Dr Canisius Banda says while he remains vice president for politics, the future of UPND remains in his hands.
And Dr Banda has rubbished online reports suggesting that he was the next person to exit the UPND after allegedly being paid to defect by the Patriotic Front (PF) and that he was currently being accommodated at Cresta Golf View Hotel.
Instead, Dr. Banda told the Daily Nation yesterday evening that his task was now to provide leadership to the UPND members who were currently disturbed following the August 11, 2016 general elections loss.
Dr Banda wondered why he could be accused of going away from the UPND now when he could even be in a very good stead to succeed President Hakainde Hichilema as the President in future.
He said the online story was so wrong and false that it reeks of malice.
Dr Banda said it was almost as if he was now being pushed away by an insider.
“Is this another internal dirty job?”
“I am a very important member of the UPND because I have been around for a long time when the party had only about 20 Members of Parliament and today the UPND has 58 members of Parliament.
“In 2006, UPND was recording about 18 percent votes at Presidential level but now it is close to 50 percent votes, so all this has been happening with me as an integral member of the UPND,” Dr Banda said.
He said what members of the UPND wanted now was a resolute leader who could console and guide the membership from the disturbance of the general elections outcome.
Dr Banda maintained that visibility and presence of his name in the opposition United Party for National Development was still vital.
Dr Banda was responding to an article posted online that he was the next person to exit the UPND for PF.
The article suggested that the move by Dr Banda to exit the UPND had been orchestrated to divide the party during this trying time.
“Dr. Banda has been courted for the past 4 months but it seems now is the time for him to finally join the band wagon.
“Dr. Canisius Banda is currently being accommodated at Cresta Golf View Hotel as he awaits his defection payment,” read part of the article.
But Dr Banda described the story as total falsehood, adding that nobody had given him any money to ditch the UPND.
“Anybody can go to the same lodge and will not find me because I am currently at home and nobody has given me any money,” he said.
Dr Banda said he was currently surviving on his personal business and his salary as lecturer at the University of Lusaka.
Meanwhile, Dr Banda was of the view that it was time for political party leaders to confer and dialogue on matters of national interest such as freedom, peace and governance of the country.
Dr Banda also said there was no need for “tribal cleansing” and vandalising government and public property by anybody.
Dr Banda said there should be no damage to public property, burning of houses based on political lines.
“A Banda should be allowed to freely settle in Pemba district in Southern Province, a Bemba should equally be allowed and a Silumesi must be allowed to live in Northern Province because we are one people,” Dr Banda said.