HH and fellow UPND members enjoying the rally
File HH and fellow UPND members enjoying the rally

By Sunday Chilufya Chanda

Following the UPND Secretary General Mr. Stephen Katuka’s statement glorifying his party’s article 70 which clearly confirmed what the public has always suspected – Hakainde Hichilema is “virtually UPND’s life President”, I turned to Article 60 of the Zambian Constitution. The UPND Secretary General proudly informed the public of their *Article 70* as it appears in the party Constitution which states as follows:

*”A party President shall be eligible for election for an indefinite period subject to this Constitution provided that a Party President who is elected Republican President shall only serve two terms that shall run concurrently with the term of office as Republican President”.*

The question which however begs an answer is whether this is allowed under the current national law. It’s my intention to contribute to the debate and especially that political parties are adequately catered for under the 2016 Amended Constitution. The 2016 amended Constitution of the Republic of Zambia brings political parties under the ambit of national law. *I want to argue that they are no longer mere private clubs as the case used to be*.

Article 60 of the Republican Constitution makes it clear that intra-party democracy is a requirement under the law.

*Article 60 (2)* A political party shall—

*(a) promote the values and principles specified in this Constitution;*

(b) have a national character;

(c) promote and uphold national unity;

*(d) promote and practice democracy through regular, free and fair elections within the party*

It is my argument that Article 70 of the UPND Constitution is inconsistent with the Constitutional provisions and further refuses to promote the values and principles of the Republican Constitution. Unless Article 60 does not political parties accountable to the parent law.

Under Article 60 (2) (e) the Republican Constitution states that a political party shall: “respect the right of its members to participate in the affairs of the political party”

The UPND party Constitution creates a virtually “life Party President” as it disrespects the right for members to effectively participate in the affairs of the party, including aspiring for the party Presidency. This is because it generally gives an incumbent party president the right to indefinitely contest elections. There would in strict sense be nothing unconstitutional about such indefinite contesting although clearly retrogressive as such sham forms of democracies have been relegated to yesteryears and certainty have no support in our current constitutional order. Clear unconstitutional and undemocratic vices can be noted from the fact that having recourse to Article 70 of their party Constitution, the UPND have prevented the party from having regular intra-party elections (democracy). This is because HH has been unconstitutionally held-out as a “virtually life president” who can indefinitely avoid regular intra-party democracy instead of contesting at all.

Further, under Article 60 (3) (a) of the Republican Constitution, the Constitution makes it illegal for any political party to be founded on tribe, ethnicity, among others:

A political party shall not— (a) be founded on a religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sectoral or provincial basis or engage in propaganda based on any of these factors

In the UPND, there is allegedly a Quota system which dictates that only a Tonga can be the president of the party. This probably explains why non-tongas such as Sakwiba Sikota who were rightfully entitled to succeed the late Anderson Mazoka were instead ousted from the party. If indeed such a Quota actually exists, then the UPND may be a party based on ethnic, tribal or other similar factors contrary to the provisions of the Republican Constitution.

Furthermore, the Opposition UPND should also pay attention to Article 60 (3) (b) on Violence and intimidation, including what they are doing to their Vice President Political Dr. Canicius Banda.

A political party shall not: “engage in or encourage violence or intimidate its members, supporters, opponents or other persons.

Further, Article 60 (2) (f) of the Repulican Constitution states that members of a political party have the right to seek redress before the Courts of law – respect the right of its members to seek redress from a court or tribunal when aggrieved by a decision of the political party.

It is clear that the article 70 of the UPND party constitution and other practices of the party are inconsistent with the provisions of the Supreme law of the land.

Accordingly, *Article 1* which deals with the Supremacy of the Constitution of Zambia states as follows:

*1. (1) This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Zambia and any other written law, customary law and customary practice that is inconsistent with its provisions is void to the extent of the inconsistency.*

*(2) An act or omission that contravenes this Constitution is illegal.*

(3) This Constitution shall bind all persons in Zambia, State organs and State institutions.

In conclusion, it is important that for those members (with Locus Standi) victimised or disadvantaged under the UPND such as its Vice President for Politics Dr. Canicius Banda and others who to aspire to replace Mr. Hichilema can and must take the matter on the article 70 of their party Constitution to the High Court and any member of the party can and must move the Constitutional Court on matters arising from the Republican Constitution for interpretation. The Courts should be in a position to pronounce whether or not it was the intention of the law to place a democratic duty on political parties and yet articles such as 70 of the UPND continue to thrive!

