“HH has turned our General Assembly into a sham just for his political gain! Party members have been barred from contesting for any position be it Vice President, Chairman or Secretary General, and not only that, he has gone a step further to confirm himself as UPND Life President by introducing a fresh dictatorial clause in the Constitution” – UPND Lawyer Mulambo Haimbe
LUSAKA, 14 FEBRUARY, 2021
Lusaka Lawyer Mulambo Haimbe has rubbished the ongoing UPND General Assembly describing it as a sham due to undemocratic changes which he accuses President Hichilema of having modified the Constitution to suit his political will.
According to Haimbe the changes are meant to excessively extend HH’s hold over to the party and increase his powers by barring members from freely contesting for any elective position in the party, but rather it will be HH alone to appoint by decree any member into any position be it the vacancy for Vice President posts or the Chairpersons of Committees.
“There is nothing democratic or free and fair, HH alone is now dictating how and who will take up which NMC position, HH alone and not party members, and now he has introduced changes to Article 70 which now reads:
‘A party President shall be eligible for election for an indefinite period subject to this Constitution provided that a Party President who is elected Republican President shall only serve two terms that shall run concurrently with the term of office as Republican President’.
Effectively HH is UPND President for life, we are going against the tenets of our constitution and committing the worst dictatorial travesty the party and Zambia has ever seen”
“[Our] constitution [in] Articles 102, 103 and 104 is very clear on what happens at the general assembly. [It outlines] who is supposed to amend the constitution, how NMC (National Management Committee) members are supposed to be elected and any other things,” added Haimbe.
“All along people have been going for positions. Chambwa Moonga wants to stand for the position of secretary general, we elect him as secretary general. [And] if there is anyone challenging him, those who are challenging him come through. That other one wants to stand as chairman – agriculture…That’s what our constitution says; people should go for specific positions of leadership.”
“But what I am saying is that it is wrong! If we take this destructive route, those people who would have been hand picked as NMC chairpersons will answer not to the people but only to the president”,said Haimbe.
Haimbe further said, he is against transferring all the powers to the party president, “to appoint and disappoint when we are conducting a democratic process is contradictory and extremely dictatorial. It navigates the whole point of having an elective assembly”.