Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:00:50 +0000
HAKAINDE Hichilema’s presidential spokesperson Edward Mumbi has with immediate effect resigned from his position fueling speculation that there is discontement within the senior ranks of the party following its defeat at the hands of the Patriotic Front (PF) in the last general elections.
Mr Mumbi becomes the second senior UPND official to have resigned from the UPND after Edwin Lifwekelo who was the deputy spokesperson of the opposition political party.
Mr Hichilema, the leader of the UPND, on Sunday suspended his vice-president Canisius Banda over what he termed conduct likely to bring the name of the party into disrepute.
Yesterday, Mr Mumbi tendered his resignation from the UPND on grounds that it had become extremely difficult for him to continue discharging his duties as presidential spokesperson because of family responsibilities.
In a letter addressed to Mr Hichilema, Mr Mumbi said he had served the UPND and its presidency loyally and diligently but that it had become difficult for him to continue with his responsibilities with his current family responsibilities.
“Due to pressure of family responsibilities, it may be difficult to efficiently and effectively carry out my responsibilities as presidential spokesperson. I have, therefore, decided to resign from my position as presidential spokesperson and I have also ceased to be a member of the UPND with immediate effect for personal reasons. I wish the presidency and the party God’s blessings,” Mr Mumbi said.
Edwin Lifwekelo said the resignation of Mr Mumbi was a sign that the UPND was headed for disintegration because according to him, Mr Hichilema was being held hostage by a clique of people whose interest was to impose their leadership on the membership of the party.
Mr Lifwekelo said he had predicted mass exodus from the UPND soon after Mr Hichilema lost the presidency to President Edgar Lungu and that many senior members of the opposition party were contemplating ditching the party.
He said in an interview yesterday that he was not surprised that Mr Mumbi had resigned from the UPND because it had become difficult for the former UPND presidential spokesperson to continue defending the decision of the party when he was not being consulted.
Mr Lifwekelo said he was aware that Mr Mumbi was not being consulted on many of the decisions and statements the Mr Hichilema was making because often times, he was neither consulted nor informed about the management of the party.
Mr Lifwekelo said Mr Hichilema had started victimising Dr Banda for only speaking out about the future of the UPND and demanding that the leadership should consider introspection and call for a national convention to seek a fresh mandate from its members.
“It is not surprising that Mr Mumbi has resigned from the UPND because for all I know, most of the decisions and statements that were being made, he was not being consulted, yet he would be asked to defend such positions. I had predicted that many senior members would be leaving the party and Mr Mumbi should have left a long time ago except that he was hoping that the UPND leadership would change its style of managing the party. Mr Mumbi was one of the loyal senior members of the UPND and his departure means a lot,” Mr Lifwekelo said.