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PF targets Nkombo, Mweetwa among others in ongoing defections

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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President Edgar Lungu talks to UPND Whip Garry Nkombo and Leader of the Opposition Jack Mwiimbu after the second session of the National Assembly – picture courtesy of Lusaka Times

Member of parliament for Mazabuka (UPND) Garry Nkombo and his Choma-Central colleague Cornelius Mweetwa are among the senior officials being eyed and in discussions on the possibility of defecting to the ruling PF.

Well placed sources in the PF in collaboration with some in the UPND have told Daily Revelation that Nkombo and Mweetwa are among the officials being targeted by the ruling PF. The sources said several officials were not happy with the happenings in the opposition UPND, accusing their leader Hakainde Hichilema of bulldozing matters in what they term as undemocratic manner.

The sources said the main issue that has brought the most consternation is the decision by Hichilema to appoint Mutale Nalumango as the party’s vice-president, and the other appointments made in the National management committee.

The sources claimed there was little consultation on the appointments, and some were of the feeling that their input was being undervalued.

“But HH has also had a long held view regarding these same officials serving especially as members of parliament, feeling that they apply a lot of effort campaigning for themselves and not him. He feels so long as they are guaranteed their next stay and gratuity in parliament that is fine with them,” the sources said. “

The insiders said the PF have set up a team comprising of Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo, Foreign Affairs minister Joe Malanji, Mines minister Richard Musukwa and national chairperson Samuel Mukupa to ’cause ripples’ in the UPND by targeting senior leaders who are influential in the party, and also taking advantage of the grievances which arose following the UPND convention.

“Of course it cannot be discounted that the same could happen with the PF, especially with those who will not be re-adopted. But it is evident that the impact in the UPND is being felt with these defections,” the sources said. “The team chosen from the PF has reached out to Mweetwa and Nkombo. It’s just a matter of time you will be able to see the ripple effects. Mweetwa was simply testing the waters by saying he is not standing, meanwhile he has been in talks with PF.”

But Mweetwa dismissed the assertions as social media entertainment to associate credibility with this those who are leaving the party.

“So no need to worry, us we are solid. We don’t get moved by small things,” said Mweetwa.

The sources further said that the other person to take note of was leader of the opposition in parliament Jack Mwiimbu.

“You have to watch out from his actions especially after Mutinta Mazoka declared interest to stand in his area,” the sources said.

Mbabala UPND lawmaker Ephraim Belemu and former spokesperson Charles Kakoma are the recent members to have announced their defections from the PF.

Source: Daily Revelation

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31