By SIMON MUNTEMBA
HAKAINDE Hichilema is a dictator who can never allow any UPND official to challenge him through a convention and the elective general conference slated for February 14, is just an academic exercise because almost all key positions are already shared amongst those in his inner circle, former UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo has said.
In an interview, Mr Lifwekelo said article 79 of the UPND constitutional was secretly amended by Mr Hichilema’s surrogate within the party with the sole purpose of allowing him to remain at the helm of the party.
He was reacting to announcement by the UPND that it was going to hold its elective general conference on February 14.
Announcing the resolutions made during an NMC extraordinary meeting held at the party secretariat on Friday, UPND elections chairperson, Garry Nkombo told the press that a number of resolutions towards the holding of the elective conference had been put in place.
Mr Nkombo said instead of the usual 3, 000 delegates, the party has opted to reduce the number to 1, 500 delegates with elections scheduled to be held at the selected provincial centres across the 10 provinces.
Mr Hichilema filed in his nomination forms to contest as UPND president at the secretariat in Lusaka. Names of those challenging him are yet to be known.
But Mr Lifwekelo said the UPND’s forthcoming February 14 general assembly is just an academic exercise because the positions are already shared and there is a no party official who can dare challenge Mr Hichilema.
“First of all, you can see that there is no name mentioned to challenge him. Hakainde Hichilema is a dictator who cannot allow anyone to challenge him through a convention.
“In fact, I can assure you that all the key positions have already been shared by those that worship him,” Mr Lifwekelo said.
He said the UPND constitution was actually amended to permit Mr Hichilema to hold the position for an indefinite period.
He said article 79 which Mr Katuka quoted was a clear indication that Mr Hichilema was a dictator who did not want to allow Dr Canisius Banda and Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba to challenge him through a convention.
Mr Lifwekelo also warned that if voted into government, the UPND would change the Republican Constitution and introduce a one-party state because they had demonstrated the dictatorship at party level.
Mr Lifwekelo also said Mr Hichilema has become desperate because he knows that 2021 is his last bus stop before he arrives at his destination of political oblivion.