Opposition UPND vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) has reportedly threatened to leave UPND if not appointed as running mate by the party’s leader Hakainde Hichilema.
According to News24 Zambia the confusion started after former MMD leader Dr Nevers Mumba endorsed HH.
The endorsement allegedly resulted in an exchange of words between the president and his vice.
It is even rumoured but not confirmed that GBM now wants to join Rainbow Party.
The news24 report stated that the tension building up in UPND seemed to be a full-steam ahead of disaster which would result in hearts being broken.
“We are yet to hear more on the matter as HH seems to be confused and disoriented, said News24 Zambia
Meanwhile, the failure by UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to attend a briefing called by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for presidential candidates and their respective running mates yesterday fuelled speculations that the opposition party was in a running mate fix.
ECZ has reduced nomination fees for presidential candidates to K60, 000, for Members of Parliament to K7, 500, Mayors to K5, 000, Council chairpersons to K2, 000, Councillor (City and Municipal cities) K750 and K400 for councillors at district levels after stakeholders complained.
President Edgar Lungu and his running mate, Vice-President Inonge Wina, were among political leaders who attended an ECZ briefing on presidential nominations.
Others who attended the briefing included FDD’s Edith Nawakwi, Green Party’s Peter Sinkamba, United Progressive People’s Saviour Chishimba, UPND’s Jacob Mwiimbu, UNIP’s deputy secretary general Alfred Banda, Democratic Assembly, People’s Alliance for Change, and Rainbow Party.
UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka when asked whether the opposition party was courting former first lady Christine Kaseba as a running mate to Mr Hichilema said he could not confirm the nomination of Dr Kaseba.
Miles Sampa, former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba are among those speculated to be closer to the position of a running mate.
Mr Katuka disclosed that the UPND was still consulting among its members on the choice of a running mate and that it had not settled on any candidate for the position of a vice-president for the August general elections.
Mr Katuka said discussions on who should be Mr Hichilema’s running mate were currently ongoing and promised to unveil the name of the running mate before the party’s presidential nomination day on Friday this week.
“He (HH) is out of the country attending to equally other important national issues,” Mr Katuka said. Meanwhile, Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davis Chama said he did not think it was true that Mr Hichilema was committed elsewhere, hence not attending a very important ECZ briefing.
He alleged that Mr Hichilema shunned the ECZ briefing because he was scared of unveiling his running mate to the general public.
By Daily Nation Reporter