LUSAKA Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says no normal person can vote for UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in the 2021 general election because the party has nothing to offer Zambians.

Commenting on UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka’s statement that Hichilema was still the most “happening man in the country” and that the party would not replace him ahead of the 2021 election, Lusambo argued that the UPND, under Hichilema, had nothing to offer Zambians.

He insisted that the signs were clear that President Edgar Lungu would win next year’s general election with a landslide.

“The UPND is not a political party, it is a cult. When you have a cult, you believe in one person and that person is the alpha and omega. The UPND is just a grouping for failures. Leadership, especially political leadership, is very unique because you can’t find political leadership anywhere. Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the way he came on the political scene, you can see that this man has nothing to offer the people of Zambia. I can assure you that the UPND with Hakainde Hichilema has no future in the political scene in this country. There is no normal person who can vote for Hakainde Hichilema,” Lusambo said.

“In 2021, they have no chance of coming near the mighty Edgar Chagwa Lungu because Edgar Chagwa Lungu is winning 2021 with a landslide! The signs are there… Look at Lukashya and Mwansabombwe, Copperbelt – Lufwanyama! Ask UPND, those councilors, we grabbed three of them and the margin was wide. Ask them the margin; they managed to get in wards that we lost, there was no significant margins. I can assure that the UPND, this is in their end with this failure called Hakainde Hichilema, this is their end. If I was in UPND, Hakainde cannot not even talk about standing in 2021. Hakainde Hichilema is not a factor in politics, he is one of the worst opposition we have ever seen in this country.”

He added that Hichilema lacked the national character, which was possessed by other previous UPND leaders.

“The last president UPND had, Mr Mazoka, he had a national character; Mazoka had votes from Northern Province; Mazoka had votes from Luapula Province; Mazoka had votes from Copperbelt Province; Mazoka was a national leader, he was talking about unity, he was not talking about tribe. Mazoka was Tonga, but look at his structure! His structure was a national structure. Hichilema just wants to use people for his convenience, look at the way he misused GBM and many others! Are you aware that for a long time, we had powerful politicians in the UPND like Sakwiba Sikota, Patrick Chisanga, Bob Sichinga and they were pushing a national agenda,” Lusambo recalled.

He charged that both the UPND MPs and their leadership were “doormats” for Hichilema’s personal use.

“All those MPs for UPND, the UPND leadership, all of them are just doormats to Hakainde Hichilema! They don’t think! When you come to Parliament that is where you can see that these guys are just dunder-heads! You can know them when you are debating real issues, they go to New Kasama…if that gentleman just says, ‘no.’ When they come to Parliament with proper Bills on the table, they will just say, ‘no.’ Why have you said no? Because these are proper issues, which we need to debate and give the people of Zambia what they want, but to them it is ‘no!’ Hakainde Hichilema is UPND and UPND is Hakinde Hichilema that is why they can’t move,” Lusambo argued.

“We have young people, who can be presidents in that party. We have Gary (Nkombo); we have (Cornelius) Mweetwa… don’t talk about Jack Mwiimbu! Jack Mwiimbu is a fossil! We have people, who can push a national agenda and that is what we want to see in our country. I sympathise with my colleagues in UPND. You know that I have a lot of friends in UPND.”

And Lusambo, who is also Kabushi PF member of parliament, alleged that Hichilema was capable of selling public assets to foreigners once elected Republican President because the opposition leader had borrowed money for his political activities.

“Today, Hakainde Hichilema has borrowed millions of dollars. Hakainde Hichilema has never used his money to do campaigns, to do political party activities. Hichilema strikes deals with other people outside Zambia so that if he wins, they will come for our public assets! When Hakainde Hichilema is doing politics, don’t just see that he is refusing to sit on that seat. I sympathise with him because he has borrowed heavily, he can’t move from that seat,” alleged Lusambo.

“Hichilema is not just refusing to come out from that seat because he wants to be President of that particular party because he has failed, even himself, he knows that he has failed. But there is something, which is forcing him to be there, the money he has borrowed. That political party is a party which is being funded by people outside Zambia and the agenda is to come and take public assets when UPND ascends to power. I don’t know where and I don’t know which country. If we have three crooks in Zambia, Hakinde Hichilema is one of them!”

Following defeats in several by-elections, including last Thursday’s polls in Mwansabombwe and Lukashya constituencies, Katuka maintained that despite the UPND’s setbacks, the party will maintain Hichilema as president ahead of next year’s polls and beyond.