By Alfred Sasako
THE United Democratic Party (UDP) says its senior MPs, former Finance Minister, Snyder Rini and former Development Planning and Aid Coordination Minister Danny Philip have never left the Party, contrary to an article in the Island Sun newspaper yesterday.
Island Sun was informed on Tuesday night that UDP Members in the previous DCC Government have resigned their membership and have joined Kadere Party in a new Alliance formed over the weekend.
It was on the basis of this information that the Secretary of the UDP was sent the following text message at 7pm on Tuesday night. It was in respect of the new Kadere-UDP Alliance, allegedly formed over the weekend, not about events of last November.
My text message simply read:
“Bro, sorry to trouble you. I want confirmation that ALL UDP members have resigned their UDP membership and have merged with Kadere.”
At one minute past 7, UDP Secretary was prompt as a torpedo, responding thus: “Yes bro … I received the letters.”
How many, I asked at 2 minutes past 7. There was no response until at 09.03am the next day when I received the following text message.
“Bro the news you released this morning is factually incorrect. The resignations I refer to above were received in November last year when Soga lost the PMship. Danny and Snyder never resigned and are with UDP in Opposition. Bro me barava concerned na about the report as it now implicates two senior UDP MPs.”
“The article authored by Mr Sasako and published in the Island Sun newspaper is false and misleading and the UDP therefore calls on the daily newspaper and Mr Sasako to retract and apologise for the news item,” UDP Secretary Barnabas Henson said in a statement issued yesterday.
The article said Hon Rini and Hon Philip have resigned from the UDP over the weekend and joined the Kadere Party.
“UDP remains intact under the Opposition Coalition and Hon Rini and Hon Philip remain members of the party. They will be leading the party into the next general elections. The party’s current parliamentary wing consists of five (5) Members of Parliament. They are Hon Philip, Hon Rini, Hon Fugui, Hon Maneka, and Hon Iduri,” he said.
Mr Henson said the party also wants reporters writing any stories to do with it or its members to contact the party Secretary for proper verification before publishing them to avoid misleading the public with false or fabricated information.
He said the UDP sees the article as a direct attack on its integrity and that of its senior parliamentarians and therefore calls on Island Sun and Mr Sasako to immediately correct the media report.