By SILUMESI MALUMO
CONFUSION has engulfed the Opposition Alliance with its chairman, Charles Milupi nullifying the expulsion of National Restoration Party (NAREP) from the alliance, for refusing to back UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s 2021 presidential ambitions.
Mr Milupi has insisted that no Alliance member could be removed without his permission as chairman, and nullified the spokesperson, James Lukuku’s decision to remove NAREP from the group for publicly speaking against and refusing to back Mr Hichilema’s 2021 presidential candidacy.
Mr Lukuku, leader of the Republican Progressive Party (RPP), and who is widely seen as Mr Hichilema’s surrogate, announced the removal of the Steve Nyirenda –led party from the Alliance for a myriad of reasons including the party’s attacks on the UPND leader.
On Thursday, Mr Lukuku announced the removal of NAREP from the list of members.
Mr Lukuku said Mr Nyirenda had gone against the initially agreed principles.
He said the NAREP leader had a tendency of attacking fellow members publicly.
But Mr Milupi in an interview yesterday, said the expulsion was null and void because as the chairperson of the alliance, he had no knowledge of the decision made by some members.
No member, he said, cannot be removed from the alliance list without him authorising the expulsion.
He said, therefore, NAREP remains as a member of the alliance and his decision as the chairperson was final.
“No member can be removed without the chairman authorising it and I have not authorised anything like that. So this decision is not valid, NAREP will remain as a member of the alliance and that is final. NAREP is not removed from the alliance and it is a member like anyone else,” he said.
Mr Milupi said the alliance members did not meet to arrive at such a decision, stating that what was done was illegal.
Meanwhile, NAREP national chairperson Ezra Ngulube accepted that the party remained a member of the alliance.
He said in a separate interview yesterday, even when the party remained a member it would not be a surrogate of a certain political party which was so eager to go State House.
Mr. Ngulube said the alliance was not a marriage but it was just a come together to address national issues.
He said it would not dwell in cheap politics in order to be used by some political party who was fighting by all means to be in power.
On Thursday, Mr Ngulube said the party had been booted out from the alliance because of its refusal to bow down to UPND’s selfish interests of wanting all members to support their leader in the 2021 elections.
He said in an interview with Daily Nation the party had refused for the pact support hence the decision to expel it from the alliance.
By SILUMESI MALUMO