Outspoken former ZANASU Vice-President Prince Ndoyi has wondered why the opposition UPND has refused to have their party Veep Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba act as Party President during the absence of their leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr Ndoyi who is a youth political activist and former Mulungushi University Students Union President said the lack of clarity on the matter raises concerns among advocates for intra party democracy and constitutionalism.
In a statement, Mr Ndoyi said the UPND should not just propagate to be a democratic party but walk the talk.
“It was sad to listen to UPND Secretary General Mr Stephen Katuka last week saying the president Hakainde Hichilema gives instructions everyday when they visit him at Mukobeko Maximum Prison. Much as that is in itself a good comment, it raises concerns among advocates for intra democracy and constitutionalism.
“It has been almost 4 months since their leader was incarcerated. And if their party is an institution that has a democratic constitution that they follow, what does it say about the situation when a President or indeed any office bearer is arrested and found wanting by the courts of law.
“Who is the legal guardian of the UPND while the president is incarcerated? A constitution that doesn’t specify the time frame required for an absent president to compulsorily allow their Vice to act, is that a constitution?”
He urged the General Secretary of the UPND to tell the nation why their Veep has not been acting since their president was arrested more than 3months ago.
“What does the constitution say when someone is incapable to execute party duties by reasonable cause of arrest or involvement in criminal activities? These are questions any concerned citizen may wish are answered as they highlight the practice of democracy within and the upholding of the constitution.
“I would like the secretary general of the UPND to clarify to the nation why their Vice President has not been acting since their president has been incarcerated for over 3months,” he said.
He said it is important that questions the UPND leadership including Mr Mwamba himself are failing to ask be addressed by the CEO of the party as they cannot continue to troop to prison to recieve instructions from their leader.
“These are questions members and several leaders within UPND are afraid to ask, including Mr GBM himself. The CEO of the UPND must clarify why they have to reasonably troop daily to prison to receive instructions when indeed they have a well able bodied vice president who can act/function and advance the party activities and program while they await the court processes to determine the fate of their leader.
“It is indeed incomprehensible for a party to be silent on such issues, if they seek to form government, how then shall they protect democracy and the Republican Constitution,” he said
He further wondered whether the UPND was only using Mr Mwamba to maximise votes from the Northern block and that he has now been reduced to a simple coordinator since elections are over.
“Has GBM lost value now that the elections are over? Was he only good for regional votes, and worthless on providing leadership while the president is absent? With this treatment I highly doubt he will be adopted again as running mate by HH in 2021.
“Indeed, GBM himself has been conned, denied an opportunity to provide his leadership when it is due. Sadly, the all mighty GBM has been baptized into totalitarian rule, unfortunately for him he prematurely announced that there shall be no convention as HH is UPND candidate for 2021,” he said.