UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema yesterday summoned a Daily Nation reporter to his residence in new Kasama and questioned him over a story in which his two vice-presidents have differed on whether the party should go for a convention or not.
Two weeks ago, vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba told a press conference at Chainama Hotel that the UPND would not go to a convention because Mr Hichilema was still in-charge of the party as president.
But vice-president for politics Dr. Canisius Banda told the Daily Nation in an exclusive interview on Friday that Mr Mwamba had no authority to issue such a statement.
Dr. Banda said it was ultra-vires for GBM to have issued such a statement at a press conference.
He said such a statement could only come out of the meeting of the National Executive Committee or National Management Committee and not an individual.
Dr. Banda said to make such a statement was ‘‘grossly premature’’, especially now when the UPND was still battling with keeping its members consoled.
And when Mr Hichilema summoned a Daily Nation reporter, he wanted to find out from the reporter whether it was true Dr. Banda had given an interview to the newspaper.
Mr Hichilema further accused the Daily Nation of spearheading an agenda to create an imaginary difference between Mr. Mwamba and Dr. Banda and refused to give the newspaper a comment on the “fight” between his two vice-presidents.
And when contacted again by the Daily Nation yesterday, Dr. Banda said he was exercising his right of expression when he said Mr Mwamba had no right to issue such a statement on the party convention.
Dr. Banda also said he did not mention anybody’s name when he said it was criminal for anybody to call for an illegal revolution.
He, however, maintained that it was criminal for anybody to call for an illegal revolution and that he would not allow anybody to fight, adding that it was time for peace and unity in the country.