UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Spokesperson Charles Kakoma says the PF is scheming to block his party from participating in the 2021 elections by hindering it from conducting intra-party elections.
And Kakoma says UPND is aware that things will not be easy for opposition as the country heads towards the 2021 elections but vows that his party is determined to fight until PF is thrown out of office.
On Saturday morning, Police in Ndola blocked the UPND from having its district elections despite having approved the party’s meetings earlier, citing abrogation of the instituted health guidelines of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga disclosed that police received instructions on Friday night not to allow the UPND meetings from proceeding as planned even though the party had applied to have elections in selected districts in the Province.
“They were informed to say they cannot go ahead, so us we are just doing our job. They applied in various districts on the Copperbelt, where they wanted to hold elections and they were informed yesterday (Friday). So there is no need for them to go ahead without proper guidelines. The police went there to go and check as communicated yesterday, they gathered and were about 100, which is against the Ministry of Health guidelines,” said Katanga.
But Ndola District UPND spokesperson David Zimba told journalists that the decision by police was illegal and that the officers were applying the law selectively.
Meanwhile, commenting on this development in an interview, Kakoma said the PF government, through the police, was using double standards by stopping their opponents from holding internal elections while allowing local government by-elections to go on.
“Those are the double standards that the PF government, using the police, are using. On one hand, they are talking about a new normal situation and even before the new normal, they were allowing the local government by-elections to take place and they were in the forefront of inducing these local government by-elections by offering our UPND councilors jobs in the public service so that they resign their councillorship positions. We are also seeing a situation where they are curtailing opposition political parties, ourselves, from mobilizing and organizing. So how is that going to create a fair playing field? We know that by our Constitution, we are all as political parties intending to participate in the 2021 elections supposed to hold our internal party elections and this is what they are trying to do in Ndola,” Kakoma said.
Kakoma alleged that PF was scheming to stop UPND from taking part in the general elections next year.
“If you stop UPND from having its internal elections, in other words you want them to proceed to 2021 without internal elections so that you disqualify them. So that is a scheme by the PF government to block the UPND from having its internal elections so that they will have an excuse that the UPND never held a convention and therefore, they can’t participate. We are seeing that scheme but we can’t stop holding these internal elections because they are constitutional requirement, we have to have them. We know that as we are doing that, we are observing all the health rules to do with the coronavirus. So there is no excuse. If they themselves are meeting, if other people are going to work then even us we must work. If we are going to a meeting and we are washing hands, there is soap then there is nothing to stop them from meeting,” Kakoma said.
And Kakoma said his party was aware that things would not be easy for the opposition in 2021.
“We know it’s not going to be easy as we head towards 2021, we know that we are yet to see worse things coming from PF. So we just have to keep on fighting, we are not going stop. We will continue fighting until 2021 and we will field our candidates and win the elections and that is what is scaring PF, to lose power to UPND. But we are prepared to fight until PF is finally thrown out of power,” said Kakoma.