By Bennie Mundando

UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) member Chellah Tukuta has advised his party Secretary General, Stephen Katuka, to rest so that other people can take up leadership roles in the party if it is to form Government in August.

In a live broadcast on his Facebook wall days ago, Mr. Tukuta advised those party members who will put the National Management Committee (NMC) in place to choose individuals who will propel the party to victory and not choosing people on sympathy lines as the coming election did not need timid leaders.

He said he loved Mr. Katuka very much but that it was time to leave his position because it was not a birthright to anyone as the party was in dire need of a crop of leaders that would help party president Hakainde Hichilema win the August elections.

He fingered out Mr. Katuka as being among the weakest links in the party as he had allegedly been unceremoniously missing from previous by-elections, while branding the entire UPND secretariat dormant hence the need to put people that will add value to the party cause.

He said the August election was not an election for experiments and warned the UPND that should the PF win the forthcoming elections, they will be “dead meat.”

Those voting for NMC members, give the president quality people. This is not an election for experimenting and I am not going to bootlick or favour anyone. All of us know that our secretariat has been so dormant. We need a new SG. No doubt about it. You can’t go into this coming election with an SG who does not travel (across) the country; with an SG who is not aware what is happening in Luapula or Northern Province. When there are by-elections, he does not even show up. No, we are not going to experiment like that.

I love Mr. Katuka but I think he needs to rest. We are not going to say I love Mr. Katuka.. if you love him, advise him and say sir, tusheniko bambi baisa bomba ko (rest and allow others to work). We need a vibrant SG. I love you Mr. Katuka but awe, katusheniko (you rest). Ifya friendship takwaba (there is nothing like friendship here). Even in business, if someone is not working in the company, balatamfya. Kwaisako bambi (you get fired so that others come on board). Politics takwaba ukwikatilila kuma (there is nothing like clinging on to) positions kwati niwebo uwafyelwe nayena, awe (as if you were born with that position, no),” Mr. Tukuta said.

He said the UPND needs an SG as bold as Silvia Masebo to instill fear in the opponents whom he said were now relaxed because there was no competition due to the dormancy of the party secretariat.

We need to have rightful people in these positions who are going to perform. I am an ordinary member in the UPND and people will say I don’t add value. Yes, I don’t add value in your head. We can have Masebo there as SG for example. Right now, our opponents don’t even feel they have any competition. The UPND secretariat needs to be worked on. We need people that don’t just show up from nowhere.

To win elections, we need the rightful people in positions such as SG, chairperson for elections, party spokesperson, and mobilisation chairperson. These four positions are very important. To win this election, it is not about you liking the SG. It is not about you feeling pity for anyone. If these people (the PF) are going to win the election, we are dead meat,” he said.

He said the current crop of leaders in the party could not help Mr. Hichilema win an election.

That is what you should be thinking. Once we have the rightful people, we are going to deliver and for me it is about winning an election. I love president HH and I believe that he is going to liberate this country but to deliver HH to State House, we need the rightful people in the rightful positions especially Secretary General. We are not here for jokes. During by-elections, the SG must be there but during the previous by-elections, I don’t know if the SG even set foot,” he wondered.

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