Former Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister in late President Michael Chilufya Sata’s administration Robert Sichinga has refuted claims by political critics that former UPND Spokesperson Patrick Chisanga and himself left United Party for National Development (UPND) on account of tribalism pushed by loyalists that only a Tonga should succeed the late Anderson Kambela Mazoka and lead the party.
In remarks on Pan African Radio ‘OFF the CUFF” radio Program anchored by Hermit Hachilonde, Mr. Sichinga dismissed the claims as erroneous, adding that the truth of the matter is that UPND has always been an inclusive political party.
“The tribalism thing was not the basis I left the UPND, I only left when I was physically beaten at Mr. Mazoka’s burial,”
“That was not the correct scenario because I left before HH took over leadership of the UPND, I had resigned from the UPND because of accusations that were labeled against me and the differences in the selection of candidates within the party at that time and the fact the I raised the issue of Mazoka’s health,” said Mr Sichinga before adding that he thought was that it was better for Mr Mazoka to rest based on his health.
“The tribal thing was not a correct scenario. I had put Mazoka’s health first, and the tribalism thing was not the basis I left the UPND, I only left when I was physically beaten at Mr. Mazoka’s burial,” Mr Sichinga said
Mr. Sichinga said that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema embraces people regardless of their individual tribal heritage.
Mr. Sichinga, who rejoined the UPND, dismissed as unfair accusations labeling the UPND leader as a tribalist with deserving contempt.
Mr. Sichinga said that most people make such unjustified assessment on account of ignorance.
Sichinga, a former UPND Kafue Member of Parliament (MP) believes that Mr. Hichilema is comparably a better and experienced leader with exceptional ability to manage the Zambian economy.
“Am sure that president Hichilema knows that he needs the support of all tribes in Zambia, so I would say to you that the issues of error in judgment and that cannot be pressed on Hakainde Hichilema because he was only called to run the affairs of the party and that is not his problem” Bob Sichinga Said
You can listen to extracts from the Interview below