THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has abandoned George Mpombo barely weeks after the former Defence minister in the MMD government endorsed the candidature of Hakainde Hichilema for the August general elections.
Dr Mpombo, leader of the People’s Democratic Party which he dissolved on the day he endorsed Mr Hichilema, was not adopted in the UPND primaries and the party eventually left him out of the race for the 2016 election.
And the Patriotic Front (PF) says the former Defence minister has been taught a lesson for having divided loyalty after he was earlier pardoned by President Edgar Lungu while serving jail term for issuing a bounced cheque.
Now Mr Mpombo is contesting the Kafulafuta parliamentary seat as an Independent.
Dr Mpombo endorsed the candidature of Mr Hichilema just two weeks before nominations with the hope of being adopted to contest the Kafulafuta seat in Mpongwe district but was left out on the UPND final list of adoptions.
PF chairperson for elections Jean Kapata said the ruling party had been extremely sympathetic to Dr Mpombo and that late president Michael Sata had even offered him a job as deputy high commissioner to Nigeria despite
having demonised the ruling party while in the MMD.
She said in an interview yesterday that it was not surprising that the UPND had dumped him because he had proved that he could not be ‘‘politically and morally’’ trusted.
Ms Kapata said when Dr Mpombo was going through difficult political times, he quickly sought the help of the PF and was assisted but because of his ‘‘cantankerous political gymnastics, he ran off to the UPND which he thought was going adopt him’’.
She stated that had Mr Mpombo stayed with the PF, the ruling party was going to consider him for the Kafulafuta seat but that it was good that the UPND had forsaken the man who pledged his support for Mr Hichilema.
“Are you sure Mr Mpombo has not been adopted by the UPND and he has gone solo in the Kafulafuta seat? He has been taught a lesson for being disloyal and unfaith to those who help him. The PF had been so very good to Mr Mpombo.
‘‘During the time of his political misery, late President Sata gave him a job as deputy high commissioner to Nigeria. Even when he came back, the PF continued tolerating him but we were surprised that he decided to endorse Mr Hichilema just weeks before nominations,” Ms Kapata said.
She said it was impossible for Dr Mpombo to win the Kafulafuta seat as an Independent and that the former Defence minister was only going to waste his last financial resources in his political career.
Ms Kapata said Zambians had no respect for politicians who were jumping from one political party to another and that Dr Mpombo had proved that he was politically unstable and could not inspire any voter.
She said the culture of ‘‘political prostitution’’ should end and that those who aspired to take up leadership at any level should be disciplined and loyal to the beliefs of the organizations they belonged to.