UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema may suffer a revolt from the general membership of the party which may lead to mass defections to the Patriotic Front (PF), Richard Kapita has warned.
Mr Kapita, who is the former vice-president of UPND, said the opposition political party was not in a position to defeat the Patriotic Front (PF) and form government because many of its members were not happy with its leadership and were considering leaving the party.
He said it would be difficult for the UPND to unseat the PF because the opposition political party was currently experiencing a serious internal leadership crisis because there was a feeling that the current leadership had failed its members.
Mr Kapita revealed that he had learnt through Mr Hichilema that he was unwanted in the party and could not therefore remain in an organisation where his services and contribution were not needed.
He said there were many other senior members of the UPND who were planning to join the PF because they had realised that President Edgar Lungu had changed the politics in the party and his leadership style was being appreciated.
Mr Kapita said the ruling party had become more attractive with President Lungu who had embarked on rebranding and repackaging the ruling party with his reconciliatory, peace and unity messages among the members and Zambians in general.
He pledged that he would apply his best to ensure that the ruling party’s mandate to govern was renewed after the general elections next year.
Mr Kapita said the UPND had been claiming that he was not a factor in politics and yet after he announced his resignation from the party, some party leaders started panicking and launched verbal attacks against him.
“The UPND is not going anywhere and as I speak, there is a revolt against Mr Hichilema by a lot of his members. There are many who are going to abandon the UPND and will be joining the PF because they have realised that President Lungu has really changed the politics in the ruling party. President Lungu has rebranded the PF and it has become more attractive to a lot of Zambians.
As for me, I learnt through Mr Hichilema that I was not wanted in the UPND and since I started feeling rejected, I made a choice to move on and I am happy I am out of the UPND,” Mr Kapita said. He said he had found a family in the PF and that he would work hard to deliver the best for the ruling party so that it continue governing through President Lungu.
Mr Kapita said he had sacrificed for the UPND for the last 17 years and that it was unfortunate that the leadership did not appreciate his contribution. He said he had been sidelined for a long time and that time had come for him to associate with a political party that was accommodating and respecting of all members irrespective of their positions. Mr Kapita stated that he had joined the UPND voluntarily and that it was not a crime for him to have left the party adding that it was surprising that some UPND leaders started abusing him verbally for leaving the party.
“I feel welcome in the PF and I have a lot of friends in the UPND who will soon be joining the PF,” Mr Kapita said.