Former Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi constituency, Lawrence Zimba, has ditched his party and joined the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
Mr. Zimba has cited good leadership in the UPND and supposedly opportunity for his new party to form government in the near future as some of the reasons that have made him to defect to another opposition party.
Speaking to journalists at the UPND secretariat this morning, the former Kapiri Mposhi MP noted claimed that his new party was the only one that had the potential to revamp the economy of Zambia and fulfill the aspirations of Zambians.
Mr. Zimba has since declared his intentions to re-contest his seat on the UPND ticket saying the people of Kapiri Mposhi have assured him of their votes in the forthcoming by-election.
And UPND Secretary General Winston Chibwe welcomed Mr. Zimba in the party and commended him for taking what he called a ‘bold decision’ of defecting from an opposition political party to join another opposition political party instead of the ruling party.
Mr. Chibwe noted that few people would take such a decision as some opposition members were only interested in joining the ruling Patriotic Front and not fellow opposition parties.
He assured the defector that the party would ensure that it helps him retain his seat.
But when reminded that he may not stand if the court sentences him for the charges which led to his seat’s nullification under the former ruling party, Special Advisor to the UPND President, Daglous Siakalima said his party has a formidable legal team which will look at such case closely.
Mr. Zimba had his Kapiri Mposhi parliamentary seat nullified recently by the Supreme Court on account that he was involved in electoral malpractices of distributing money to women clubs in his constituency.
Supreme Court Judge, Gregory Phiri, who delivered the judgment in Kapiri Mposhi Constituency electoral petition appeal, observed that the High Court misdirected itself by not quashing the Kapiri Mposhi parliamentary elections results.
Article 65 clause (f) of the Zambian constitution states that a person shall not be qualified to be elected as member of the National Assembly if that person, within a period of five years before his nomination for election has served a sentence of imprisonment for a criminal offence.
In a case where he might be convicted and eventually sentenced, Mr. Zimba would be ineligible to contest any election in Zambia.