UPND vice-president Mutale Nalumango says a decision was made to call the opposition alliance the “UPND Alliance” because they did not want to confuse people by introducing a new brand.

On Friday, Chishimba Kambwili said he was against the UPND Alliance because it was disrespectful of other political parties.

But in an interview, Sunday, Nalumango said the alliance arrived at the name UPND Alliance after a lot of talks, insisting that it was purely for branding purposes.

“It was something out of negotiations. You have to have a name, do you really need to create a new name today for a political party, and the alliance is part of the addition. That is the way we felt. It was after a lot of talk. And now if you think that the alliance was just between two [parties] when you are more than two, it becomes difficult. For this issue, it is important to follow through with the NDC. What is it that they would have wanted themselves? Because we believed also, to be sincere that currently we are all over the country. And when we start changing names, people will get confused. So we saw to it that we can’t also just say ‘UPND’ and forget like we are on our own. Let us add and ‘alliance’. So we thought that was inclusive enough. And there are many other issues that Dr Kambwili may be bringing out. All those were considered and I think we were properly negotiating,” she said.

“You don’t start changing names and start selling a new brand. Whether it’s Boom (for example), when you call it Boomerang, it is a different brand and you have to start all over again. Because people will say ‘is it the same’. But when you say, with a better addition, people will say ‘ooh it’s improved Boom’.”

And regarding Kambwili’s announcement that NDC was no longer a member of the UPND Alliance, Nalumango said they were waiting to hear from NDC in an official manner rather than through the media.

“He (Kambwili) said they (NDC) were out of the alliance. So we are waiting to hear from them in some kind of official manner rather than the media. We were negotiating with them as NDC. So they will settle their own matters and then we [will] know. For us, our arms are wide open because we believe that we need all Zambians to ensure that there is a change of government. Because right now we are in trouble and any Zambian leader that loves Zambia and any other ordinary Zambian have seen that we are just thinking and thinking in whichever field where we need leadership. Whether it’s economy, political and even social,” Nalumango said.

“If we don’t get rid of PF, even those political parties if they are genuine, they may not have space after 2021 because these guys are out to ensure that they are a one party government by the manner that they behave. Even though I say that, I am saying with confidence that Zambians will rally together and ensure that we bring in a new government, of course UPND with its alliance partners so that we recreate the democratic space where everybody will be able to operate. Not to gag, for example the media. But freedom to express and the responsibility to respond to issues raised by the people rather than gag them, rather than stop other political parties. We need to do this for the future. So we are still open to NDC, when they have settled their own matters, we are still open.”