United Party for National Development (UPND) says former Lubanseshi member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Mucheleka is a party member and is free to re-contest the seat on the party ticket in the September 24 Parliamentary by-election.
Divisions have rocked the rank and file of the opposition party in Lubanseshi following intentions by the party to adopt Mr Mucheleka as its candidate in the by-election.
But UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said in an interview yesterday that party members interested in contesting the seat should tender their applications instead of fighting Mr Mucheleka.
“As you may be aware, Mr Mucheleka supported the candidature of our party leader Hakainde Hichilema in the run-up to the January 20, 2015 presidential election and so he is one of us.
“So Mr Mucheleka, just like any other party member, is free to apply to be adopted on the party’s ticket in the by-election. What party members should know is that they will not be considered for adoption unless they go through the necessary processes,” he said.
Mr Kakoma, however, could not disclose whether Mr Mucheleka had applied to contest the seat on the party’s ticket.
“We are just waiting to receive recommendations from the lower organs before we can interview the aspiring candidates,” Mr Kakoma said.
On Friday, UPND Lubanseshi district chairperson Maxwell Mwape revealed that there was confusion in the constituency because founder members felt sidelined.