MORE CONFUSION ROCKS UPND IN MONGU…as Bernard Mpundu cancels district elections without explanation
By Kamuti Muyambela
UPND Mongu district intra-party election was yesterday afternoon cancelled abruptly due to confusion surrounding the two factions that emerged.
But incumbent district chairperson Matakala Nyambe who is defending the seat expressed disappointment at the cancellation, saying no tangible reasons wer given by the commissioner Bernard Mpundu.
Sources within the party structures in Mongu disclosed that Naymbe in collusion with another Nyambe (from the party secretariat) had devised a plan to alter election guidelines and regulations in order to disadvantage other competitors.
The sources disclosed that the duo had fused some ineligible members from other wards into the delegates that were supposed to elect the district committee.
“This scenario has never existed in all the district intra party elections that has been held throughout the country so far and it defies all reasonable logic as to why the rules have to finally change with the only four remaining districts in the province country wide,” sources explained. “As if that is not enough, the desperate outgoing district chairperson (referring to Nyambe) has brought his entire loosing constituency committee to Mongu to come and participate in these elections against the laid down party guidelines as to who should be part of the electoral college in these elections and we (are) reliably informed that he has issued instructions to his group to cause violence should they be stopped to participate.”
Sources said when all was set for the election to take place, Mpundu who the party had chosen as commissioner to preside over the elections, cancelled without giving tangible reasons.
Sources explained that Mpundu tactfully did so in order to avoid acrimony among contestants.
And Nyambe disputed accusations that he and a Mr Nyambe at the party secretariat had altered guidelines and regulations governing the holding of intraparty elections.
He said whoever peddled such accusations was being malicious.
Nyambe then explained what transpired prior – which could potentially have triggered the cancellation of the elections.
“…the problem is that there is a wrangle. There are two committees in Nalikwanda. What happened is that Nalikwanda people were supposed to be at the election. But whichever case Gary Nkombo (party chairperson for elections) issued a letter earlier, saying he only recognises one of the committees. But you know there are people who want to recontest their seats. So, today (yesterday) we were supposed to have the district election and those two committees came, and the vowed that they have to vote. So, the commissioner (Mpundu) said, hold on, according to our guidelines, when we attain 50 percent of the electoral college we are supposed to hold the election,” Nyambe continued. “So that’s how they walked out. You know some positions were unopposed. And a few minutes (later), the commissioner said, ‘I have received instructions to cancel the elections’. So that is that.”
On accusations that he and the other Nyambe were the architect of the confusion to an extent that they even altered the provisions governing the holding of intraparty elections, Nyambe described as baseless and unfounded such allegations. He wondered how he could alter provisions that were enshrined in the party constitution
“No one can manipulate the constitution. Find the constitution of the UPND and go to article number 35. For someone to say that Mr Nyambe is manipulating (the constitution), I find it so difficult to understand that kind of a person. I am not defending Mr Nyambe, even the commissioner who is here, yesterday, we went through the constitution and we found exactly what is patterning (here). In every organisation, the constitution is the supreme law, in this case, UPND has a constitution that governs everyone around here. How do I cause confusion?” he wondered. “In this election, I am a candidate and I barely speak. I am a candidate aspiring for the chairmanship. I am defending my position. So how do I cause confusion because I barely speak? Despite we share the same name, Mr Nyambe is not my relative. These are the guidelines that we are using everywhere.”
He expressed disappoint at the cancellation of the elections, especially that Mpundu could not even give them the next date for the polls.
“I am not satisfied. I am disappointed. It’s like…if something does not suit you…I mean, I just don’t know how to say it. It’s like you say, if this is not done, then I will walk away. We said, okay, we have to go by the constitution; we have to do what is right. (Are) those people who came in the morning, who came at 07:00hours waiting for the election (foolish)?…(for you to) say, no, I am not going to finish (conducting) this election? Surely? With all honesty? With this, I am not satisfied. He didn’t say the cause, because he was receiving calls. Whoever was calling him, I should just assume that this person has got interest in Mongu,” Nyambe assumed. “So, my appeal to my leaders is that lets uphold justice, lets sober up. We should look at UPND with a bigger picture because we are struggling for UPND to form government to alleviate poverty and fix the economy. The reasons for cancelling the elections were not justifiable. He is just said he has been instructed not to conduct the elections.”
And Mpundu when contacted declined to comment.