The People of Milanzi have been receiving free bags of mealie meal and other food substances in an effort by the MMD to win their votes.United Party for National Development (UPND) has therefore accused the ruling MMD of vote buying in a bid to win the forthcoming Milanzi by election set for 26th June this year.
UPND Party President Hakainde Hichilema says the his party has received reports that the MMD is allegedly engaging in electoral malpractices by distributing mealie meal and other food stuffs in exchange for votes.
Speaking during a media briefing at the party headquarters in Lusaka today, Mr. Hichilema charged that the ruling party has taken advantage of the high poverty levels among people in Milanzi to extort votes in a bid to win the election.
He added that the poverty is being deliberately being perpetuated by the MMD due to the government’s poor agriculture policy.
Mr. Hichilema wondered why the government is allegedly spending a lot of resources during the election period when civil servants and UNZA students are demanding for improved salaries and meal allowances respectively.
And the UPND President says his party has welcomed the recent reconciliation between Patriotic Front President Michael Sata and President Mwanawasa.
Mr. Hichilema said the reconciliation which has been received with mixed feeling is in line with the party’s position to promote issue based politics.
He however said that the party will not be further dragged into debating over the reconciliation issue which he described as a dead issue.
Mr. Hichilema has also challenged Information and Broadcasting Services Minister and Defense Minister George Mpombo to stop defending the reconciliation between Mr. Sata and Dr. Mwanawasa.
He said the two Ministers should instead answer to queries from the recent Auditor General’s report were misapplication of funds have been reported in some government departments and other challenges such as the rising food prices among others.
Mr. Hichilema has also called on Zambians to unite under the party’s theme dubbed unity of purpose in order to achieve economic and social independence.
He said disclosed that the party leadership has so far embarked on touring different parts of the country to promote and strengthen the party.
Meanwhile former MMD Member of Parliament for Liuwa constituency Western Province Nabiwa Imekendu has resigned from the ruling party to join the UPND.
Mr. Imekendu said he has resigned to join the opposition UPND with over 1000 former MMD party members in the province including former Kalabo United Liberal Party district deputy chairperson for elections Captain Lawrence Nyambe.
Mr. Imekendu who also presented hundreds of MMD membership cards believed to have been surrendered by former MMD and ULP members said the number of cards surrendered is evidence of people’s diminishing confidence in the ruling party in the province.
And Captain Nyambe said he had decided to come back to the UPND from the splinter ULP because he has now realized that Party President Hakainde Hichilema has a heart for poor and marginalized Zambians.