FORMER Mbabala UPND member of parliament Ephraim Belemu says at the moment, he is concentrating on his academics and is not focused on any political party but that he will soon announce his next political move.
And Belemu advised UPND to be weary of those crossing over only to exploit ruling party advantages.
In an interview, Belemu observed that people had lost respect for politicians due to crossovers whenever certain parties lost elections.
“For now, if you ask me, I am not focused on any party. I am home finishing my academic work. But sooner than later, I will be announcing my next political move. I will be announcing how I will be contributing in politics. I know after the aftermath of the election, the common trend is people will say, I have defected and some of the people are leaving or rejoining, if you ask them, what is the motivation behind it, they cannot even convince you. We must be realistic, we must be genuine as citizens. We must be true as politicians, no wonder people have lost respect for politicians, this thing of just waking up because one political party has lost, the one has won, you cross over and give reasons that you used against the other,” Belemu said.
“It is a question of a cause, if there is a cause for me to champion in the PF or UPND, for me that is not the issue at the moment. Soon after the elections, there is a bit of reorganisation that takes place in both parties whether those that emerge to form government or those that remain in the opposition. I would rather allow the leadership of the parties to reorganise themselves and once that process has been concluded, I think you, me and other citizens will see where we fit in, in that equation. So, I will not just wake up one morning and say I have defected.”
He said the circumstances he left UPND were unpleasant because he was stabbed.
“In the course of my life, I have erred, I have made mistakes either in academics or in work places, in politics. Even in the days of my stay in the UPND, it is not that everyday was correct and rosy, there were some errors which I was making, in my leadership, there were some errors which I was making, even when I was a chairing a committee in parliament, but was the overall motive correct? Yes, it was. Was my overall motive in the UPND correct? Yes, it was. Was my overall motive for leaving the UPND correct, yes it was given the circumstances I was in,” he said.
“The only thing I regret is not that the UPND eventually went to form government, it is because it is a party that I believed in and it is the party that I sacrificed for to the best of my ability. It is also that party that made me resign from my formal job to join politics full time. It is there that I made a lot of friends. My regret is the circumstances that led me to leave UPND. They were not pleasant. I felt like I was stabbed in the back. And people associated that with an adoption, it was not the issue. Parliament had not even been dissolved.”
And Belemu said UPND should focus on delivering its promises.
“The main issue is for the UPND to stick to its program and deliver to the Zambian people. And when a party in government delivers, even you and I will be happy. I have never wished any government bad luck in terms of its delivery and that is where the UPND should focus on, to deliver the promises that it made. But also, to be weary of the people that go there just to exploit the advantages of being in a ruling party,” said Belemu.