Confusion has ensued between the UPND leadership in Eastern Province and the Minister of Water Development and sanitation Mike Mposha over the appointment of Eastern Water and Sanitation Company Board.
The UPND leadership in Eastern Province has refused to recognise the board, saying the Mposha did not consult them on who should be selected.
UPND youths, led by their Treasurer Issah Daka, staged a protest in Chipata demanding that Mposha revoked the appointment of all board members.
The youths accused the Water Development and Sanitation Minister of appointing PF sympathisers to the board, which is led by Chrispin Kamuna, who served as EWSC Board vice chairman in the last five years.
In an interview, UPND provincial chairman Johabbie Mtonga and his youth chairman Lyson Nyirenda also said most of the people appointed were PF sympathisers.
“The truth of the matter is that, when I saw the names on social media, I called the Minister and asked him where the names he selected to sit in the board came from. He said Chairman, I’m sorry I did not consult you. So to me it did not look good because in the province here, there are people who fought together with us and we feel that we were supposed to be consulted,” Mtonga said.
He said the party had qualified people who were capable of taking positions on the board, unlike what the minister did by picking people from outside the party.
Mtonga said he would sit with the minister and ensure that the appointment of the EWSC board was reversed.
“If we continue getting people from elsewhere, we are damaging our party, especially the people who fought so hard for us to be in governemnt. So as Provincial Chairman, I am humbly asking if the minister can reverse his appointments on the EWSC Board, come back to us and we must move at the same pace,” said Mtonga.
In the same vein, Nyirenda said youths in the province are not happy that the people appointed to sit on the board were not UPND vision carriers.
He said 50 or 75 percent of the people sitting on EWSC board belonged to PF, adding that some of them were leading an organisation which campaigned for former president Edgar Lungu.
“All we expected was to appoint people who would carry the vision of President Hakainde Hichilema because they understand the manifesto of UPND unlike him appointing people who have never been in the party for so many years,” said Nyirenda.
“We are not forcing him, it is up to him, and if he wants to keep those people, he has all the powers but us as members of the UPND who hail from this province, we are asking our minister to rescind his decision.”
But when contacted for a comment, Mposha said that the appointment of the people sitting on boards of all water utility companies in the country was widely consultative.
Mposha said that there was no law which compelled him to always consult the provincial party leadership when making appointments.
He wondered why the provincial leadership had taken interest in questioning the appointments of the board which was properly done and on merit.