‘Grand Coalition in bed with UPND’

The Grand Coalition is trying to campaign for the United Party for National Development (UPND) in next year’s elections in the pretext of fighting for a people driven constitution, Former Grand Coalition Member, Wilson Banda has charged.

But Grand Coalition spokesperson McDonald Chipenzi has dispelled assertions that the Coalition had gone to bed with UPND.

On Thursday, the Grand Coalition vowed to aggressively campaign against the Patriotic Front and the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) in 2016 for allegedly refusing to respect the wishes of the Zambian people over the enactment of the new republican constitution.

Mr Banda has charged that the reason why the Grand Coalition had come out in the open to campaign against the PF and MMD was because they would campaign for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema ahead of the 2016 general election.

And Governance Activist David Kapoma told a press conference yesterday that the statement made by the Grand Coalition had too many faces to it.

“Who is going to fund the Grand Coalition for their country wide tours to de-campaign the PF and MMD? I know that going round the country to conduct any form of campaign is a very expensive undertaking which requires serious injection of resources both human and financial,” Mr Kapoma said.

He said the Coalition should also clearly state whom they wanted Zambians to vote for in the 2016 general elections since they would be campaigning against PF and MMD.

Mr Kapoma also wondered whom the Grand Coalition was representing because Zambians who they claimed to have been representing were happy with what come out of Parliament regarding the process of enacting the new constitution.

But Mr Chipenzi said the Grand Coalition had a lot of volunteers within the country who were willing to use their own resources across the country demanding for a New Constitution.

“We have not gone to bed with any political party, we are only trying to push for a new constitution with any political party that is willing to give us a new constitution,” Mr Chipenzi said.

Meanwhile, PF Secretary General Davies Chama said PF was not moved or threatened by the announcement by the Grand Coalition.

Mr Chama recalled that in the run-up to this year’s presidential by-election the Coalition did not support President Lungu and yet he still won the election.

Mr Chama said the Grand Coalition made some political parties to sign social contracts and supported those who signed yet they did not win.

He said the resolution by the Grand Coalition to campaign against the PF therefore had no bearing on the ruling party’s re-election next year.

And MMD Spokesperson Raphael Nakachinda said Grand Coalition members would do well to form a political party rather than taking active roles in politics.

Mr Nakachinda said if the Grand Coalition really wanted to campaign against the PF and MMD, they should form a political movement which would actively participate in the elections rather than hiding in the name of Civil Society Organizations.