A SCHEME has been hatched in the UPND in which some members of parliament and senior officials in Southern Province are plotting to oust UPND party president Hakainde Hichilema and party general secretary Winstone Chibwe.
But Mr Hichilema has described the scheme as non-consequential because the people behind the plot were not members of the UPND as they were expelled from the party because they had rebelled against the party.
Mr Hichilema has challenged Sinazongwe Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene and his Itehzi-Tehzi counterpart Greyford Monde to drop the court cases and test their popularity by re-contesting their seats on other political parties.
Mr Hichilema said the UPND had been growing and had started winning seats in the strongholds of the Patriotic Front (PF) such as Kafulafuta.
“Let them try their luck in their schemes against me and I know they will not succeed. Whoever is funding them should know that the UPND is a well-organised political party that would not waste time on renegade members such as Mr Siamunene and Mr Monde because their political survival was hanging on the court cases. So if they want to test their popularity, let them drop the court cases ao that they can re-contest their seats on different political parties,” Mr Hichilema said.
And Mr Chibwe has revealed that the people plotting against the party leadership were renegade UPND members who were expelled from the party.
Sinazongwe and Itezhi Tezhi UPND lawmakers Richwell Siamunene and Greyford Monde with other party officials are said to be mobilising UPND members in Southern Province to petition the party leadership to call for an urgent extra ordinary conference to elect new leaders.
Mr. Siamunene and Mr. Monde who are rebel members of the opposition party have been tasked to champion the anti Hichilema covert project on allegations that he (Hichilema) and Mr Chibwe had failed sell the party beyond Southern Province.
Mr Siamunene, the Sinazongwe lawmaker said it was shameful for UPND to fail to break the regional dominance to other provinces in the country under the leadership of Mr. Hichilema.
Mr. Siamunene observed that the party was failing to attract other regions because the UPND leadership was stiff necked to criticism on how to run politics.
“UPND needs a complete overhaul from Mr. Hichilema to the general secretary if the party is to add value to Zambians politics. UPND is failing to tick in other regions because of the leadership which is selfish, inconsistent and unattractive,” said Mr. Siamunene.
Mr Siamunene claimed that the UPND throughout the country were petitioning the leadership to call for an urgent extra ordinary conference to elect new leaders to take over the party through to 2016 general elections.
And Mr. Monde said UPND has a challenge to attract other regions because of the failure by the party to allow other people from other regions to participate in decision making positions. Meanwhile, UPND senior officials close to the scheme have revealed that five districts in Southern Province have appended their signatures petitioning the removal of Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Chibwe.
The districts are Gwembe, Pemba, Sinazongwe, Livingstone, Itezhi Tezhi and Chikankata in the province.
In Western Province the Sinjembela Constituency parliamentarian Puniso Njeulu has been tasked to organise members in the region starting with Kalabo, Shang’ombo, Mongu, Senanga and Sesheke to join the petition.
But when contacted for a comment, part secretary general Mr. Chibwe said the people referred to were expelled from the UPND and were not in the party structures and therefore could not have the authority to talk or decide on the behalf of the party.
He said the party was still strong and breaking through to the rest of the country, adding that UPND was the only appealing political party for the next generation.
Mr. Chibwe said he would not spend time debating the petition and the scheme to oust Mr. Hichilema and because no such plans were on the table.
“Wrong people and outsiders are referred to in the scheme and I cannot authoritatively talk about it because they are not our members,” he said.
On Monday, there was a near exchange of punches in Namwala’s Kabulamwanda, Mbeza, Chitongo and Maala between the locals and traders from Lusaka and Copperbelt for suggesting that Mr. Hichilema should be replaced.
The traders had to flee the area and went into hiding for fear of their lives from the angry mob who felt insulted. The traders mainly from Lusaka and the Copperbelt have even abandoned maize, and fish bought from peasant farmers.