UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says he will not repeat the same mistakes he made before when selecting vice-presidents.
He said if the elective conference allows him to stand on behalf of the UPND, he will then announce the running mate. He pointed out that he will exercise due care in doing so.
“We won’t rush this process. Let’s look at the US example. Biden is the presumptive nominee for the Democrats in this year’s election but they are yet to announce the VP,” he said.
Hichilema said the issue of the VP is one he has deeply reflected on and admitted that in the past he made mistakes that saw him being deserted.
“I admit making mistakes before but not this time. We must learn from our past and ensure that moving forward, we should not only consult but thoroughly vet. I can safely say, you will not be disappointed,” he said.
At some point, the UPND saw a number of its vice-presidents leaving the posts and party under unclear circumstances, these include Sakwiba Sikota, Patrick Chisanga, and Bob Sichinga.
Others include Francis Simenda left on his own after being allegedly offered a position by PF as ambassador to Ethiopia. The PF is said to have cheated him and in less than six months, they dismissed him from his diplomatic job. And Richard Kapita left to campaign for the PF and Edgar Lungu. He was rewarded a position of provincial minister in the PF government.
Dr Cannisius Banda left in frustration after being left out as a running mate to HH. GBM was HH’s preferred running mate.
At one time the National Management Committee of the UPND passed a vote of no confidence in Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba a VP then and asked him to exculpate himself from allegations of gross misconduct.
However, according to the party spokesperson, the high turnover of UPND vice-presidents was not Hichilema’s fault. He claimed that in some of the cases, the ruling party had its dirty hand in it.