UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda says he has already hit the ground running on a mobilisation tour across the country because it is not time to sit in the office.

And Imenda says this time around, UPND will not impose candidates on the people just because they are affiliated to some big names, but will choose aspirants who are popular on the ground.

Speaking when he met party officials in Lusaka, Wednesday, Imenda said he would not settle in one place until August.

“My style of management is not to sit in offices but to go out in the field and do the work. You are the district and under you, you have constituencies. Please, you will do me a favour by organising as many constituency meetings as possible. From here, if you tell me there is a meeting in Matero, I will go there. I would like to hit the ground running. Please, I am happy to have been chosen to be a secretary general in a year where we have elections. It is like putting you in position number 10. There is no time to get settled. People need goals now and I will not score if I sit in offices. For me to score goals, I have to be out and we start with Lusaka. When I am done with Lusaka, you will rarely see me because I will be out there touring the whole country until August 12. People have been asking who is Batuke Imenda? I joined UPND before it was called UPND,” Imenda said.

Batuke said this time around, the party would not impose candidates on people.

“We have no time remaining, time is gone, time is finished. You will soon hear some of you here will start differing, differing over what? Over candidates because you have been given something you know he is unpopular but the mere fact that he has given you something, you fight that he becomes a candidate at the end of the day the party loses because of one person. We are saying we are not going to import people to Kabwata or because he is a child to Sata, no. Because she is Mwanawasa’s wife, no. We want people who have done their homework, loyal to the party,” Imenda said.

“Where are they now those people that are imposed on the last minute? Those people you gave a mayoral position, are you with them? Those people coming from Kanyama know who is popular, please do not wait to be given something and handover a constituency to a person who is not going to give you a seat. You know the person that has been suffering with you. For the first, please give the people who have been suffering with you, the people who can give that man who has been suffering for so long, that man suffered in prison let us honour him for the first time. Let us think for him for the first time. When that man earns himself a seat, we will all be happy. So whatever decision you are going to make, you must know that we are doing it for Hakainde [Hichilema], for the UPND and the country.”

He said the party’s task was to win big in the August election.

“Our big task is to win and to win big. That is the number one task given to us by Hakainde. The second task is to protect the vote; these are the two things that can see that man in State House. So how do you win big? We can only win this game if each one of us belongs to a branch. And that our neighbors belong to a branch this is what Hakainde calls a polling station management committee. We have reached a point where we have felt that all those huge rallies we used to do, the picture in the front page is so big that it cannot fit on the front page you come to voting, the President gets 5,000 or even less. The question you ask is where were those people, those huge crowds in Mandevu, those huge crowds in Matero, huge crowds in Kanyama, the answer is simple they are not there because they are not your members. People in compounds enjoy people shouting at each other when you can [call] each other names, he is corrupt, he is a thief, they cheer ‘no today they spoke very well’,” said Imenda.

“Why do you want to win big? The government in power finds it very easy to rig because you always want to win with a small margin, they find it very easy to manipulate because they just sit back with their PVT asking people in Lundazi ‘how many votes does Hakainde have?’ They tell them people from Isoka increase by 20. Until they make sure that they have swallowed all your votes. That is when they announce the final votes. In 1991, was it possible for (Kenneth) Kaunda to rig those elections? It was impossible because Chiluba got 85 percent. Kaunda got 50 percent only. That is why Hakainde is saying go out there and win big.”