UPND is split, says trustees

THE UPND is currently split following a unilateral decision by Mr Hakainde Hichilema to suspend Dr Canisius Banda, UPND Lusaka Central Constituency Trustee member Imanga Wamunyima has revealed. And another UPND Lusaka district trustee member Mr Ntheye Mwewa has told the Sunday Nation that the party had never exercised intra-party democracy from the time Mr Hakainde Hichilema took over leadership in 2006. Mr Wamunyima said there was no clarity on the future of the UPND because there had never been a postmortem from the time President Edgar Lungu was declared winner by ECZ and after the Constitutional Court closed the election petition hearing. He said at grassroots level members of the UPND had no idea of where the party was headed to. Instead, the top leadership was orchestrating hounding out of senior members who had divergent views to Mr Hichilema. Mr Wamunyima said it would have been wise for the party to have decided to resolve matters happening within the party through a national convention. Mr Wamunyima also disclosed that Mr Hichilema was managing the UPND like his own personal company because there was no intraparty democracy, adding that elective positions in the party were appointed by him including positions like national Chair Lady. “Anybody who talks about the convention is an enemy. For me, I know that this is the beginning and end of a great party because having come close to forming government twice, we have seen that the problems are not external but internal. Mr Wamunyima said the suspension of Dr Banda had split the party at all levels of the party because he contributed to making the UPND attractive as it was blemished in tribalism. Meanwhile, Mr Mwewa said there was no evidence in Lusaka that the UPND won or lost the general elections because they allegedly had no polling agents. Mr Mwewa said the members were informed that the party had no funds for polling agents in Lusaka, adding that the UPND did not monitor elections. Both Mr Wamunyima and Mr Mwewa challenged Mr Hichilema and the top leadership to explain how their vote was stolen in Lusaka when the party did not have polling agents.