…cites cruelty and selfishness by the opposition United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema amongst the reasons for their defection

LUSAKA- – – May Friday 14th 2021


A number of village headmen from Namwala District of Southern Province have ditched the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and joined the ruling Patriotic Front.

The traditional leaders and their family members who included some relatives of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema have cited his cruelty and dubious activities involving cattle as reason for disowning him.

The traditional leaders have been welcomed by PF Vice Mobilisation Committee Chairperson MCC Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) and also in attendance was Major Richard Kachingwe.

Speaking during the defection yesterday, Headman Simafumba from Ngabo in Namwala District said he was very grateful that the PF had received them very well despite coming from a region that was perceived enemy of the party.

“We the people of Ngabo have seen the inclusiveness in PF and we decided to join and identify ourselves with the ruling party so that we can become conduits of development in Ngabo,” Headman Simafumba said.

He recalled that in 2015, Mr. Hichilema shocked them when he started erecting a wire fence in their area from nowhere without showing any regard for them.

He added that when they tried to take up the matter with the government, the case did not prove fruitful as Mr Hichilema went ahead and displaced some villagers to pave way for a cattle grazing field.

“What we are saying today is truthg and you can see it with your own eyes even today that Mr Hichilema is very greedy and selfish. He is one of our own but we have no time to sugarcoat the truth because the man is very cruel,” Headman Simafumba said.

He has called on Mr Hichilema to tell them who gave him the land which he fenced off for his cattle to graze at the expense of the vulnerable poor who got displaced by his selfish act.

“What if we were to make a mistake and vote him as president, how far can he go in exhibiting lawlessness and selfishness at the expense of the defenceless Zambians?” Headman Simafumba wondered.

He has since appealed to the government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to come to their aid in the matter adding that the people of Namwala will vote in numbers to ensure that President Lungu won the August 12 General Election.

Speaking at the same event, Headman Chipembele of Ngabo in Namwala District said the people of his village most of whom are poor were facing problems because of Mr. Hichilema.

“I am a farmer and I rear cattle like Mr. Hichilema. In 2013 I bought cattle from one of his workers but he came and had me arrested on accusations of stealing his cattle. He sent his workers to my village to look for my cattle and grabbed twenty-six of them even though I had only bought four from his cattle,” Headman Chipembele said.

He added that the matter went to the courts of law where his innocence was proven and was set free but since then, he had not returned the cattle that he grabbed from him forcing him into poverty amidst threats of taking him to jail if he continued demanding for his cattle.

He said a lot of people in Namwala are facing similar problems because Mr Hichilema had either grabbed a lot of land or cattle from them thereby forcing them into abject poverty.

“I am appealing to the Zambian people not to make the mistake of giving this man a chance because he is not fit to be a good president and leader. Let us just continue supporting President Edgar Lungu because our relative Mr. Hichilema has been rejected,” he said.

Other traditional leaders who echoed the sentiments of their colleagues include Headman Lukosha of Ngabo and Headman Luchela among others together with their families.


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