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Masumba dismisses UPND link

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Mufumbwe member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Masumba has dismissed reports suggesting that he will join the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
And PF Kafue MP Obvious Mwaliteta and his Mpongwe counterpart Gabriel Namulambe have endorsed the candidature of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
At a joint press briefing with Ministry of Local Government and Housing deputy minister Dawson Kafwaya, Mr Masumba said he would rather quit politics than join the UPND.
“There are rumours that I want to defect to the UPND; that is impossible. I do not entertain regional politics and that is why I will support President Lungu because with him, he embraces everyone in spite of their tribe,” Mr Masumba said at his residence in Ibex Hill.
He said he does not want to be associated with regional politics because they are retrogressive.
“It’s very unfortunate that some people are saying that I want to join the UPND; that party strives on divide and rule, and their leaders don’t deserve any credibility. Such kind of politics should be rejected by any well-meaning Zambian,” he said.
Mr Masumba said he would defend his seat on the PF ticket in the forthcoming elections.
“The same UPND that I beat in the last elections will again face me and I can assure you that I am retaining the seat come August 11,” he said.
And speaking at the same briefing, Mr Kafwaya said he would recontest his seat on the PF ticket and support President Lungu in the general elections.
“For now, I am still UPND until Parliament is dissolved. But come August 11, whether I am adopted or not, I will support President Lungu because he is a very progressive leader,” he said.
Mr Kafwaya said President Lungu has developed North-Western Province despite getting few votes from the region in the 2015 presidential election.
And the PF in Lusaka Province says the “resignation” of Mr Mwaliteta and Mr Namulambe did not come as a surprise because the two were known to conspire with the opposition.
PF Lusaka Province youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba said at a press briefing that the duo’s interests in the UPND were already known.
“Some of these people who are joining the UPND were part of the cartel that wanted to destroy the PF,” Mr Kamba said.
And in a statement, PF member of the information committee Sunday Chanda said one of the named MPs who ‘defected’ to the UPND yesterday was bitter because he does not have qualifications to recontest his seat.
Mr Chanda said the MP’s bitterness was misdirected because he still has an opportunity to upgrade his qualifications to meet the benchmark set by Zambians for their elected representatives.
Announcing their support for Mr Hichilema yesterday, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said Mr Mwaliteta and Mr Namulambe, including cadre Judge Ngoma, have decided to work with the UPND.