I WAS BETRAYED -MUCHELEKA
…My own relatives stabbed me in the back, says UPND deputy Secretary General
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
I LOST the Lubasenshi Parliamentary seat in the last general elections despite being popular because I was heavily de-campaigned by my own relatives, including Chiefs who hated UPND, Mr Patrick Mucheleka has lamented.
And Mr Mucheleka, the UPND deputy Secretary General, has taken a swipe at those criticising President Hakainde Hichilema’s appointments in Government describing them as “hypocrites” who did not know what they were saying.
In an interview, Mr Mucheleka said he was disowned by his own relatives and chiefs for belonging to UPND. He said his relatives and chiefs mounted a robust campaign to ensure that he lost and that UPND never got a single seat in the region.
“I stood in Lubasenshi, but was heavily de-campaigned by my own relatives, including chiefs. I was disowned by my own uncle, Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.
“They mounted a robust campaign to ensure I lose, and for sure I lost. They even accused me of having insulted Paramount Chief Chitimukulu for merely advising him to stop taking a partisan stance,” Mr Mucheleka lamented.
He added, “they even formed what they called the movement for voter sensitisation with a full objective of ensuring UPND did not get a single seat in the northern block.”
Mr Mucheleka said it was however surprising that the same traditional leaders that campaigned against UPND and its leader, were now pushing so hard to meet President Hicchilema.
Meanwhile, Mr Mucheleka said those claiming that President Hichilema’s appointments were skewed towards certain regions were hypocrites because the Head of State has a well-balanced Government.
He said despite having been de-campaigned during the last elections in Muchinga, Northern and Luapula Provinces, Mr Hichilema has demonstrated statesmanship by nominating MPs from the regions and appointing them to ministerial positions because all he wanted was to unite the nation.
“Elections were held and in Muchinga, UPND never got a single seat because of the tribalism which even involved their royal highnesses, used by PF. They campaigned heavily against UPND to an extent that we never got a single seat.
“But what has the President done? He has nominated MPs from Muchinga. In fact, 50 percent of his nominations were done in the northern block where UPND was generally rejected,” he said.
For example, he said, President Hichilema nominated Mr Elias Mubanga from Shiwang’andu and appointed him Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Ms Doreen Mwamba from Northern Province as Minister of Community Development and Social Services, as well as Mr Henry Sikazwe and Mr Leonard Mbao as Provincial Ministers for Muchinga and Northern provinces respectively.
He emphasised that President Hichilema’s focus was to reunite the nation, and would not sideline the traditional leaders who campaigned against him.
He added that the new dawn government would remain indebted to alliance partners and the people of Zambia, especially youths for the roles they played in ensuring that UPND formed Government.