UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Solwezi Central member of Parliament Benson Kafwaya has been honest in his political aspirations by resigning from his party to join the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), Edwin Lifwekelo has said.
Mr Lifwekelo, who is UPND deputy spokesperson, confirmed that the party had been informed of the defection of Mr Kafwaya who is North-Western Province minister in the PF Government.
And PF secretary general Davis Chama said his party had not yet received official communication about the defection of Mr Kafwaya to the ruling party although he had heard about the resignation of the Solwezi Central MP from the UPND.
Mr Lifwekelo said it was not surprising that Mr Kafwaya had officially moved to join the PF, the ‘‘party of his choice’’ because the Solwezi MP stopped being a member of the UPND soon after accepting a ministerial appointment in the PF Government.
Mr Lifwekelo said Mr Kafwaya had been mobilizing UPND members to defect to the PF for a long time in preparation for his defection and that the announcement that he had crossed the floor was not surprising.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that the defection of Mr Kafwaya to the PF was ‘‘good riddance’’ because the UPND would not have to continue with the court battles to force the North-Western minister leave the UPND.
Mr Lifwekelo said it was the democratic right of every citizen to belong to a political party of his or her choice and that Mr Kafwaya had followed the desires of his heart by considering the PF a party of his choice.
He however said the UPND was going to meet Mr Kafwaya during the by-election should the Speaker declare his seat vacant and that the opposition political party had been preparing for the by-election from the day the Solwezi MP accepted a job in the ruling party.
“Mr Kafwaya has officially defected to the PF, the party where he is serving as a Provincial Minister in North-Western Province. We are not surprised because we have been expecting this move for a long time and he had been honest enough by not wasting the time for the courts defending his ex-communication from the UPND. ‘‘He has followed his heart and for us, even as we wish him good luck, we are happy because it is good riddance. We shall meet him again in the constituency if his new-found political party is going to readopt him,” Mr Lifwekelo said.
And Mr Chama said Mr Kafwaya was welcome in the PF and that there was nothing wrong for the minister to choose a political party of his choice.
Mr Chama said the PF had become such an attractive political organization and was attracting a lot of people from other political parties.
“I have been receiving calls about that but there is no official communication. He is a minister and was appointed by President Edgar Lungu and he is therefore the best person to talk to,” Mr Chama said.