Mwenya Musenge says the UPND is in order to contest the Lubwa ward by-election in Kitwe and face the NCD in the campaigns because there is no Opposition Alliance agreement which stops members from challenging each other.
Speaking to News Diggers over the current state of the opposition alliance following the differences that ensured after NDC resolved to support UPND in Katuba, but did not get a reciprocal gesture in Lubwa ward, Musenge said Kambwili had no right to be offended.
“First and foremost, I want to put it very clear that NDC is not a part of the alliance although my counterpart Chishimba Kambwili has kept on insisting that we are part and parcel of that alliance. The way the alliance was formulated, it was done in a haphazard manner. As NDC, we were not given ample time to discuss it and understand the benefits of being part and parcel of that alliance. We needed to sit as a party, allow the members to deliberate over and inform our members of whatever we’ll be getting from the other side and then the party makes a decision whether to be part of that. I personally, I felt that it was too early for us to be part of that alliance because we still have a lot to do in strengthening ourselves countrywide,” Musenge said.
“Secondly, I was not very comfortable because I was part of the central committee in PF during Michael Sata’s reign as party president when there was an attempt to go into an alliance with UPND. I learnt a lot from that attempt and for me, I have not seen anything new that was going to be on the table in this alliance. So my position has always been very clear that NDC has not been part and parcel of that alliance. Even in Katuba, I had indicated clearly that yes NDC as an opposition political party will support any opposition candidate or political party that is going to stand in Katuba and not necessarily focusing on this alliance and supporting UPND.”
Meanwhile, Musenge said Kambwili was being unfair by taking offence over UPND’s decision to contest the Lubwa ward by-elections in Kitwe.
“The MOU that was signed between UPND, NDC and those other so called alliance partners, it was a loose alliance which did not bind any political party not to field where your colleagues where going to field. So in that kind of arrangement, I don’t think UPND has committed any breach to the memorandum of understanding in that alliance. That’s why am saying that Chishiba Kambwili is not being honest with what was agreed. There is a memorandum that was agreed because we got it and he’s the one who signed on that document. It is not wrong for any alliance partner to participate wherever anyone of them was going to participate. So whatever happened in Roan they loosely agreed that they will support NDC in Roan and in turn NDC supports UPND in Bahati, it was just one of those loose arrangements. But it was not casting concrete and it was not part and parcel of the MOU,” said Musenge.
“So from the onset in that MOU, the issues that were being looked at were common matters that were affecting the opposition political parties. So in this regard, even us if we wanted to stand in Katuba, we could have fielded. So for me, Kambwili would have done well to explain to the members, they could have understood. So whatever is happening in Lubwa, I think there is nothing wrong at all and we should not be calling names or insulting the UPND for doing whatever they have done, they are just playing politics the way they are supposed to be played.”