WILLIAM Banda has defected to the United Party for National Development, saying he has been inspired by the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema.

But SACCORD says it is surprised that the UPND had welcomed Banda to the party despite his violent behaviour.

Banda, the former MMD Lusaka Province chairperson, announced his defection during a briefing organised by the UPND yesterday.

"In politics you never know who becomes what; I decided to join the UPND because I know most of the people were saying that UPND is a party for only Tongas. Now, I am not a Tonga, I am coming to you," he said.

"For those who do not understand the political arrangement of this country, I want to remind them that UPND is not a party for Tongas, it is for Zambians. When the UPND started, other tribes like my tribe, like myself did not want to join you because we thought it was joking. Let me remind you that politics in Zambia was started by Tongas."

Banda, who last week relinquished his position as Lusaka Province chairperson, accused MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe of abrogating the party constitution.

He warned that the MMD was headed for doom if Maj Kachingwe remained party secretary because he was trying to hound out of the party those challenging wrong decisions.

But Maj Kachingwe said Banda had brought hooliganism in MMD and that he tormented a lot of people.

He said having Banda out of the party leadership was good riddance.

"People are celebrating in compounds if he doesn't know. I have received text messages. Spare me well, Mr Tekere. He (Banda) has tormented a lot of people. We imported terror in MMD and there are boys who are looking for him," Maj Kachingwe had said.

Meanwhile, UPND Lusaka youth chairperson Edwin Bauleni has urged members to accommodate Banda and others who have defected with him and ensure that they work together for the benefit of the party.

And UPND political advisor to the president Douglas Siakalima, in welcoming Banda to the party, said it was unusual for members of opposition parties to join another opposition political party.

"It is unusual for people to join an opposition political party. In normal circumstances, these people would have gone to PF, the ruling government so this is why I pay special tribute to these people," Siakalima said.

He said if being a president was determined by writing an examination, Hichilema would have been a president a long time ago.

"He is brilliant, he is a modest person, but the only thing why he is not president is these numbers which were lacking," said Siakalima.

But Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolutions of Disputes information officer Obby Chibuluma in an interview said Banda did not add any value to any political party now.

"To us we feel that Mr Banda does not add any value to any political party at this stage, his record is very bad. He has been well known for violence during his political career in the MMD as way back at the time he was in UNIP and for the UPND to welcome him it's actually very surprising," he said.

Chibuluma hoped that the 'UPND would not rush into giving Banda positions.

"We hope that the UPND will not go a step further to even give him positions because surely the best Mr Banda would have done is to retire from politics," added Chibuluma.

Banda is appearing in court for alleged violence in Chongwe ahead of last year's elections.