By Kombe Mataka
UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says the party does not expect much hustle and hurdles in winning the 2026 elections.
He says there is no replacement this far, adding that “honestly can you replace HH with Wynter Kabimba, Fred M’membe?”
Mweetwa, who is also Southern Province minister, said he was amazed that even politicians that dragged the country into economic malaise wanted to appear as saints who could save it by condemning President Hakainde Hichilema and his government.
“We are very confident that the way President HH has gone ahead in governing this country this far, we do not expect so much hustle and hurdle in 2026. Because truth be said, this far we cannot see any formidable political grouping let alone any formidable political leader. Those who are projecting themselves, some of them when you look at them and their parties, they don’t have even a single councillor but they contested in 2021 countrywide. They could not win not even a councillor. Then you now say ‘you want to be the next president because of the cost of living’ instead of telling people why the cost of living is like this. Instead of telling the people that it is where we have come from – 10 years of political and economic turmoil which cannot be fixed over 10 months,” Mweetwa, who is also Choma Central member of parliament, said. “In fact that whole conglomerate, that group of opposition, called opposition alliance, when you look at all of them they opposed HH’s administration and they opposed his ascendance to power. They did not vote for him. So even when they can talk the way they are talking, saying ‘we should remove this government’ remove this government and replace it with what? Because there is no replacement this far. Honestly can you replace HH with Wynter Kabimba? Fred M’membe? We don’t know in PF whether it is Emmanuel Mwamba or Chishimba Kambwili. Chishimba Kambwili already told the nation that don’t go to PF. PF is poison. If you take poison, you will lose your life. What the opposition alliance can do is to begin to identify someone unblemished. It may take long. The way it took long for UPND to form government but it is possible.”
He said many political party leaders were parading themselves as potential presidents because they could insult more than others.
“It is not just as easy as waking up to write stories to become president. Your history will walk ahead of you, to pave way ahead of you, and tell people you are a wrong character all together. People who enjoyed denouncing others who have become presidents, you should prepare also to be scrutinised and we are equal the task,” he said.
“But they are not yet electable. Are you sure the Zambians can stomach the idea of going back to PF and reinstitute political thuggery? So PF is out of the picture whether they rebrand or repent. Fred M’membe, Wynter Kabimba and others are still in the political nursery. This far there is no strong opposition. The time of attacking HH recklessly is over. I will be here to respond to you as and when duty calls. So we need to be realistic as citizens. So when people who have destroyed our economy want to be the ones to speak the loudest, that is an act of political mockery to the citizens. It is like citizens don’t know what they did when they went to vote and citizens don’t understand why we are where we are as a country.”
Mweetwa noted that the cost of living is high, “but it is being fixed”.
“There is prudence. We have a President who has gone 10 months without pay. Unprecedented! We have a President who goes out of the country many times go-come not for leisure because there is a lot of work at hand. And true to his election promise, he said once we form government it will be work not party after party like we saw,” said