THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has said, though, the resignation of its party vice president Richard Kapita, is an individual democratic right, such decisions, however, have potential to influence other members to join the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
Mr Kapita, who defected to PF at a rally addressed by President Edgar Lungu in Mwinilunga on Saturday, said he decided to join the ruling party because Mr Lungu inspired him as he wanted to work with all those that wanted to develop Zambia.
Mr Kapita was one of the founding members of the UPND in 1998 and he was Mwinilunga Member of Parliament on the party ticket.
Reacting to Mr Kapita’s defection, UPND Southern Province Information and Publicity Secretary Rudolph Phiri said the opposition party had lost a valuable individual voter.
In an interview yesterday, he said, Mr Kapita, having been a senior party official and one a founder member, his decision to defect from UPND could entice other party members to follow suit.
“You know, losing a party individual whatever status, it means a vote has been lost already. Yes, we have lost a voter as a party but we not the party at large,” he said.
Mr Phiri said that Mr Kapita’s individual democratic right could also attract a few UPND members at grassroot level such as those that were close to him to defect.
He cited some party members from North-Western Province where Mr Kapita had commanded a larger follower of members at the time he was MP for Mwinilunga.
He, however, said joining politics was an individual decision because every party member regardless of the party affiliation had the right to join a party of choice.
“Every person has a democratic right to join any party of choice and Mr Kapita felt that time has now come for him to join PF because it’s his individual right to do so,” he said.