Four opposition political parties have expressed reservations about working with Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata who has called for a united opposition after the collapse of the Pact with the United Party for National Development (UPND).
National Democratic Focus (NDF) president Ben Mwila has said it is impossible for any reasonable political party to enter into any form of arrangement with Mr Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front (PF) because the opposition leader is inconsistent and unpredictable.
And the Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) has said it is only willing to work with other opposition parties in some coalition based on a common economic agenda and not a “pact arrangement” based on individuals and personalities.
Commenting on Mr Sata’s statement that his party was open to dialogue for a united opposition, Mr Mwila said it would be an effort in futility for any opposition pact to think of working with the PF.
“There is no way Mr Sata can want to get in Government in the first place because he has no agenda for the country. We tried ourselves, we wrote an agreement to work together as a united opposition then with the late Anderson Mazoka, the late Dean Mung’omba, Dr Nevers Mumba and myself which Mr Sata abrogated himself.
“We even chose members and allocated constituencies as to which political party would stand but on the last minute Mr Sata walked away,” he said.
Mr Mwila said Mr Sata always finds a way to get out of a working arrangement with other parties.
“If you remember our party was called Zambia Republican Party (ZRP). The name National Democratic Front (NDF) came about because Mr Sata wanted the word “Front” to be reflected because PF was part of the pact. We were forced to drop the Front to Focus because Mr Sata contested that we remove it when he came out of the arrangement,” he said.
He said it would be unreasonable for any opposition party to even contemplate a working arrangement with the PF.
ADD president Charles Milupi said his party was the first to call for a grand opposition but that his party would only work with political parties with a similar vision.
“ADD was the first to call for a united and grand opposition. We have been advocating for this for a long time but we can only come together if we have common policies,” he said.
Mr Milupi said opposition parties can only work together in an arrangement based on issues and common policy not individuals and personalities.
“As a party, we are focused on dealing with issues of unemployment, poverty and disease, we can only work with people who have similar visions,” he said.
New Revolution Party (NRP) president Cosmo Mumba said it would be difficult for any party to work with the PF as long as it maintains Mr Wynter Kabimba as the secretary general.
“Just look at how Mr Kabimba has fought the UPND,” he said.
UPND national youth chairperson Joe Kalusa has advised other opposition parties to be wary of Mr Sata’s invitation.
He said before Mr Sata can invite other parties to join a united opposition, he should tell the Zambian people what was wrong with the UPND.
“It is like a married man who divorces a wife and goes on the street and asks another wife to marry him without addressing his own problems and weaknesses. That kind of marriage can’t last.
“First let him tell the nation what is wrong with UPND. He has tried so many pacts with the NDF, ULP (United Liberal Party) all of which he ditched at the last minute. This is a man you can’t trust,” he said.
Officiating at the Northern Province party conference Mr Sata said his party was ready a united opposition.
The announcement comes at a time the pact with the UPND is failing.
[Times of Zambia]