GBM is not popular enough to win an election under UPND


PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Kasama Central lawmaker, Geoffrey Mwamba has been appointed vice-president for administration in the United Party for National Development (UPND).


However, PF secretary general Davis Chama said Mr Mwamba was not a factor in the party as he was expelled way back.
Mr Mwamba, who is former Defence minister, has, however, said that he will maintain his position as Kasama Central area member of Parliament (MP) under the PF ticket.


UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema appointed Mr Mwamba as vice-president taking over from Richard Kapita who recently resigned from UPND to join the ruling party.
Mr Mwamba, who accepted the appointment at a Press briefing held at Cresta Golfview Hotel in Lusaka, said he would not relinquish his parliamentary seat to avoid unnecessary by-election which was costly to the country.


“I humbly accept the appointment as UPND vice-president but I remain PF Kasama Central MP, because doing so will lead to a by-election which gobbles (up) a lot of money for the country,” he said.
President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday disclosed that there would soon be a by-election in Kasama Central following reports that Mr Mwamba was planning to cross over to the UPND.


However, Mr Chama said the Kasama Central parliamentarian was expelled from the PF a long time ago.
“Mr Mwamba is not our member. He was expelled from the party a long time ago. All that is keeping him is a court injunction, otherwise he is not a factor,” Mr Chama said.


He described Mr Mwamba’s insistence on holding on to the parliamentary seat under the PF as lack of morality, principles and against the Constitution of Zambia.


On the contrary, he said the Constitution allowed a Republican President to appoint opposition MPs to serve in Government but did not allow MPs to hold on to their seats once they quit one party to join the other.
“It is against the Constitution for an MP who crosses the floor from one political party to another political party to hold on to a parliamentary seat,” Mr Chama said.


Mr Chama said if Mr Mwamba had principles, the best thing he should have done was to resign from the PF and re-contest his seat under the UPND.
“He is holding on to the parliamentary seat because he knows that he is not a factor and not popular enough to win an election under the UPND, he can easily lose,” he said.
Mr Hichilema said during the same meeting that the appointment of Mr Mwamba to the position of vice-president in the party received overwhelming support from the members.


Mr Hichilema also announced the appointment of UPND Mwinilunga MP, Steven Katuka as new secretary general taking over from Winston Chibwe.
Meanwhile, Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini has reserved ruling on whether GBM should continue sitting in Parliament when he had crossed over to the other party.
Dr Matibini said the gravity of the issue needed time to study it before making a ruling.


The opposition MPs had also raised a point of order whether Solwezi Central MP Dawson Kafwaya and Sinazongwe MP Richell Siamunene were in order to sit in Parliament after being appointed deputy ministers under PF by the President.