UPND deputy secretary general Gertrude Imenda says PF members who might have engaged in criminal activities should not think they will be shielded just because they have defected to the ruling party.

The UPND has continued receiving new members from the former ruling party, with the recent one being former PF member of the central committee Kelvin Sampa who was welcomed by Vice-President Mutale Nalumango.

In an interview, Imenda, however, said there was nothing wrong with the UPND receiving defectors from the PF because politics was about numbers.

“If you are in a war situation and the other side surrenders, do you refuse that surrender? You were fighting with somebody and that person surrenders and you receive them, is that wrong? You will not end war with thinking like that. We fought them but now they have come back genuinely. Politics is about numbers. What is wrong with us having more numbers? I do not know what people are complaining about? Is it that they think that they will come and take their positions in the party or what? They are coming as ordinary members. Even the prodigal son was accepted back by his father. So I do not see where the problem is if your enemy surrenders. If the purpose of joining us is them thinking that they will be protected, they are wrong,” said Imenda.

“If they have committed criminal activities and the law is pursuing them, they should not think that by joining UPND they will be protected. If somebody committed injustices and they have shown a sense of remorse or say sorry and by them joining us and they say ‘we did not understand you guys but now you are doing good for the nation and we want to be part of that because we have forsaken our wicked ways’ we accept them. As they are with us and follow our values and ethics, there is nothing wrong. So if they committed some criminal activities and the law is pursuing them, they should not think that by joining the ruling party, they will be shielded, no. If our party members who commit criminal activities have faced the law, none of us is protected from the law.”