KBF REMAINS A MEMBER OF THE UPND ALLIANCE, THERE’s NOTHING WRONG WITH LAUNCHING HIS OWN PARTY – Milupi
UPND Alliance chairperson Charles Milupi says the alliance has no problem with Kelvin Bwalya Fube launching Zambia Must Prosper (ZMP) as a political party because that does not mean he is leaving the alliance.
Commenting on KBF’s announcement that he would launch the ZMP party in August this year, Milupi said the UPND Alliance had no issue with his decision.
“So far, nobody has indicated that they want to leave the alliance. None of the contributing political parties has indicated [that] they want to leave the UPND Alliance. Other political parties want to join us and we have been holding discussions with others. The political landscape in Zambia is very dynamic. First of all, there is nothing wrong with him launching. Until such time he indicates that he wants to leave the alliance, no issues will arise,” he said.
Milupi said ZMP would still continue to be part of the UPND Alliance even after the launch.
“All alliance members including the President himself campaigned vigorously for this government. There’s no one who can be said [that] this one did more than the others. We all campaigned and played our part. We called it the opposition alliance and we changed it in about January 2021 to the name UPND Alliance. So when I say everybody campaigned, the victory is due to all members. Those parties [that] formed membership included the UPND. So let us not elevate anyone above the others. That is not how an organisation works. The alliance is an alliance of political parties and it’s not an alliance of individuals. If you’re talking about Mr Kelvin Bwalya Fube (KBF), in fact, he came to the alliance with what we call ‘Zambia Must Prosper’,” he said.
“I think he came with it as a movement, it wasn’t a political party but we accepted that. He was the one who came fairly late towards the elections. He came as part of four groupings. There was MDC headed by [Felix] Mutati, Mr [Kaluba] Simuyemba who headed MCE and Dr Earnest Mwansa who headed Zambia We Want. Then Mr Kelvin Fube, who as I say didn’t have a political party but it was a movement. You’re saying he now wants to formally launch his movement as a political party, what impact has that got on the alliance? This is an alliance of political parties. So our understanding is that even if it’s launched, it will continue to be a member of the alliance. So from that perspective, we don’t expect any change.”
Milupi said the alliance had no problem with KBF launching his own party as long as he did not go against the tenets of the movement.
“However, politics is politics. We have had political parties in this movement and some left the movement. Some left the alliance. Sean Tembo was part of this alliance but he left. I speak with authority because I am not only the chairman but the founder member of this alliance. When we formed it there were only four political parties. So I am the founding chairman of the movement. It happened during the difficult time when Mr Hakainde was incarcerated. So others came and joined us and we became bigger. But others also decided to leave. Did it shake the alliance? It became even stronger. We even went further to win an election even when others were leaving. That is a historical fact,” he said.
“So if he is launching a party, we have no problem because it’s an alliance of political parties and not an alliance of individuals. We’re not all members of UPND so if someone forms a party then he is not against. Should they launch and they want to continue being members of the UPND Alliance, we have no problems with that. The only difficulty we would have is if someone launches and goes against the tenets of the UPND Alliance. They will have to examine themselves on whether they want to continue being members of the alliance or they want to pull out. It’s straightforward. As of now, those issues have not arisen.”
Meanwhile, Milupi said the UPND Alliance had enough representation in government, with five members holding senior positions in Cabinet.
“There are members of the alliance who are in Cabinet. I think the last count we had is five members of the alliance are in Cabinet. So what consultation are we talking about? Don’t we use Cabinet to run the government? So if there are five members of the alliance in Cabinet holding senior positions, are you telling me that this government runs without those five being consulted? Are they running those Ministries without having the authority? That’s not the case. The alliance is participating in the government. Others have also been appointed in other positions. Secondly, appointments in public service have not been exhausted,” said Milupi.
“There are still a number of appointments to be done when circumstances are ready. Those that want to be considered will be considered. Others have made a choice that they want to remain on the political side. So there will be people who individually want jobs, maybe they are anxious to have those jobs even when the government is doing it in a methodical manner. You know, you just don’t go and fire everyone and replace. So not all positions have been filled. Not all commissions have been filled. We all campaigned but there is one person who stood for national position and the running mate. So we must not rush for positions. I can say that some of us didn’t go into the alliance for jobs. When we formed this, there were no jobs.”