UPND chairperson Mutale Nalumango on Saturday came under fire in the party’s national management meeting when she questioned the motive behind a senior official’s dissolution and reconstitution of party structures wherever he visited, the Daily Nation has learnt.
The dressing down of Ms Nalumango was in full view of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema who was chairing the meeting of the highest organ of the opposition political party.
Sources in the meeting informed the Daily Nation that when Mrs Nalumango demanded an explanation behind the new party structures being created, the senior UPND official verbally abused the party chairperson.
‘‘It was an extremely embarrassing moment. He said things like ‘I am a rich man, what do you have? I can form my own political party even tomorrow’, It was an embarrassing moment,’’ the source said.
But when contacted for a comment, Mrs Nalumango denied the incident ever took place and denied knowing anything about it.
‘‘You ask the person who gave you that information to tell you the truth because I do not know anything about that,’’ the chairlady said.
UPND party spokesperson Charles Kakoma said the information was unreliable as the UPND still had confidence in the senior party official.
He added that both the chairlady and the senior official were ‘‘gallant members’’ of the party.
‘‘That information is unreliable; UPND has a lot of confidence in Mrs Nalumango and its senior officials. They are great members of the party; so all those are petty lies,’’ Mr Kakoma said.
But a member of the UPND who attended the meeting but sought anonymity said the senior party official went ballistic when questioned about the new structures he was forming without the blessing of the top management team.
‘‘Mrs Mutale Nalumango is not happy. Even as we speak she is extremely angry and frustrated because the exchange nearly turned into a physical fight,’’ the source said.
The source said there was currently division in the opposition party that had continued to be caused by the senior party official.
Some UPND seniors are allegedly suspecting that the senior official was using the party to form his own structures which he would allegedly use to take over the opposition party when all damage was done.
‘‘There is division between the senior official and the national chairman. She is angry because ever since he came into the party, wherever he goes he is changing party structures and forming his own and it is strongly believed that he is doing this to position himself for a takeover,’’ the source said.