Stephen Katuka

By Kamuti Muyambela

United Party for National Development (UPND) secretary general Stephen Katuka says it is unfortunate that resignations of Councillors are happening in Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa’s Nalikwanda constituency.

Speaking with Daily Revelation following the newspaper’s revelation that Six Councillors are expected to resign from the party in Nalikwanda Constituency, Katuka said although he did not have the evidence to implicate Professor Lungwangwa, it was very unfortunate that such happenings are taking place in his constituency.

“I don’t want to implicate Professor (Lungwangwa) because I have no evidence. But it’s unfortunate that those things are happening in his own constituency, that’s why some people are thinking he could have a hand in it. You see, it has been happening and still happening, even the people themselves know.”

Katuka accused President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the Patriotic Front of buying UPND councillors like tomatoes on the market.

“Resignations are not a new phenomenon, they have been happening under the PF for a long time. We know how councillors are being bought, how they are being offered money,how they are taken to State House to meet Edgar Lungu, we are aware. He (President Lungu) has been inviting our councillors from Luapula, Northern provinces to State House,” Katuka alleged. “So, PF has been doing that, that’s their way of governing. For them they think they are winning. But there is nothing in that.”

Katuka said PF was living under the illusion that they can only extend their support base through purchasing of opposition councillors.

“If they (PF) think that those seats will go to them, then they are cheating themselves. You can win a by-election, but there is no guarantee that when general election comes, they will win that seat. There are so many in the previous parliaments or elections, where they bought our people, but when general elections came, we reclaimed those seats,” Katuka said.

He regretted the situation that had befallen his party, adding something was being done to address the problem.

“The reason why most councillors are behaving like that is because of the calibre of councillors we fielded. When they introduced that grade 12 requirement which most of our loyal members did not have, we lost a lot of our loyal members …and when we fielded those with grade 12 (certificates), most of them were young people who have not worked anywhere and don’t know the value of being an elected. They don’t understand what the people have in them (in terms of) the confidence. All they know is that people say, you are going to be our representative, you will speak for us, but they don’t realise how important an elective position is. That’s what has put us in all these problems,” Katuka noted.

He called on President Lungu and the PF to desist from turning Zambia into a one-party State.

“If you remember when they came into power in 2011, they petitioned all the elections in constituencies where they didn’t win, with a view that once they do that, they will get some of the seats and grow their numbers. But now because the Constitution doesn’t allow them to buy MPs, they have come down to councillors. Councillors are being bought like tomatoes on the market. And you know it’s only one year to go, whether they do this, election is next year and the people will choose who they want,” said Katuka.

Sources in Western Province disclosed to Daily Revelation that following the resignation of Muyunda Silenga, the UPND ward councillor for Nakanya in Nalikwanda Constituency last week, about six more civic leaders in the area are expected to resign.

UPND has continued to suffer political setbacks through unprecedented spate of resignations of its Councillors countrywide. -Daily Revelation


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