By ANDREW MUKOMA
THE UPND in Southern Province has downplayed the defection of Mbabala Member of Parliament Ephraim Bbelemu to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
According to the opposition party, Mr Bbelemu’s departure would not make the party lose its focus of creating a positive change for the country.
UPND Provincal Information and Publicity Secretary, Neto Halwabala, said that Mr Bbelemu had been rejected by the grassroots in the constituency, hence his decision to defect.
“We are not moved by the defection of rejected candidates in Southern Province and they cannot make us lose focus on positive change for mother Zambia,” he said.
Mr Halwabala said in Livingstone that the political ground in the region was intact and challenged the PF to adopt those joining them to prove the opposition wrong.
“It is an open secret that PF officials are in talks with some of our aspiring candidates, promising to be adopted in an event they are not adopted on UPND ticket.
“UPND cannot be sabotaged by PF’s desperation. In Southern Province, we are still holding the political ground just like a lion holding an Impala,” he said.
Mr Halwabala said that those who were still doubting the UPND’s popularity would be buried politically.
“We want to thank Mr Ephraim Bbelemu, former Member of Parliament for Mbabala for having left the party now than after adoption. We don’t want selfish aspiring candidates who think without them the party will suffer,” Mr Halwabala said.