“UNIP Settle Internal Wrangles”

Kaunda Clarifies Leadership Transition and Asset Management, While Dr. Mwamba Condemns Unlawful Break-in and Factional Disputes

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (07-07-2024) – Former United National Independence Party (UNIP) President Tilyenji Kaunda has moved to clarify the recent controversies surrounding the party’s leadership transition and the management of its assets.

During a media briefing, Kaunda meticulously detailed the constitutional adherence during the power transition to his brother Trevor Mwamba and addressed the misconceptions regarding the party’s involvement with Zambia National Holdings Limited.

Kaunda likened the leadership transition to a soccer match, emphasizing the natural presence of winners and losers but underscoring the importance of adhering to established rules.

He highlighted that the extraordinary Congress in April 2021, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, served as a legitimate platform for leadership elections.

During this Congress, Trevor Mwamba emerged victorious after a rigorous election involving three candidates, a process overseen and confirmed by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

This transition, however, has faced allegations of illegitimacy, which Kaunda firmly dismissed.

He stressed that Mwamba’s recognition as the party president was rooted in the democratic election process held in 2021, and any claims to the contrary undermine the principles of democracy and the party’s constitution.

On the issue of party assets, Kaunda provided critical insights into UNIP’s relationship with Zambia National Holdings Limited.

He clarified that the party does not exercise direct control over the company, nor does it rely on regular funding from it.

He noted that any financial contributions from the company are voluntary, not guaranteed, and should not be misconstrued as direct party assets.

Kaunda urged all genuine party members to uphold the party rules and avoid unnecessary disruptions that could harm UNIP’s stability.

He emphasized the importance of lawfulness and respect for the party’s constitution as paramount to maintaining organizational integrity and unity.

Kaunda signaled his intention to step back from active party affairs and return to his farm.

He called on all members to continue fostering unity and integrity within the party, leaving behind a message of respect for the constitutional process and commitment to UNIP’s foundational values.

UNIP President Dr. Trevor Mwamba voiced grave concerns about a reported unlawful break-in at the party’s headquarters, Freedom House.

The incident, allegedly orchestrated by Colonel Henry Muyoba and Mr. Alfred Banda, marks a significant escalation in the ongoing leadership conflict within Zambia’s oldest political party.

Dr. Mwamba did not mince words in condemning the actions of Colonel Muyoba and Mr. Banda.

He argued that these acts are a direct affront to the core values of UNIP, which include discipline, love, equality, truth, justice, and fairness.

This brazen assault on Freedom House, he stressed, is symptomatic of a broader attempt to undermine the party’s integrity and principles.

Dr. Mwamba highlighted the disruptive actions of Mike Kaira, who has allegedly expelled provincial leaders under the false pretense of a non-existent presidency.

This move, Dr. Mwamba contends, has sown confusion among party members and the media, further destabilizing the party at a critical juncture.

Dr. Mwamba reaffirmed UNIP’s commitment to the rule of law, asserting that the party will not tolerate attempts to manipulate or mislead state institutions.

He pointed to a letter dated February 11, 2022, from the Registrar of Societies, which confirmed the smooth leadership transition from his predecessor, Tilyenji Kaunda, to him.

This documentation, he suggested, contradicts the Registrar’s recent confirmation of Colonel Muyoba’s presidency, indicating a lapse in judgment based on inaccurate information.

Colonel Muyoba’s claim to the presidency, according to Dr. Mwamba, lacks legitimacy. He accused Colonel Muyoba of organizing unauthorized meetings, submitting forged documents, and violating UNIP’s constitution and democratic principles.

These actions, Dr. Mwamba argued, not only undermine party unity but also erode public trust in UNIP’s leadership.

Dr. Mwamba invited former president Tilyenji Kaunda to share his perspective, emphasizing the need for clarity and transparency.

He described the clandestine meetings and falsified documents as exacerbating internal strife and being wholly unacceptable.

Dr. Mwamba was particularly scathing in his critique of Colonel Muyoba’s alleged involvement in forgery, manipulation, and unauthorized entry into Freedom House. Such actions, he asserted, betray the very foundations of UNIP’s values and democratic ethos.

Dr. Mwamba announced plans for an upcoming congress aimed at reaffirming the party’s democratic principles and ensuring a transparent leadership selection process.

He called for accountability and strict adherence to established party protocols, urging members to reject division and unite for the party’s future success.

Dr. Mwamba expressed his gratitude to the press and party members for their support and commitment to UNIP’s values.

He affirmed his confidence in the party’s ability to overcome current challenges and advance towards a prosperous future for both UNIP and Zambia.

Allan Malawo, Lusaka Provincial Chairperson of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), has raised a crucial alarm about the internal divisions threatening the stability of the party.

He has expressed his unwavering support for the current leadership, emphasizing the need for unity as UNIP aims to reclaim its political prominence.

Malawo highlighted the significance of the Lusaka Province in electing the party’s current leadership during the Congress in April 2021, which saw the legitimate election of President Mwamba and Vice President Mike Kaira.

He underscored the integrity of the electoral process and the legitimacy of the elected leaders, urging all party members to respect and support the outcome.

However, Malawo did not shy away from criticizing those attempting to disrupt party unity.

He specifically called out individuals like Reverend Banda, who, after failing to secure leadership positions, switched allegiances and began sowing discord.

This, Malawo argued, stands in stark contrast to the dignified acceptance of electoral outcomes by other unsuccessful candidates, who chose to support the party’s leadership for the greater good.

Malawo condemned actions by certain factions within the party, which he claimed were organizing illegal meetings and engaging in self-promotion, causing chaos and undermining unity.

He made it clear that these actions did not have the backing of Lusaka Province, which remains focused on restoring UNIP to power through cohesive and principled leadership.

Malawo reminded suspended Vice President Kaira that the ruling reaffirmed his original position within the party hierarchy rather than granting him additional powers.

He urged Kaira and other members involved in factional disputes to prioritize unity and cooperation,

highlighting that Lusaka Province was ready to reconcile and work together to achieve the party’s objectives.

Malawo’s statement is a call to action for all UNIP members to unite under the leadership of President Mwamba.

He reiterated Lusaka Province’s commitment to an open-door policy and encouraged dissenting members to set aside personal differences and focus on the party’s collective goals.

Malawo called for unity and his condemnation of factionalism are vital for the survival and future success of UNIP.

The party’s ability to overcome internal divisions and present a united front will be crucial as it seeks to regain political prominence.

The ongoing efforts to address internal challenges and reaffirm solidarity with the established leadership are steps in the right direction, but they require the commitment and cooperation of all members to be truly effective.

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