By OLIVER SAMBOKO
UPND members in Monze are up in arms over the possible adoption of long serving Member of Parliament, Jack Mwiimbu, believed to be a close confidant of party president, Hakainde Hichilema.
Some aspiring candidates told the Daily Nation yesterday that the Monze parliamentarian and his Mazubuka counterparty, Gary Nkombo are holding Mr Hichilema at ransom because they know all his secrets and can therefore not be replaced as candidates.
The aspirants said, in fact the UPND primaries are just an academic exercise because the real adoptions are being done by Mr Hichilema and his inner circle Garry Nkombo, Jack Mwiimbu and Silvia Masebo.
If the UPND and Mr Hichilema go ahead to adopt unpopular candidates especially in Mazabuka and Monze , the opposition should forget about winning the August 12, general election,” said the candidates.
They questioned why Mr Mwiimbu and Garry Nkombo were allowed to sit on the committee setup to finalize the list of adopted candidates when they are also aspiring candidates.
The aspiring candidates also accused some candidates of using government resources to campaign, a situation which put others at a disadvantage.
They alleged that the UPND adoption process is marred in corruption and therefore should be nullified to allow a more transparent and inclusive process.
They accused Mr Mwiimbu of using a Government vehicle and fuel to campaign in the UPND primary election adoptions.
The candidates complained that Mr Mwiimbu had advantage over other competitors in terms of resources because he was abusing Government resources.
The aspiring candidates said apart from him using a Government vehicle and fuel to campaign, Mr Mwiimbu also allegedly engaged in vote buying by dishing out K1, 000 cash to each ward officials, K2, 500 to district officials. The candidates who requested not to be named, also complained that some other big fish in the opposition party have paid up to K1 million to influence their adoption at provincial and National level after performing badly at the grass root primaries.
They said even the results showing Mr Mwiimbu ahead of the rest are not the true representation of what happened on the ground as people in his constituency no long longer want him to represent them in parliament.
They said the opposition party has been reduced to a shop of few individual who have turned themselves into untouchables and who ever questions them is isolated.
They said in fact people like Mr Mwiimbu should be the last persons to talk about the eligibility of President Edgar Lungu to contest the August 12, presidential election because he has made himself a `forever’ MP in Monze despite the people not wanting him.
When contacted Mr Mwiimbu just laughed.