Being in the Opposition Alliance tarnished my image – Andyford

People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says he wasted a lot of time being in the Opposition Alliance when he would have attended to more important party matters.

And Banda says it is disrespectful and demeaning for the Opposition Alliance to call his party as a cancer which needed to be amputated just to score political points when they knew very well that he was already in the process of leaving the group.

Meanwhile Banda told News Diggers in an interview that he had intelligence information that he was just being used by the alliance as the group is only serving the interest of one individual.

“I think they were a cancer themselves. We were definitely half committed because the scoop of the formation of the alliance was not being followed. We realised later that the alliance started focusing on a lot of issues that had nothing to do with why it was formed. That made us a bit uncomfortable because it looked like we were meeting to discuss issues that had nothing to do with us and they had everything probably to do with one member of the alliance [whom] we will not mentioned because we would like to move on from this episode,” Banda said.

He said a lot of alliance decisions were made without consulting other group leaders.

“So we had difficulties in dealing with these issues especially in dealing with the alliance when we were not actually consulted for example the moving out of the ZCID. We just heard a press statement that ‘the alliance has decided to pull out of ZCID,’ and we were not consulted about those things. Then also a number of those issues have made us to stay away from the alliance but it was always difficult for us to actually pull out because we wanted to find an appropriate time to pull out when we could actually do that in a mature manner without injuring any person in the alliance. So it was very unfortunate that our colleagues decided to issue a statement which we find very disrespectful because they called us an “infectious disease,” Banda said.

“They knew that we were not compromised and that we were going to leave on our own. They know the truth but because they want to sugar-coat statements in order to validate their points, that’s where the problem is. But we are very happy that we do not have to think about this alliance anymore and attend unnecessary meetings, or have that meeting in an hour’s time. It looks like only one person was being consulted and the rest of us we had to comply. And for me I don’t operate like that. And we think that the alliance didn’t have a strategy, they didn’t have an objective and they didn’t have a plan and our brand was being tarnished for nothing.”

Banda said he could no be agreeing to everything for fear of being labelled negatively.

“I think it will be very childish to validate statements just to score a political point, there is no place or evidence that they can show you to say that I was dealing with the PF. The point is that we have to be objective in everything that we are doing. We cannot just be agreeing because someone is going to label us like this. We can’t deal with the PF, you read our articles that we write in the Diggers [and] there is no chance that we would be compromised. So it was actually quite premature on their side to do that. The other issue is that they never called us to say ‘guys what is wrong with you? Why is it that you have not committed to the alliance?’ and we could have discussed as brothers because we call each other as brothers and comrades. And we could have opened up and said ‘we cannot continue to be part f this alliance and feel that we can focus on building our structures and that we will discuss in 2021 if need be depending on the political climate at that time.’ So for them they just decided to go ahead,” Banda explained.

He said referring to his party as an infectious disease was cheap politics which has backfired on the opposition.

“I was actually in Zimbabwe and came back on Tuesday and on Wednesday that was when I learnt about that. But most of these guys in the alliance, we were communicating on WhatsApp. So they cannot have an excuse of saying they tried to call me because my WhatsApp was active. So we find the act of calling us as an infectious toe as demeaning and playing with the politics as usual. They were just trying to play with cheap politics which has backfired on them. And the issue of being compromised, we can’t be compromised, we can’t work with PF, it’s not possible at all [and] even if the PF were to change their president, we can’t work with the PF [because] the system is rotten. So we shall continue to push the party. It is clear that some people want change and it our caution to the people of Zambia on the need to be weary on what kind of change they need,” he said.

“Actually my time was wasted [during the alliance] because it seems like there were other hidden agendas that were hidden which we were not aware of. Our internal intelligence warned us that ‘these guys were just trying to use you’ but we wanted to be patient. We didn’t want to rush the decision in order not to score political points. And whatever happened, it’s not like we are going to miss out something. It is something that was coming even from our side. In fact when I was coming to the office yesterday, I even told the SG of the party that ‘we need to sort out this thing of the alliance, we need to get out of it’ even them they know the truth,” Banda added.

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