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66 COMMENTS

    • Why should the UPND constitution conform to the Republican constituency when those in power disregard it?? Leave the party alone, you stole the August election and still have sleepless nights over HH and his party.

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    • You are spot on Suntwe wa Suntwe. The authorities are busy raping the very constitution that they assented to but want their colleagues to abide by it.These are double standards. Sunday Chanda should tell his party to practice what they preach.

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    • YOUR PUBLICATION NEITHER HAS A TAIL NOR A HEAD. IT IS SIMPLY ANOTHER STUUPID ARTICLE FROM LOOTERS AND POWER GRABBERS.

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    • Are you all UPND cadres supporting not to have intra party elections as a way of demonstrating Democracy in your party? Then I salute PF for having stolen your vote(if at all they stole). You don’t deserve to rule this country. I rest my case.

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    • Yes, Tell this zombie to mind his PF business.
      UPND will manage its internal affairs .Moreover, its not a party in Government.

      Whats the panic.?

      Hopeless sponsored PF chap.

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  1. What alignment is Monday Chanda looking for? The UPND constitution clearly says if the party president is elected republican president then he only serves two terms. Just concentrate on the democracy in your own party and leave the matters of other parties to other parties

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    • Ukusambilila and understanding what you read able to discern from the many sources chintu chawama. I do not see how a party constitution should conform to the republican constitution. Whoever this one is trying to make an argument in the article above is suggesting all clubs’ constitutions should be consistent with the republican constitution! What a dullard!

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  2. refuses to promote the values and principles of the Republican Constitution. AND THE PF ARE A MODEL IN WHAT YOU SUNDAY HAVE OUTLINED. dO NOT THROW STONES IF YOU LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE

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  3. Mr. Chanda

    “…Art. 1 (3): This Constitution shall bind all persons in Zambia, State organs and State institutions…”

    How do you then reconcile Government constant breaches of Part III of the Constitution?

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  4. Well said Sunday Chanda. The UPND constitution is archaic and is a hangover from the One-party state when we had life presidents. No right thinking person would want to belong to a party whose constitution does not uphold the principles and values of liberty and equality espoused in the Zambian constitution, the supreme law of the land. How in this time and age would you have a party whose constitution allows its party president who is not elected to the position of Republican President to be perpetually eligible. Where does it leave other members of the party? When also is the party able to renew itself with the loss of its party president at national polls? This anachronistic provision of the UPND constitution does not certainly promote democracy. For what guarantee is there that a UPND…

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  5. For what guarantee is there that a UPND president elected to the office of Republican President would respect the Republican constitution on terms of office of strictly two terms when the constitution of his party allows him to be party president in perpetuity?

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  6. Where are Professors Muna Ndulo and Michelo Hansungule to advise the UPND on the undemocratic nature of the UPND constitution that makes the presidency of the party to be a preserve of individuals from a certain region? Is this not exactly what makes UPND as a party to be unattractive to many Zambians?

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    • Zedoc do you honestly think Zambians would let any President go for a third term without a fight??The UPND is an attractive party to some. Obviously to you it’s not. Their votes were stolen in broad day light and you zedoc know this very well deep deep down your heart. Some of their party members are incarcerated for simply trying to protect their votes. I feel terribly sad for this country. People supporting a government that is surely taking their country to the Zimbabwe of tomorrow.

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    • @ Democratic,
      It is good that your votes where stolen. Why do you want the PF to exercise democracy if you cant do it in your party?? As long as you don’t exercise democracy you will continue loosing. Even in 2021, the PF should steal your votes if you will not allow democracy to prevail in your party. Better to have a party that practice democracy than having a party which bears dictatorial traits. Thank you PF for saving us from these dictators

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    • The PF is the government in power. They should lead by example. You should change that name “The Trueth” to “Lies”. Supporting the stealing of votes!!What has gotten into you some of you Zambians? Unless you are close to the corridors of power, otherwise the people to make the impending sacrifices are you and me together with the poor villages out there. By the way I’m not even a supporter of UPND but an ordinary citizen who would like to see justice prevail in our land. Without justice seen to be delivered we headed for failure as a nation.

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    • Just like the last 5yrs you will spend the next 5yrs plotting and failing to sleep over upnd,while perfomance suffers.You blew up close to 10billion dollars on imaginary development in the last 5yrs now you are begging for 1.5billion dollars from IMF what manner of dullness is this.Bambi bola naikosa.Mukose bantu mwalebepa are beginning to ask questions.

