NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) vice-president Joseph Akafumba has announced that his party will support the UPND in the upcoming Mwansabombwe and Lukashya by-elections.

Speaking during a media briefing, Wednesday, Akafumba announced that the NDC had decided to endorse the UPND for the upcoming polls, saying that his party’s support for the UPND was to allow the latter chance to gain inroads in Northern Province rather than risk splitting the vote.

“We are all well aware that we do belong to an alliance with other political parties, among them are the UPND, ADD and RPR. It is our wish and our will and our strongest desire that this alliance must grow from strength to strength. We believe in the alliance as NDC. It is in fact the only way out to ensure that we come and bring order from this disorder, which has been perpetuated by the PF government. The consolation to the Zambian people at large is that time is ticking. I think each and every morning they (PF) wake up and check on their phones and calendars, this is sending a fever worse than the COVID-19 because their days are drawing nearer,” Akafumba said.

“Therefore, on the forthcoming by-elections, we took a position, as a party and as an alliance, we discussed with the UPND, we discussed with all our colleagues that this time around, let us break this barrier, which appears to be coming up strong where people believe that ‘southerners are not welcome in Northern Province,’ particularly the UPND itself ‘is not welcome in Northern Province.’ This is the barrier that we don’t want, it should not be allowed. In fact, it is a criminal offence to talk and promote tribalism. Therefore, we have offered all the seats that is Mwansabombwe and Lukashya to our colleagues in the UPND. The UPND will field in both parliamentary seats and they are assured of our full support. Every member of the NDC in Lukashya and Mwansabombwe and elsewhere, where there is a by-election, must support the UPND candidates so that this time around, we need to turn tables.”

He added that the NDC had resolved to back the UPND in the by-elections because they wanted the Opposition Alliance to work and urged other opposition leaders to join the alliance.

“We have instructed our coordinators and our provincial chairman in both Lukashya and Mwansabombwe to turn up tomorrow (Thursday) and support the filing of the nominations of the UPND. This is done for the purpose; the purpose is we want the Alliance to work. I can assure you that all the members of the alliances have a similar view that this alliance must work. We don’t have the leisure and time to start splitting votes around,” Akafumba explained.

“Let me make this call: all opposition parties, who mean well for this country, they must not shy away, they must come along and join the Alliance. This ‘lone-ranger’ politics will take you nowhere; you can’t be a Rambo in politics and think you will get it all, we need to join hands. We are facing PF at its dying time. A dying horse always throws the hardest kicks. So, when we join hands and we are alliance partners, we hope we can get this. We fully support our alliance partners where all of us seated here, we will find time to go and campaign with the UPND as a way of liberating this country.”