UPND Vice President Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) has described as nonsense the decision by UPND secretary general Steven Katuka to dissolve the structures in Kasama District, disclosing that he is going to announce his “next position” next week.
But UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Muchelaka told News Diggers in an interview that GBM stopped attending party meetings a long time ago, adding that no individual has the authority to make decisions like the former Kasama member of parliament has been doing.
On Tuesday, Katuka announced the dissolution of the Kasama district, Kasama Central constituency and Lukashya constituency structures, following internal local wrangles involving GBM, district chairman Jairos Tembo and provincial chairman Nathan Illunga.
However, GBM instructed party officials through a phone call to Radio Mano, Tuesday evening, to ignore Katuka’s decision and continue operating normally, promising that he was going to announce his “next position” when he visits the area next week.
“I heard that Mr Katuka called you on phone saying that he has dissolved the provincial, district and constituency structures. I want to tell the nation that those structures, I have refused, they will not be dissolved. Ayo ama structures babwelele kuncito, ababa muma structures, ukufumyakofye Illunga. Illunga mpake imilandu ikapwe. Illunga was suspended by the districts and the constituencies who saw that he was not working, it was not me. ‘Elo naine teti nsuminishe umuntu imyaka yonse talebomba incito, imyaka yonse aleikalafye, I will not support such a person. (Those people who are in structures should go back to work, except Illunga. For Illunga, until his issues are sorted out. Even myself I cannot allow someone who has not been working for years, he has just been sitting idle). We have been in opposition for a long time because of such characters. For him when you send him for campaigns, he goes to sleep in hotels and enjoying drinking alcohol when those he has gone with are hungry, what kind of a leader is he? That’s why I want to say that we have rejected that instruction, as vice president I don’t recognise it,” GBM said.
“When I was making such structures, we spent a lot of time forming those structures… there is no way someone who has never been there and does not even know how structures are formed, can come and dissolve because he is a secretary general, if that is even true. That I say no to; that won’t happen, that is nonsense. Therefore colleagues at the district, constituency, go back to your positions. I will come to Kasama next week, I will tell you the next position that we will take.”
But UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Muchelaka told News Diggers that GBM stopped attending party meetings a long time ago and doesn’t get involved during campaigns until he is forced.
“Bayama is speaking from South Africa, he is not even around. As a party, we have dissolved Kasama district committee, Kasama central and Lukashya constituency. And when we do that, it means the party has taken a decision. The actual position of the party is what we have taken; the party has procedures not what you are hearing. We are an organised party with procedures; there is no way one person can make decisions. So there is no way the vice-president can reverse what the party has decided. Because you may need to ask him when he last attended the UPND meeting, he won’t even tell you. Each time we are campaigning he does not show up. The last time you saw him was in Kafue and we even forced him that ‘you are the vice-president’. We don’t just want to say a lot of things,” said Mucheleka.
Meanwhile, all leaders of the UPND Kasama constituency committee have resigned, citing squabbles in the party’s top leadership.
Those who have resigned include Constituency chairperson Abraham Mulenga, Information and Publicity Secretary John Sampa, Vice Youth Chairlady Doris Chanda, Buseko Ward Chairperson Lenard Lombe, Constituency Coordinator Samuel Kabungo and Youth Chairperson Mathews Musonda.