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  7. Just goo beg for new job in the newly created ministries under vision less drunk lungu

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    • Pansaka tapabula chipuba. People are nicely debating you nez you turn to the President with your foul mouth. Shame to you and your small party.

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    • And if this is what is called Official UPND media from NEZ then am not suprised why your party is unattractive. Youe media team has uncouth langauge!

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  8. Freemansons do not follow laws and procedures that are not from freemansonry. So Dont expect hh to follow our laws

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  9. THE SAYING CHARITY BEINGS AT HOME, DEFINITELY UNVEILS THE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES KALUSA HAS, HE IS SIMPLY A GREEDY,SELF CENTERED POWER HUNGRY DICTATOR WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THAT HE IS NOT FIT TO RULE THE MAJORITY OF ZAMBIANS ,THE SOONER HE GETS IT IN HIS HEAD THE BETTER.LET ME PUT IT STRAIGHT, HE IS NOT AWARE THAT HE WILL SOON GO DOWN IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS AS THE FIRST LEADER ON EARTH TO LOSS SO MANY ELECTIONS,NO CONSCIOUS WHATSOEVER.

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    • Sata left you with a solid standard of democracy thats why you are able to lecture your values to UPND,You are the people that only 5yrs ago were telling us that UPND will always be a distant third in zed politics now you have to rig to beat UPND it explains the sleepness nights.Just work instead of pre-occupying yourselves with UPND leave that to Zambians.

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  10. I may have shared same opinions with SUNDAY CHANDA before but Reading this article is a pure waste of time, I regret reading it indeed. The interpretation is as though the person writing is a grade 2 which makes the argument altogether weak for for a logical mind.

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    • @Me quite the contrary, he has made an argument based purely on comparing the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, on it’s defined requirements for a legitimate Political party in Zambia. This is a seminal piece of argument in regards to UPND and it’s legitimacy. ITS PROVEN, IRREFUTEABLY, that UPND’s presidential clause makes it unrecognisable as a legitimate party under our laws. How more relevant could Hon. Chandrasekhar have been. Spot on!

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  11. its shameless to say the least for someone to still talk about tribalism..! our articles should trascend this mentality. please stop this barbaric insinuations…..its disgraceful. lets look for what will move our country to economic liberation not such divisive articles triggered by emotions. good day to all.

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  12. It’s imperative to research before you write an article. The ANC of South Africa has a similar arrangement where a person can be the party presidency indefinitely as long as the party continues to elect but the Supreme law of the land as you call only allows a person two terms. Hence Mr Mbeki was able to contest for the presidency of the party for the third term. In any case the Author of this article has no right to talk about an organization which he doesn’t support or represent. It cud have been good if the he was a member. Just keep upgrading PF.

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  13. My only worry with this article 70 of the UPND constitution is that it provides a lot of room for frustration and discontent on the part of the president after losing. Just imagine a presidential candidate losing so many times and the constitution still allows them to stand. Chances are that they would want to win by P, and therefore not good for democracy. We all heard HH announce that he would not accept any other outcome of the election other than a win!. This is obviously a recipe for despondency. Now better still, imagine this guy losing in 2021! wont he make this country ungovernable due to frustration? These are just fundamentals of mankind in politics. But for the sake of this country, they would do well to revisit this part of the constitution.
    ..As for me, I really shudder…

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  14. The sad part in Zambia is that we have becomes haters of each other. We use palatable language and claim to be christians.
    As for me , I will preach Christ and Christ alone…… and plead wth everyone to abhor evil and its appearance.
    Never trust President Lungu or HH, Nawakwi, Winter, or all human being but put your trust in GOD. Man is fallible.
    GOD is all loving and hates no one. He is a not respector of person. Anyone who does not repent shall be cast away when Jesus come.
    Dont satisfy yourself by calling others names such as satanist, freemason, chakolwa, tribalists riggers or whatever and think you will live to stand righteous on the Day of Judgment.
    Educate me Zambians, has Zambia become so holy that God can stay His retribution from taking place. If GOd punishes the…

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  15. SO THE PROBLEM WITH THE UPND IS NOT THE CONVENTION. IT IS FIRSTLY THEIR CONSTITUTION AND SECONDLY, TRIBALISM. THEIR CONSTITUTION ALLOWS HH TO REMAIN PRESIDENT OF UPND INDEFINITELY OR FOREVER (IF HE DOES NOT WIN THE NATIONAL PRESIDENCE). TRIBALISM ENSURES THAT ONLY A TONGA WILL BE PRESIDENT IN UPND. SO WHICH EVER WAY YOU LOOK AT IT, HH IS AND WILL STILL REMAIN UPND PRESIDENT FOREVER. ZAMBIANS SHOULD NOT ALLOW SUCH A PARTY IN POWER. OR ELSE WE WILL BE DOOMED. THANK GOD THESE GUYS LOST THE ELECTIONS.

