UPND risks losing parley seats
By NATION REPORTER
THE United Party for National Development (UPND) risks losing many parliamentary seats in 2026 if it does not change its elitist candidate adoption criteria, a governance activist Crawford Mukando has warned.
Mr Mukando said it was very difficult to be adopted as a parliamentary candidate by UPND because the ruling party was only interested in working with the rich.
He alleged that UPND does not adopt candidates without a minimum bank account balance of K 1,000,000 and white books for at least two cars.
Mr Mukando added that the UPND Elections Committee would request applicants interested to contest parliamentary seats to submit bank statements as proof of their financial liquidity in addition to evidence that they owned businesses.
He said the conditions set by the UPND in its adoption of parliamentary candidates could be liked to those of commercial banks when one was applying for a loan. He said UPND needed to review its adoption process and shortlisting criteria to give opportunities to the youth to participate in politics.
Mr Mukando said UPND was one of the most amusing political parties in the history of Zambian politics, which strongly believed in neglecting its members.
He said if it continued on this trajectory, UPND risked losing its loyal members to opposition political parties who were now making inroads in its strongholds.
Mr Mukando said he predicted that President Hakainde Hichilema would still win the 2026 general election but a small margin although most of his MPs would lose their seats to independent candidates.
He said the opposition may not have very strong candidates to beat independents because it had been proven that since 2011 that Zambian voters trusted independent candidates more than those from the opposition.
Mr Mukando also said greed and corruption would characterise UPND adoptions in 2026.
He said signs of corruption were already showing in the UPND in just over a year that the party has been in power.
“I wonder what owning a car and having a lot of money in the bank account has got to do with becoming a civic leader as leadership values do not border on those material requirements,” Mr Mukando said.