UPND chairperson for mobilisation Sylvia Masebo has rubbished claims by members of the Patriotic Front (PF) that she and Obvious Mwaliteta are defecting to the ruling party today.
And Mwaliteta who is former Lusaka Province minister says there is no way he can go back to PF.
PF members yesterday celebrated after a report circulated to the effect that the former Tourism Minister under Michael Sata’s government, and the former Kafue member of parliament were rejoining PF.
The speculation was further escalated after PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza posted a picture of Masebo and Mwaliteta with a caption saying: “loading…”
But Masebo, in an interview, said it was fake news, as she had no intentions of rejoining the ruling party.
She said the kind of propaganda that the PF had been peddling on defections would cause gullible people to commit suicide.
“Oh my God! What nonsense is that? It’s all a bunch of nonsense. With this desperation, somebody is going to end up hanging themselves [especially]for those who create the story and excite others and those who may be misled by the same propaganda and think that it is true. Imagine how many people are going to call me the way you have called me? There is a limit to the propaganda that we can do. We are not small children, no. It’s a very cheap type of propaganda. I know that propaganda is a tool for destroying and building but surely, at this level, how can you do propaganda on a person like me? It’s all nonsense and even [the one about]Mwaliteta it’s all nonsense,” Masebo said.
She charged that PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza did that in order to try and make himself relevant to the party so that he could take over Sunday Chanda’s position.
“They (PF) can’t even come to me to convince me to join PF. They PF are very scared of me. They can only use propaganda. Where can they even start from? And Antonio is doing very well at propaganda and somebody was telling me that since the other guy (Sunday Chanda) has been adopted as a candidate, so there is a vacancy for media director. So, he is trying to work very hard to make himself relevant so that he can get the job,” she said.
Masebo further said if it were true that she was defecting to PF, her party would have already expelled her by now.
“And you see because of course these days, every morning when people get up, they find even presidents of political parties who in one minute they will be saying ‘I can’t do this’ and the next day they do the exact thing they said they wouldn’t do. And these are people who are called the presidential candidates. So, obviously when people hear things about us who are just simple, it begins to look like it’s true. But if it was true that tomorrow (today) there was going to be that defection, they wouldn’t even have written that post. And if it were true, then the party would expel me the day before I even get there,” Masebo said.
In a separate interview, Mwaliteta said the PF propaganda had given him an opportunity to know how many people followed him because he received a lot of calls from supporters who wanted to verify the defection claim.
“I don’t even know where it came from but it’s a lie. Right now I am doing UPND work. You see, they think that Masebo has been left out from these adoptions and that she is frustrated. But Masebo has not been left out and she is not frustrated with anything. No one is even frustrated. We are okay. We can’t [defect]. Defect and go where? I was very shocked when people started calling me. I have received calls from the UK, Canada, Singapore, South Africa and within Zambia. My phone has been ringing non-stop. Actually I didn’t know that I am very important. I dint even know that a lot of people followed me. Nanvela namushe ayi (I felt good). Naona na Mutale Mwanza kunipostinga (I also saw Mutale Mwanza a posted me on social media) saying ‘you are welcome back home.’ Mutale Mwanza posting me! Nachepa ine,” laughed Mwaliteta.
“So, that defection is not there. Even the press conference which they are talking about there is actually not there. I think they are just trying to bring confusion in the UPND camp. It will never work. We are all fighting for a better Zambia and not for my pocket. If I wanted to do it for my pocket, I would have done that when I came out of prison. But it will never happen. You know sometimes to get integrity is very important. For me it’s about my integrity.”