UNITED Party for National Development cannot be trusted with the republican Constitution when they have literally failed to adhere to their own party constitution, National Restoration Party national secretary Ezra Ngulube has said
Mr Ngulube said the UPND had exhibited lack of respect for the law by abrogating their own party constitution following the announcement by vice-president for administration Geoffrey Mwamba that Hakainde Hichilema was the 2021 presidential candidate without going for a convention.
He said political parties owed it to their members to hold a convention so that they could choose their preferred leadership that would contest national governance position.
“We have shown the UPND that a political party can undergo a convention, a violence free convention to choose their leaders from top all the way to the last person in the national executive.
“But the UPND had shown Zambians that it cannot be trusted even with their own constitution. If they cannot follow their own laws, how can we trust them with the Republican Constitution?” he said.
He was commenting on the recent declaration by Mr Mwamba and Mr Hichilema that the party already had a presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections despite calls by the general membership for a party convention which was long overdue.
He said UPND had failed to exercise intra-party democracy in its system of governance as a party and had failed to lead by example as a major player in the Zambian political set up.
He said political parties must exercise democracy by holding regular, free and fair elections such as NAREP achieved which recently held its elective convention.
“The message by the UPND vice-president that the party will not go for a convention is simply telling the Zambian people that Mr Hichilema is ‘wamuyayaya’ (lifelong serving leader) in that party and this is an injury to the democratic dispensation that this country is fighting so hard to build.
“It shows that we cannot entrust the UPND with the Zambian Constitution because they are failing to uphold their own constitution,” Mr Ngulube said.
Mr Hichilema has been at the helm of the opposition party for over 10 years after taking over from its founder and leader Anderson Mazoka in 2006.