I’m not Privy to UPND Alliance MoU – Imenda
By Kombe Mataka
UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda says as party chief executive officer he is not privy to contents of the memorandum of understanding between the UPND and Alliance members.
Imenda told The Mast yesterday that the issue of the UPND Alliance was dealt with at party president level.
Imenda was reacting to Movement for Democratic Change secretary general Lucky Mulusa who was quoted in the media stressing that the UPND was retiring alliance members from politics.
“The UPND is actually retiring alliance members from political participation. So for me with the behaviour of the UPND, I don’t see any future for the Alliance. I don’t see it at all. If I’m addressing my members, I cannot even prop up courage to defend the UPND Alliance partnership because the UPND themselves are in the forefront destroying the Alliance,” said Mulusa. “If your talk about an Alliance, number one, there has to be full participation in the achievement of alliance objectives. Over and above that, there has to be full participation in the enjoyment of the outcomes of an alliance victory and partnership.”
When contacted for a comment, MDC president who is also technology and science minister Felix Mutati said: “Let me get what he basically said. I will get back [to you] so that it’s not not third party.” However, Mutati did not return call as promised by press time.
But UPND secretary general Imenda said the issue of the agreement that was there between the UPND and its Alliance members could only be made clear by the alliance chairperson, who is also infrastructure minister, Charles Milupi.
“The issue of the alliance which was entered into was done at a very high level. At the level of presidency. So when they (leaders) were making those decisions, we were not involved at the level of secretary general,” he explained.
“So perhaps this issue can best be addressed by the Alliance chairperson Charles Milupi. Like I said we were not privy to the memorandum of understanding under which we came together. All we knew was that we were in alliance and we should work together but then the conditionalities under which it was entered into, we are not privy to that information. So it is a matter that I know little about.”
Imenda said he had hoped that Milupi would address the matter as Alliance chairperson.
“He is chairman of the Alliance. He is the one who can guide. He is minister under the arrangement of the Alliance and then he is the overall for the parties including UPND itself,” said Imenda.
And UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said he had confidence in the stability of the alliance.
“Now that the comments are coming from the secretary general of the MDC maybe there is something we don’t know, since the SG [Mulusa] is the chief executive of MDC. But I have confidence in the stability of the Alliance,” he said. “Whatever the view and commentaries coming out of some quarters of the Alliance it will not in any way have a bearing or a consequence on governance. It will not affect the constitutionality and constitutional existence of this government.”
Mweetwa said the alliance’s main goal was to serve as platform through which Zambians could remove what he called a dictatorial government.
“The primary purpose of the Alliance was delivered, meaning it worked. Secondly, the purpose of the Alliance was to deliver economic development and to restore rule of law. The President [Hakainde Hichilema] has gone out of his way because ordinary people expected appointments in a particular way but the President has targeted reuniting the nation by ensuring his Cabinet has national representation.
And so even in one or two provinces where we don’t have members of parliament, there are nominated MPs,” he said.
“To the extent that the Alliance was meant to deliver change, remove a dictatorial and brutal regime and bringing back a civil and democratic leadership that Zambia is always known for. They have delivered to the extent that we want to recover the economy, the measures that are being put in place are already showing results. You have seen the issue to do with IMF. That is testament of restored national confidence.”
Mweetwa said benefits should first accrue to voters who went out to elect the UPND Alliance and not the individuals in the Alliance.
“We must first be satisfied that we are doing the right thing for which we came together to deliver change. When it comes to individual benefits, we are here to serve, there are so many people in the UPND who fought consistently, unwavering for two decades, who have not been appointed. For our colleagues in the Alliance, I think that they have gotten a fair share and I don’t want to go through statistics,” said Mweetwa.
“Facts are there to speak for themselves. If you look at proportionality, you will agree that we are on firm ground. And there is not too much despondency in terms of institutional relationship between the Alliance partners. It is probably where individuals feel they were entitled to something they have not gotten.”