ECONOMIC Front leader Wynter Kabimba says UPND was just envious of the indiscipline in PF, going by the behaviour of some of its party members.
And Kabimba says PF’s loss of the Kabwata by-election has nothing to do with lack of money but is a message from party members who do not agree with the manner in which the rebranding process is being done.
In an interview, Kabimba said the UPND had failed to discipline its members.
“It is obvious to me that the UPND was very envious of the indiscipline in PF and that they want to perpetuate that indiscipline. From the time UPND won the elections in August last year, we have seen a lot of incidents regarding their party members that border on indiscipline and interference with the duties of civil servants. A matter which HH as a leader in the opposition at that time condemned PF about very strongly. What we have seen is that UPND has failed to discipline its members. The members that went to harass Raphael Nakacinda at Chelstone Police, no disciplinary action has been taken by the party. The youths that beat up that poor lady in Kasama, no disciplinary action has been taken against them within the party,” he said.
“What we saw was a lukewarm statement from HH to the effect that party cadres should not be allowed to go into government offices to harass civil servants. He did not condemn the action. And this Chikota incident two days ago is yet another one. They have been given police bonds and they will continue performing their functions as party functionaries. UPND itself is failing to take action to tell the public that they don’t agree with what these cadres are doing.”
Kabimba said that President Hakainde Hichilema simply made “lukewarm” statements which did not deliver any message to his party cadres.
“And this goes against the undertaking by President Hakainde Hichilema when he was in the opposition, in fact even after he was sworn in that the UPND cadres will not be allowed to do what PF cadres were doing. It is so frightening that five months into the term of UPND and HH as President, we are seeing levels of indiscipline, of harassing citizens and civil servants, of intimidation of law enforcement agencies at the scale that was achieved by PF in three to four years,” he said.
“If you exponentially look at that one year from today, we are going to be living in a society of complete lawlessness with HH making lukewarm statements that don’t deliver any message to his party cadres, statements which indirectly turn a blind eye to these wrong things that the UPND are doing and this is a man who says ‘I have come to promote peace in the country’. I don’t know who told him that there was no peace in Zambia. And this is the man who said, `I have come to promote the rule of law in Zambia’ when what we are seeing is the opposite and this is the man who is saying I want to promote unity in the country, I don’t know who told him that Zambia was not united.”
Kabimba said nothing had changed under UPND as the culture of indiscipline and harassment by party cadres had continued.
“And this is the man riding on pronouncements which are clearly meaningless and he rode on this mantle to get into power and this shall haunt him up to the end of his term in 2026 when the Zambian people pass the same judgement against him like they did against the PF. One of the things that Zambians were nauseated about with PF was this type of culture of indiscipline and harassment by party cadres. Nothing has changed; we have changed guard but with no change. That is typical of African democracy and elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kabimba said PF’s loss of the Kabwata by-election had nothing to do with lack of money.
“My view is that their loss in Kabwata is actually a message from their members that we do not agree with this rebranding you have done and if they don’t listen more to their members, PF is headed for extinction. It has nothing to do with lack of money, the fact that they are broke, no. It is because the senior members of the party have not listened to the rank and file of the party. When you look at the performance of PF, it comes in the work of the rebranding process. It is clear that their members and supporters do not believe that their rebranding process has been done in the interest of the party,” said Kabimba.
“From the time this rebranding process was introduced, party members have been complaining that they did not think that this was being done in a proper way, they did not think that was being done with the participation of the general members of the party and they demanded that if there is any rebranding to be done, then the rank and file of the party should be allowed to participate in that rebranding. The said members of the party have turned a blind eye to that.”