Some eleven serving Members of Parliament from the MMD have officially defected to the opposition UPND.
The eleven made the announcement at a hugely attended news conference held at Chainama Hotel in Lusaka Monday morning.
The MPs were received in the UPND by the party’s leadership led by President Hakainde Hichilema, his two Vice Presidents Canisius Banda and Geoffrey Mwamba including party Chairman Mutale Nalumango.
The MPs are Dr. Brian Chitiwo of Mumbwa, Levy Ngoma of Sinda and Keith Mukata of Chilanga in Lusaka Province.
Others are Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane of Liuwa, Dr. Chris Kalila of Lukulu and Prof. Jeff Lungwangwa of Nalikwanda in Western Province.
The other MPs are Elijah Muchima of Ikelengi, Sarah Sayfwanda of Zambezi East and Moses Muteteka of Chisamba and Kabinga Pande of Kasempa including Mundia Ndalamei of Sikongo constituency.
At the same meeting, Hon Goma announced that Keembe MP Reverend Ronnie Shikapwasha would be joining the group next week.
Three MMD Councillors from Chilanga also defected to the UPND at the same event.
From the eleven MPs, perhaps the biggest surprise is the defection of Keith Mukata who is also Deputy Justice Minister under the PF government.
And addressing the news conference, Mr Hichilema said it is clear that the wind of change is now sweeping right across the nation.
He accused President Edgar Lungu of instigating violence in an attempt to postpone the August 11th 2016 general elections.
Mr Hichilema said President Lungu is scared of going to the polls hence he has allegedly resorting to violence.
“He wants to avoid an election by instigating violence. No one should instigate violence. Everybody must do their part. The Church will do their part but every leader must do their part to end violence. You can see the fear in his eyes if you look at him. Why are you scared if you have delivered?”
Mr Hichilema who displayed today’s edition of the Post Newspaper under the headline ‘Sort them Out’ which quoted President Lungu directing the police to use maximum force to arrest those perpetuating violence.
“He is now telling the police to sort people out, now that is coming from a President who swore to protect citizens. In Mpika over the weekend at the consecration of Bishop Mutale he asked the Church to bring to us together to dialogue but behind he is asking the police to sort the citizens out,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema also blamed the current mealie meal shortage on the lack of planning by the PF government.
He said there is a shortage of mealie meal in most parts of the country which has led to the increase in mealie meal prices.
“This is a simple rule of supply and demand but off course Lungu doesn’t understand,” he said.
And speaking at the same event, Chilanga MP Keith Mukata rubbished assertions that the UPND is a tribal party.
“The issue of tribalism in the UPND is total nonsense,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Deputy Minister Keith Mukata has resigned his position following his defection from the MMD to the UPND.
In a letter addressed to President Edgar Lungu dated March 14th 2016 and obtained in Lusaka today, Mr Mukata thanked President Lungu for having accorded him a chance to serve in his Government.
The letter was also copied to the Speaker of the National Assembly including the Clerk of the National Assembly.
He has also conveyed his gratitude to the people of Zambia for the services rendered to the nation under President Lungu’s leadership.
Mr Mukata became the latest MMD MP to shift camp to the UPND along with eleven other MMD MPs at a colourful news conference held at Chainama Hotel in Lusaka today.