THE confusion that has rocked the UPND adoption process for members wishing to stand for elective political positions in the August 11 general elections should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians, says Gallant Youth Zambia (GYZ) executive director Henry Mulenga.
He said the intra-party fights demonstrated hunger for power.
Mr Mulenga said political parties with members fighting over who should be adopted must not be entrusted with power in the August general elections.
“If these people can turn against each other, what guarantee do the Zambian people have that the party can manage the Zambian population,” he said.
Mr Mulenga advised political parties who wanted to rule the country to put its house in order and ensure that some of its members desist from violence.
He also said his organisation was saddened to have learned that two journalists were over the past weekend forcibly dragged away from where the party meeting was taking place in full view of some senior district party officials.
This was after the cadres and their leadership realised that the reporters were photographing the fight that had erupted among UPND members in Siavonga at Nabutezi Community School on Saturday.
The UPND fight followed disagreements over the mode of adopting a candidate to contest the parliamentary seat in the August 11 general elections.
Some UPND members allegedly demanded that the election of aspiring candidates be postponed in order to give ample time to all delegates from the wards to attend so as to identify a suitable candidate.
Meanwhile, CASH handouts and bribery of party officials characterised the UPND adoption process for aspiring candidates in Livingstone constituency of Southern Province.
According to sources within the UPND, some of the aspiring candidates were giving out K500 to each constituency official so that they could manipulate the process in favour of such candidates.
Other aspiring candidates were giving out K50 while still others were giving constituency officials K200 each in favour of their support.
Sources within the opposition party told the Daily Nation that Tuesday night and early yesterday morning was a busy time for both candidates and officials as most of them held dark corner meetings in various townships and lodges ahead of the interviews on Wednesday morning.
“Like I said the other time, it has happened again. Our constituency officials were receiving money from aspiring candidates last night (Tuesday). This was happening in various townships and lodges where they were meeting. Two aspiring candidates were giving them K500 each,” said the source.
The source disclosed that the process at the ward level and now the constituency level has not been transparent as it was marred with corruption and bribery. The source added that the outcome of the results was a clear indication that money has been exchanging hands in the party.
“It is very disappointing for both party officials and these aspiring candidates to engage in corrupt practices. We should have allowed the process to be open without undue influence. People have been bought. How can an aspiring candidate give out K500 to each party constituency official?” the source asked.
“Some of them were buying party officials with K200 while others with K50 each. The party leadership is aware of such candidates. From my own perspective, this process is not favouring UPND because if we are to settle for some of these candidates, they might cost us the seat. This should not be the case,” he said.
Meanwhile, the source has disclosed that the losing 2011 aspiring candidate Frederick Chunga topped the list, followed by former MMD deputy mayor Mathews Jere while former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Joseph Akafumba, came third.