Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:21:52 +0000
FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) losing parliamentary candidates have accused the opposition’s party leader Edith Nawakwi of having monopolised campaign resources, leading to the poor performance of the party in the August 11 general elections.
Speaking on behalf of the candidates, FDD losing candidate for Chitambo Constituency Crawford Mukando charged that the whole FDD campaign was not conducted in a fair and just manner, accusing Ms. Nawakwi of being a greedy and selfish leader.
But Ms. Nawakwi has denied the charge describing the allegations as baseless and unfounded.
She said such accusations were just designed to tarnish her image and that of the party.
She stated that her party had adequately funded all its parliamentary candidates in the last elections.
Ms. Nawakwi indicated that it was neither the party’s fault nor her own that the candidates performed badly in the polls.
“So it is unfair and ungrateful for some individuals to accuse me and the party of being greedy today. It is not my fault nor is it the party’s that they performed badly in the elections. Most people think that you must carry them on your back and take them to Parliament or appoint them as a leader, but that is very unfortunate,” Ms. Nawakwi said.
Mr. Mukando told the Daily Nation that the candidates used hard earned money to campaign for the party and were now overburdened to pay the polling agents whom Ms. Nawakwi has refused to pay.
“Some parliamentary candidates are not sleeping in their homes because for fear of the polling agents, who are perpetually pestering them over payments, I equally receive calls from polling agents in Chitambo nearly every week, demanding for their payment.
“Ms. Nawakwi’s demands of 400 votes per polling station as a condition to pay polling agents, is serious mockery. She has played mind games on us. Candidates spent their useful time and hard earned money to campaign for her only to be rewarded with such demeaning mockery,” Mr. Mukando said.
Mr. Mukando appealed to party members to turn up in numbers and adequately prepare for the upcoming convention to vote for the right people in leadership positions.
“This party could have scooped between 50 to 60 parliamentary seats if there was no greed and selfishness at play. Having a heartless leader has killed the high chances of FDD from strategically positioning itself to have become the strongest opposition political party for the 2021 elections,” he said.Meanwhile, Ms Nawakwi, has maintained that she will not pay the polling agents as they did not meet the target as earlier agreed.
She said it was not her responsibility to pay the agents because she did not hire them.
Ms. Nawakwi said that the party had more serious programmes to fund such as the convention and would not fund personal costs of individuals. “If they think that I will continue funding, they must be joking because the party has a programme to get the party to the convention and not to fund personal costs of individuals. The candidates are the ones who hired the agents, so they cannot take the burden and put it on me,” she said.