Editor's Comment

UPND nominations poser a threat to itself

HICHILEMA

THE opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) should put its house in order.
The confusion which rocked its ranks during nominations for Parliament and council chairpersons does not augur well for a party aspiring to form Government.
At best, the UPND is coming out like a party which is not organised at all.
How does the party adopt more than one candidate in selected constituencies and councils?
Nominations for the various positions to be contested for from ward to mayoral or council chairperson and Parliament are conducted through primary elections, which are done at branch, ward, constituency, district, province and national levels.
At all these levels, party leaders choose candidates to run for various offices, with the party secretariats being in charge of overall campaigns.
Secretariats share the party’s vision espoused through the manifesto with the various structures of the party.
The national management committee in the case of the UPND or national executive committee for the ruling Patriotic Front make the final decision regarding the choice for mayoral/council chairpersons as well as parliamentary candidates.
This being the case, it is surprising that the UPND ended up having more candidates at selected nomination centres.
In a multi-party dispensation like ours, leadership of the parties at the highest level is involved in selecting candidates.
So, if the leadership was involved in selecting candidates, how come the party had so many aspirants colliding at nomination centres?
Given the hype from the UPND going into the August 11 elections, the nation thought the opposition party had put its house in order.
However, evidence on the ground shows the contrary and if nothing is done to normalise the situation, UPND may have more than two running mates popping up tomorrow as Hakainde Hichilema’s turn.
The UPND have been bitter enemies of themselves and should not blame anybody if the party does not perform well in the 2016 elections because the voters are watching.
Zambia now has very critical voters who do not want to be carried away by the political wind.
Announcing the date for elections like President Lungu did in January when he assented to the constitution was one thing, internalising the contents was another.
The dates which voters were waiting for finally came and political parties were readying to exhibit their candidates.
This week is certainly the apex of political activism as it has been designated for filing of nominations.
But the biggest test is this week when the party should show its character in times like this.
But attempting to field two candidates at some nomination centres is certainly perplexing.




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