UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has refused to be dragged into discrediting MMD president Dr. Nevers Mumba saying that he is not part of that agenda.
Mr. Hichilema told journalist on Thursday that Dr. Mumba was his brother, a friend and a colleague and those that wanted him to demonise Dr. Mumba had a different and hidden agenda.
He said that he did not believe in politics of waylaying others, adding that attacking Dr. Mumba was not the solution to the many challenges the opposition was facing in consolidating democracy in the country and stopping serious attempts by the Patriotic Front (PF) government to turn Zambia into a one party state.
Mr. Hichilema said that, “I will not comment on the matter because I have explained enough about this issue and I know where this matter is coming from. I will not accept to be used to demonise Dr. Mumba. He is my colleague and we have talked about this matter the two of us. I have great respect for him. We may have different qualities; he is my brother, my friend and I will not say anything against Dr. Mumba.”
And Mr. Hichilema said that Zambia needed an independent electoral body to manage and organize the electoral process of the country.
He said that what Zambians should do now before talking about petitioning any election results, was to have reforms in the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
“Just look at what happened in Lukulu where we have won the election Vice president Dr. Guy Scott continued campaigning two days after the campaign period expired.
Mr. Hichilema said that it was unfortunate that those in leadership were in the forefront breaching the electoral code of conduct without any remorse over their conduct which they shamelessly boasted about and nothing was being done to address the matter by the body entrusted with the management and running of the elections.
He said that his party had already petitioned the Livingstone and Mpongwe by-elections because the whole process was characterized with violence, intimidation, vote buying and failure to observe the electoral rule.
Mr. Hichilema said that it was for this reason that his party would petition the Kapiri Mposhi by-election because the benchmarks set for a free and fair election was not met.
“We saw people paying out huge amounts of money to ensure that the PF scoped the Kapiri Mposhi seat. The evidence is there, police arrested that police officer PF cadre who was dishing out money to unsuspecting electorates on the day of elections. Just before the nominations we saw a certain woman who was in the MMD and said a lot of bad this about Mr. Sata when she was in the MMD. She is the one who also told us that Mr. Sata can never be president but today she is the one who is singing the most as if she is the one who formed the PF,” he said, “during the nominations she went with cadres to the nomination centre in breach of the code, so what do you do to such an election? We forget? We shall petition. Our lawyers are gathering papers and will soon do the needful,” he said.