NEWLY elected UPND Sinda district chairperson Innocent Ngoma says the party will vigorously market the candidature of Hakainde Hichilema with the aim to win in 2021.

In an interview, Ngoma said he desired to see the party add value to Hichilema’s success in 2021.

He observed that the sufferings which the PF government has subjected people to would make them drop the ruling party in the coming general elections.

“I envy to unite the party to ensure we win next year’s elections. We want to market our leader Hakainde Hichilema to the people so that we win next year’s elections,” he said.

“The problems that people have undergone from the time PF came into power are what will disadvantage them (PF) come next year. We are told drugs are there in hospitals but there are no drugs in these health centres. If you go round our district in Sinda and Kapoche Constituency, truly you will feel bitter to see the deplorable state of the road network we are using. Our poor national economy is affecting us in everything, poor agricultural market system is the order of the day. All these are what PF has subjected the people of Zambia to,” he said.

Ngoma said whether the PF party had machinery and money, change was in the hearts of the people who feel the pain of the failed government.

He said MMD in government had money and machinery more than what PF had but PF won after people decided to change government.

He said the same would happen to PF in 2021.

“During MMD government, PF had no money, had no machinery but time came when people saw the need to change and that is what will happen in 2021. There comes a time when people are awake to the situation and what they decide cannot be diverted,” Ngoma said.

He thanked party members for entrusting him with the responsibility to take the party forward in the district.

Meanwhile, outgoing chairperson James Banda thanked the members and wished the new leadership all the best.

He wondered how change could be made when the party is going towards general elections.

He further wondered why out of all the districts Sinda was the only one which had dissolved the leadership and ushered in a new one.

Banda challenged those behind the change to ensure the party in the district does not go down but improve and win elections in 2021.

He said the change of leadership was characterised by corruption from top officials from the secretariat, who had personal agendas in Sinda.

Banda revealed that some of the members who voted against him revealed to him that some top party officials phoned them the whole night on Friday asking them to vote against Banda.

He alleged that promises were made to them they voted him out.

“My worry is that are we going to achieve what we had put in place in readiness for 2021 as a district?” Banda wondered.

He challenged anyone behind the change to provide formulas that would take the party forward.

He said leadership was not about following everything certain people say or command but to implement strategies, which was not the case for Sinda where certain top officials dictate most affairs of the party based on their personal interests for 2021.

He also observed that those aspiring to contest positions were part of the people that cause confusion by corrupting provincial or NEC officials to support them even when they were not credible to take up leadership responsibilities.

“They (party officials) would prefer to work with people who are the yes bwana yes bwana for their own benefit,” Banda said.

Asked if the change of leadership came because he favoured Johabie Mtonga to be the provincial chairperson instead of Thole, Banda said there was no mistake in supporting Mtonga because he was a very hard working member he believed could take the party forward going into 2021 compared to Thole.

“A lot of people even at provincial level are in favour of Mtonga and if I was on his side, I was not wrong because he is a very hard working man who has done much for the party in Eastern Province. I feel he could be a better leader to take the party forward as we approach general elections,” Banda said.

Asked if reports that former Sinda member of Parliament Levy Ngoma wants to ensure that the district party positions were filled with people he worked with when he was an FDD member, Banda said that might be true though he has not announced it.

He noted that most leadership positions in Sinda have been given to those who worked with the former member of parliament.

“He has not announced that on the platform but from the look of the system, it might be true because we were the only two from MMD, the rest where those who came with him [Ngoma] from FDD, so the assumptions of the people might be true but as long it will take the party forward, we don’t have a problem,” Banda said.

Banda said he gave PF sleepless nights and exposed their wrongs.

He said he could not resign to join PF but will forever support the UPND until it gets power in 2021.

Some members talked to expressed sadness over the leadership change saying it had been done at a wrong time and with a wrong motive.

“We are not happy and we know what is happening is not good. Why is it that some people like a Ngoma (Levy) has taken the party like his own baby at home? Why can’t we do things the way we feel the party can move forward?” the source wondered.

And one lady said Ngoma wants to and retain the seat in 2021 but he was segregating members that can take him forward.

“We have selfish people that want the party to dance to their tunes. We know Ngoma wants to stand in 2021 to retain the seat but sembe atitenga cabe bwino (he should carry us well) but for us kusebenza na banthu bamene sitiziba bwino (but for us to work with people we don’t know) game izabvutako (will be difficult),” she said.

The district elections were held on Saturday in the bush. Ngoma emerged victorious polling 78 votes against Banda’s 38.


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