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UDF suspends official as DPP merger talks intensify

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Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has suspended its Deputy National Organising Secretary Andrew Nkhana following a leaked conversation he had with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira on the possibility of merging the two parties into one.

UDF Acting Spokesperson Yusuf Mwawa said Nkhana has been suspended following an extraordinary National Executive Committee meeting on Sunday.

“It is not that he has been suspended because of holding the views to merge UDF with DPP. The issue is gross breach of discipline. We want to look at the issue on the surface and he will go for a disciplinary committee where he will explain himself.

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“If it was about just holding the views then more people would have been suspended because there are other people who also hold such views,” Mwawa said.

Mpinganjira confirmed speaking to Nkhana but said the conversation was somehow doctored.

“I will be lying if I say I didn’t speak to him. We talked but the conversation was doctored. For what reason I don’t know,” Mpinganjira said.

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On the DPP-UDF merger, Mpinganjira said this is something the two parties have been discussing over the years.

The meeting was held for the committee to hear requests from some sections of UDF to hold an early convention apparently because the party has lost direction after the June 23 fresh presidential election.

Mwawa said during the meeting, members resolved that all UDF structures must be filled with people who have sought fresh mandate to do so.

He also disclosed that committee resolved that the party cannot hold an elective conference in its present state “because it is weak”.

“Some people who held positions in UDF have left while others have died. We have set a committee to revitalise the party before we hold any meaningful conference. The national conference has appointed a committee to develop its strategic plan to look into the roadmap and plan for the extraordinary national conference,” he said.

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