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  16. “A PARTY PRESIDENT SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ELECTION FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD…….”

    BUT BA UPND. WHAT KIND OF DEMOCRACY IS THIS? INDEFINITE MEANS NOT DEFINED, NOT LIMITED, FOREVER AND EVER , WA MUYAYA…. A VERY PRIMITIVE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION FOR DICTATORS. I AM SURE EVEN ROBERT MUGABE’S ZANU-PF DOES NOT SAY THAT. HE SIMPLY ABUSES POWER.

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  17. Why do you so much want UPND to replace HH? Is he a threat to you? Lung was elected by raising of pangas. which article of constitution promotes that? All member of UPND joined the party willfully. If you are not happy then leave peacefully. There are so many parties you can join or better still form one like Sakwiba did. Any one is free to contest for presidency in UPND. If you can beat the incumbent then you will be president. Inonge wina the next PF president of PF.

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    • HH as an unopposed life Party head is unconstitutional. We cannot allow such a person into gov’t, nor such a party anywhere near gov’t.

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  18. PF manions should really be called baffons. Evewn in their “victory” their are still afraid of HH?
    Why being so worried of HH, when they won the elections and should be all out making mother zambia a better place to live in.
    There are many leaders who failed to win the republican Presidency but remained at the helm of their party until one day they won it!
    PF must not antagonise the UPND. what interests do they have?
    Can Cansius Banda replace HH? on what basis?the Man is not even a Politician.
    Is UPND a triabl party?
    On what basis? doses it mean if a tonga suppiorts another tonga, so its tribalism? who the hell does nyasas and bembas think they are that when Tongas vote for HH, then they call it TRIBALISM? is this not stupidity of the worst kind?
    In this country, we should allow…

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    • @The Public Protector. I DO NOT NEED TO BELONG TO UPND FOR ME TO COMMENT ON WHAT IS HAPPENING IN UPND. HH HAS OFFERED HIMSELF TO EVERY ZAMBIAN. HE HAS BEEN ASKING FOR MY VOTE. HIS NAME AND PORTRAIT HAS BEEN APPEARING ON MY BALLOT PAPER FOR THE LAST FIVE CONSECUTIVE GENERAL ELECTIONS. WHAT HAS HE BEEN DOING ON MY BALLOT PAPER? I NEED TO LOOK AT ALL THESE NAMES AND PORTRAITS ON MY BALLOT PAPER AND DISTINGUISH THE GOOD FROM THE BAD. AND WHENEVER I SEE HIS NAME AND PORTRAIT, I ALWAYS REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING WORDS FROM HIS CONSTITUTION:

      “A PARTY PRESIDENT SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ELECTION FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD…….”

      AND THESE WORDS AFFECT MY CHOICE OF PRESIDENT.

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  19. UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights:-
    Article 21
    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

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  20. Also:-
    In relation to the Dr Banda and UPND saga, I would also add elements from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:-
    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    ——
    Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
    ——
    Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    ———/
    Article 8.
    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

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  21. HH, UPND, fail to meet with credible standing for their party, whether by our constitution or the Human Rights Charter. Dr Banda has plenty ammunition even as far as a Human Rights court.

    Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

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    • Announcing his suspension even before discussing with him in person and by letter is unacceptable and intolerable. I believe the Gov’t should step up to assist Dr Banda and avail him legal support, Pro bono or via legal aid.

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    • The gov’t now also have carte Blanche to eradicate UPND, LEGALLY as they have proudly lead us to investigate their legitimacy. It is starkly clear UPND is not a political party but the body of promotion for one individual HH. I MUST SAY, THE GOV’t needs to step up on this one. The UPND has become detrimental to gov’t functions and the people. God has given us this opportunity, because he has allowed HH/UPND free will TO MAKE THEMSELVES IRRELEVANT. our enemies destroy themselves by their own Gand. ITS IRREFUTABLE, UPND is unlawful not just by our constitution, but by UN UNIVERSAL charter.

