By SANFROSSA MANYINDA
UPND chairperson for elections, Gary Nkombo, has been accused of malpractice and deliberately sidelining women and the youth in the adoptions process.
Some members of the UPND women’s league told the Daily Nation that Mr Nkombo influenced the decisions of the party to ensure that only his friends were picked.
When contacted, Mr Nkombo refused to comment on the matter on the pretext that he does not talk to the Daily Nation.
The irate women also said that money exchanged hands for some individuals who were not close to the top leadership to be adopted.
They lamented that the party deliberately and selfishly left out several women in the adoption process.
“We are not happy with what Mr Nkombo is doing. Women are being deliberately left out and only those who are close to them are being picked. We are also aware that money exchanged hands for some individuals to be adopted,” one aggrieved woman said.
And UPND women and youths in Kitwe’s Wusakile constituency have vowed to ditch the party, citing tribalism and corruption in the just-ended adoption process.
They complained that the adoption process was not genuinely done, stressing that the adopted parliamentary candidate, Mr Robert Zimba, was not popular on the ground.
They said the decision not to adopt Ms Gloria Shonga, who they described as the person who was on the ground, was unfair.
The women and youths were speaking in separate interviews with the Daily Nation yesterday.
“If the appointing authority does not rescind its decision, we will ditch the party and go back to where we came from because we cannot accept to vote for the person we do not know.
“We feel our preferred candidate was unfairly treated in the process because she is the only person we have always known to be on the ground and we have been working with her for a long time now,” one of the youth, Moses Saviye said.
Mr Saviye said it was wrong for the appointing authority to adopt the person they hardly knew at the expense of the person who has been suffering for the party since 2011.
He accused the party of adopting what he described as infiltrators who had bribed some officials to be adopted.
And another youth, Alice Kasesa said the move the appointing authority had made was a blow as it denied women representation.
“We therefore call on party president Hakainde Hichilema to take interest in knowing what is happening on the ground because these are some of the issues that lead to poor performance during elections,” Ms Kasesa said.