By NATION REPORTER
OSIDA has brought together some Bemba-aligned political parties now known as Zambia We Want with the sole purpose of finding UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema a running mate, the Daily Nation has learnt.
But even before the pact, both Zambia Must Prosper Movement leader, Kelvin Bwalya Fube and MDC president Felix Mutati had separately and secretly been promised the running mate position.
The intention to bring the parties was to find Mr Hichilema a Bemba running mate to secure votes from Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces.
The announcement of the coalition followed an urgent meeting at Twalumba Lodge in Lusaka’s Chalala area.
It was forced by the Constitutional Court confirmation of President Edgar Lungu eligibility and ECZ calendar in which presidential candidates and their running mates must file their nomination papers in a few weeks’ time.
Mr Mutati who had put in place logistics for filing in nomination as Presidential candidate has reportedly put on hold his ambitions for the Presidency
OCIDA is an association for senior citizens including former Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu who is a known UPND sympathizer and Simon Zukas.
Efforts to get Mr Mutati and Mr Fube proved futile as both did not respond to the communication.
Other alliance members are Mr Kaluba Simuyemba of Movement for Change and Equality, Mr Bert Mushala, a former minister in the MMD government as well as Mr Ernest Mwansa of the Zambia for Empowerment and Development.
According to impeccable sources, the Zambia We Want meeting was called to strategise and nominate one among themselves to be selected as Mr Hichilema’s running mate.
Insiders said Mr Fube was assured of the appointment while simultaneously Mr Mutati had also been promised being named as running mate.
Meanwhile, the pact under the umbrella name “The Zambia We Want Movement” was formally announced yesterday with the intention to field one presidential candidate in the August 12 general elections.
According to Mr Mwansa, leaders have come together to serve a common interest and also lessen the overcrowded political space during the general election.
He noted that the multiplicity of political parties weakened the opposition and confused electorates.
“The country is big enough to produce a good leader so you don’t have to worry,” Mr Mwansa said.
And Mr Fube said that his decision to join the alliance signalled the end of his PF membership. He said that there comes a time when one has to let go.