NALIKWANDA UPND member of parliament Geoffrey Lungwangwa and Solwezi West UPND member of parliament Teddy Kasonso have officially joined the ruling party with five other UPND officials.
And Prof Lungwangwa has charged that many people are leaving UPND because the DNA of the party is that of bitterness and violence.
The other UPND members that have defected to the PF include; David Chiko, Davies Sumaili, Jackson Mwakamba, Moses Chiyuka and Victor Chibiyi.
Speaking at a press briefing, Tuesday, Prof Lungwangwa said he would work tirelessly to ensure that President Edgar Lungu won this August elections with a sweeping, convincing, resounding victory in the entire Western Province.
“Let me assure the leadership of the PF that as for me, the decision to join PF was when I wrote the letter applying for adoption on March 12, this year and at that point, I decided to join the PF. Let me make a public commitment today that I will work tirelessly to ensure that His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu wins with a sweeping, convincing, resounding victory in the entire Western Province. We shall work extremely hard. We shall do the best to make the party proud. I don’t think there is any other party in this country that has clearly outlined what it wants to do for Zambia, what it wants to do for the Zambian people. You have distinguished yourself as a party that you are pro-poor and inclusive. This is exactly what the country needs,” he said.
“I have traversed the continent of Africa, and the biggest challenge on this continent is of course lack of peace in many countries. Many countries are at war, many countries are experiencing violence, many countries have no unity. Zambia is an oasis of peace and tranquility. This is an envy on the continent and many countries would like to come here. We should keep it that way.”
He charged that many people were leaving UPND because the DNA of the party was that of bitterness and violence.
“We know many of our colleagues who are leaving UPND are doing so because the DNA is that of hatred, the DNA of the party is that of bitterness and of course violence. Many have said that I am not the first one. That is what we should get rid of in the country. We should build bridges of unity, we should bring Zambia together,” Prof Lungwangwa said.
Meanwhile, Kasonso said his decision to leave UPND was a painful one but necessary.
“People have said PF or the government of PF is not inclusive, I disagree. Continue to build national unity. It is something that all leaders across the board and I am appealing to the party where I am coming from today UPND, that issues of national unity are crucial in this country. We are One Zambia One nation. My decision to cross over to PF has not been easy because I can tell you, I gave it my all in UPND. I gave it my best shot to ensure that UPND exists, I was a factor. The decision to cross over to PF is painful but it is necessary. Patriotism is costly but it is necessary. Yes, I have several issues with PF, that is normal. We must have a serious conversation when it comes to national issues,” he said.
“Certain issues I brought to the President are being done or they will be done. Not everything can be done once it’s not possible. Don’t let anyone cheat you that if UPND came to power, well God forbid, they would resolve our problems. It is not possible. When they say ‘bally will fix it’ fix what? Government is very complicated. No one individual can fix our challenges as a nation. It is a collective responsibility. We must put our heads together and find solutions. It is not about bally, I am afraid, it is not possible. Government is a serious matter. To some extent, the PF government has performed very well. Unfortunately, all Zambians want government to deliver development to them on the same day, but that is not possible. It has to be in a sequence, our people must be patient. UPND does not have the numbers. Let us work hard to ensure that President Lungu retains power. I want to declare that I, Teddy Kasonso from this minute, cease to be a member of UPND. I have from this moment joined PF.”
The UPND officials were received by Mines Minister Richard Musukwa, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo, Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Malanji and PF national chairman Samuel Mukupa among others.