UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda says PF is not in a position to complain about legal fees because the party was in government and has all the money one can think of.

In an interview, Imenda said it was surprising that the UPND was being accused of trying to financially cripple the PF when the former ruling party had petitioned most election results in 2016.

“The PF, after winning constituency seats in 2016, petitioned all the election results where they lost. I am now realizing that the reason why they petitioned everyone, in their own understanding, was to cripple us financially. But if that was their intention then they had failed. Tell Mr Lubinda that his party had completely failed to cripple us financially. Number one is that we won the cases and number two is that we were not crippled financially. Despite having gone through that, we came out to come into government five years later,” Imenda said.

“So basically all those that are petitioning are actually individuals because that is their individual right. One thing Mr Lubinda should see is that the UPND has no policy to petition anyone but individual Zambians within their constitutional right have the right to sue. So in this case, these individual Zambians who happen to be UPND realised that they were not treated [fairly] by their opponents. So they are challenging those people to a legal fight or battle with the view of getting judicial redress. So that cannot be interpreted as UPND wanting to cripple PF financially.”

Imenda said UPND had no money and was not funding legal expenses for any of the petitioners.

“After all, if there are people who have got money it is PF itself. The UPND has no money and as far as we are concerned, the UPND is not funding any petitioner. The petitioners are meeting their own expenses. The PF was in government and they had all the money you can think of. So if there is anyone who is feeling the pressure of these legal expenses, it is the petitioners themselves. Mr Lubinda is misleading himself. He knows he is cheating and it is a lie. Infact my answer in addressing that issue of little money is that there is no little money. You are hearing all these cases of millions of money found in bedrooms and someone is telling you there is little money? K65 million being found in homes, is it little money?” asked Imenda.

On Thursday, PF vice-president Given Lubinda said the UPND’s strategy to petition over 440 council election results was aimed at financially crippling the PF so that ‘all the little’ money they have goes to legal fees.