PF led government itself does not seem to have an answer to, the Zambian people should only have hope in the UPND; we are the only saviour and we shall be the only saviour for this country because we are men of integrity, majority of us in the UPND are men and women of integrity. We will not go into government and start to milk money that belongs to Zambians. Look at how Zambians are suffering, has Edgar come up with any solution? Has he disclosed any game plan that ‘countrymen and women, sooner than later we’ll come out of these economic problems?’ He has never done that because he is a ‘Chimbwi no plan!” GBM said.

“The entire government I will tell you, they do not even know whether they are going backwards or forward, they don’t know! They don’t even understand what governance is. Now some of us tend to agree with what Edgar himself said that he has no vision and it’s true, it has come to pass and people have come to realise that what he said was true. He was only forced by a few selfish men and women who were at that time who said: ‘no boss, just go for it’ because they wanted to use him to amass wealth, which they have done, but I hope they will enjoy it. Because people are suffering and they are complaining and when people are complaining, you won’t have the blessings of the Almighty.”

GBM, the former Kasama Central PF member of parliament and defence minister, also said the Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue (ZCID) needed to be abolished.

“I think the dialogue process will succeed because the Church has the full backing of the alliance. And let me tell you, ZCID does not mean well to the Zambian people. ZCID is here to bring confusion or even to prolong the dialogue process. So, I think Zambians should not trust ZCID whatsoever! The Church has succeeded in bringing unity in the country on so many occasions, the Church has actually single-handedly managed to deal with similar processes in facilitating dialogue and reconciliation without the involvement of ZCID, how then can ZCID say the Church cannot succeed in bringing unity in this country? ZCID, I will tell you, is up to no good. If I had a way, as GBM, I would do away with ZCID. In fact, I would not even want ZCID to even interfere in what the Church is doing. My dear young man, when you have a problem in a home, where do you run to? I run to the Church, now if somebody can say that the Church is not the right place, is not the right ‘Shibukombe’ then what kind of thinking is that? That’s foolish and stupid!” said GBM.