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    • ……our enemies destroy themselves by their own HAND!!
      We must not fear dealing with UPND firmly, and the gov’t must not dilly dally much further. Even by international standards we are able to act to eradicate. It must STOP. there is too much incoherent political noise by UPND. They have become a danger to the people. We have a right to a strong gov’t. Daily we see, hear the undermining, actions and verbal outputs that demean gov’t and the Office of The President. No one should do that. Opposition should be minded to work with gov’t, or cautioning, debating issues that need diligent progress.

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  22. Sunday Chanda is spot on and hitting the nail on its head. Hence the wild reactions you are getting. HH is a demi-god to his tonga supporters and can act with impunity and thuggery on Dr C Banda and our judiciary. Thuggery by GBM on his wife and marketeers is ok by these supporters, provided GBM is licking HH’s arrse.. GBM will be fired the time he stops licking it. The UPND constitution is irrelevant as long as HH is alive. Hypocrites.

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  23. MONEY-MADE ARROGANCE
    PLEASE DON’T HELP HIM
    BY 2021, ELECTORATES WILL BE MORE EDUCATED
    HE SHALL FALL ON THIS VERY POINT

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  24. IF LUNGU HAS BROKEN THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION WHICH FOR ALL ZAMBIANS WHY COMING ON TO UPND? READ WHAT THE BIBLE SAY. WHY DO YOU RUSH TO REMOVE A SPECK IN YOUR FRIEND’S EYE WHEN YOU PF HAS A LOG IN YOUR EYE? FOOLISH WHO DO YOU WANT TO CHALLENGE?

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  25. But what is the argument here!!!!!!!UPND just go for a stage managed convention and HH can go unopposed. It is simple. if any one chooses to stand, you know what to do legally.

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  26. In 2006 the Upnd and FDD with other parties for an alliance called UDA with HH as president and Nawakwi as deputy. When Nawakwi conceded defeat to Levy, HH called a meeting to expel her from the alliance. Anyway Upnd consititution is not our business.

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  27. The only political party in Zambia which was founded on tribalism is the Patriotic Front. Sata was responding to being shunned from taking over MMD presidency BUT the Bembas rallied around him with their Kola Foundation as a response to Mwanawasa’s crusade to prosecute ECONOMIC PLUNDERERS most of whom were Bembas. Let truth be told that the MOST tribal party in Zambia today is the PF!. Most of its MPs are Bembas; most of its councillors are Bembas; most of its Central Committee members are Bembas; most of its officials at all levels are Bembas. Most of the employees in the Public Service are Bembas; most of the winners of government contracts are Bembas and …….. are Bembas!

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    • PF Party was formed by a Bemba who chose a Nsenga ECL to lead it. Impossible in UPND which has threatened its MPs should they join the Government in the national interest. You cannot force a bull to drink water, they say unless the owner is Tonga

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  28. Sunday Chanda please tell us how your president became your party president. Was the showing of hands,no balot boxes, noR ballot papers an approved way by your constituitution? For HH the constituition allows him to go on and when another member takes over it will be up to the members to allow that UPND LEADER TO GO ON AS FAR AS MEMEBERS WANT. Sorry Mr Chanda the club’s constitution allows HH TO GO ON AND MEMBERS STILL LIKE HIS LEADERSHIP QUALITIES,SECOND TO NON.

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  29. Look who is talking? Hahaha . Zambian Constitution is less important to you that now you want to help re-draft that party’s constitution! Spare us.

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  30. hahaha! the article is good and thats why people are commenting. The big question is ” how long is a term?” is it 5 years, 15 years or one year or maybe six weeks? For republican president, its five years; for PTA, its 1 year; for most Churches, its two years; for Golf clubs, its 3 years; it is, therefore, difficult to tell the length of a term in this context. Am sure for UPND it could be 11 years since they last had elections in 2005/06. Does it mean we should change PTA terms to five years to be consistent with the the main constitution? i doubt it and think small political parties like Heritage, NAREP, FDD, UPND would go into extinction immediately that was effected. from neutral point of view, the question should be about convention and not how many terms.

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  31. UPND IS ON RECORD HAVING COMPLAINED AT ONE TIME THAT PF IS TRYING TO REINTRODUCE A ONE PARTY SYSTEM. WE SEE IN THE UPND ARTICLE THAT ONE OF THE TENDENCIES OF ONE PARTY RULE IS THE WAMUYAYA NO ONE ELSE CAN TAKE UP THAT POSITION. UPND IS HH AND HH IS UPND. WHO IS PRACTISING ONE PARTY RULE. HH IS A DICTATOR!

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