The United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) have embarked on a scheme in which they have taken their political battles against the PF as a fight for power against Bemba speaking regions.
And sources have disclosed that former president Rupiah Banda is more supportive of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema than MMD president Nevers Mumba.
The sources said that UPND leader Hichilema and ADD President Charles Milupi have concentrated their campaigns in their regions, Southern and Western Provinces respectively to convince the people to reject the PF as being a “Bemba party”, but they hope to utilise the support they are getting from former president Rupiah Banda to blindfold MMD president Nevers Mumba into an alliance with the two parties so that he can help them by delivering votes from Muchinga, Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt provinces in order to “wrestle” power from the Northeners.
Recently, ADD president Charles Milupi was in Western Province where he was alleging that the PF government was scheming to reduce the powers of the Litunga of Western Province. Milupi is said to have held a series of meetings to promote the alleged “anti-Bemba” scheme.
Since its formation, the ADD has only managed to win a seat in Western province, particularly in the area where Milupi hails from, where the party has concentrated its political activities.
“What PF must realise is that the whole campaign by UPND and ADD has gone tribal. Mr. Milupi is using the Barotseland Agreement to turn the people against the PF by portraying issues like they were injustices committed by the Northerners against the Westerners. But if you observe closely, he has not even stated clearly if he himself would honour the agreement in the event that he was elected president, and if so, how he would honour it. So it’s just a political gimmick to take advantage of the people’s passions about the agreement. That’s why some of us are not in support of Milupi and HH because we do not want tribalism,” a source said.
The source wondered how Milupi hoped to be a president for the whole Zambia when he was working with people calling for secession and has not clearly stated whether he disagreed with the idea of secession.
Milupi is also reported to have said during a programme broadcast in Lozi language on a South Africa based radio station, Channel Africa, that the Litunga was superior to other traditional leaders in Zambia, such as Paramount Chiefs Chitimukulu of the Bemba and Mpezeni of the Ngoni.
“How is he going to be president if on one hand he’s working with those advocating for the secession of Western Province while on the other he wants to rule Zambia? What is his position on the question of honouring the Barotseland Agreement?” The source wondered, adding, “If you remember, Milupi was almost beaten last year for mentioning the word ‘Zambia’ at a meeting in Mongu.”
And other sources have said that there is disenchantment within the MMD as a result of the activities of former president Rupiah Banda, who seems to be more trusting and supportive of Hichilema than his own party president Mumba.
“RB is for HH. That’s why he gave his blessings for William Banda’s decision to join UPND. Ask yourself, who was in that advance party that was involved in an accident for RB’s trip to the Eastern Province, recently? Wasn’t it UPND members?” said the MMD insider.
The source revealed that the party was divided regarding Rupiah’s activities, saying there were those who supported the idea of MMD just helping UPND to remove PF, while the majority feared Hichilema was too tribal to be trusted with power.
“My brother I can assure you that RB is still bitter with President Sata over his defeat last year. He is in hurry to revenge using other people, and he thinks Hichilema is his better ally since the young man hates President Sata, and generally Bembas, and he is equally bitter,” said the source before adding, “But do you think this is good for the country? No! RB must completely come to terms with his defeat rather than sowing seeds of division all because of losing an election. Most of us in the MMD would rather work with PF than UPND.”
The source further said Hichilema and Milupi were hoping to ride on Nevers Mumba’s strong stance against President Sata to gain countrywide support from MMD.
“The problem is that Nevers is quite naïve. He does not see the scheme behind the alliance with HH and Milupi. If you remember there were other opposition leaders that teamed up with HH and Milupi on the issue of suspension of judges. Where are they? They realised that there was more to that issue than just judges, so they have withdrawn to the rear,” the source said.