United Progressive Party (Zambia)

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The United Progressive Party (UPP) was created in Zambia by Simon Kapwepwe and others, all from the ruling United National Independence Party (UNIP) in about August 1971. This provoked a big crisis in the cabinet, with five ministers (including Kapwepwe) expelled by Kenneth Kaunda, chief of the government and of the UNIP. On 21 December of the same year Kapwepwe, taking advantage of a by-election, became a Parliamentarian for the UPP. Kaunda reacted swiftly: on 4 February 1972, he made the specious accusation that Kapwepwe was an instrument of the White Rhodesian, South African and Portuguese governments; Kapwepwe and 122 of his followers were arrested and the UPP was banned. Before the end of the year a one-party state was proclaimed, and Kaunda felt sure enough of his power to free Kapwepwe on 31 December. Kapwepwe retired from politics and only appeared briefly in 1978, when he and Harry Nkumbula stood for Zambia's one-party presidential nomination against Kaunda. Both Nkumbula and Kapwepwe were outmaneuvered by Kaunda, who secured the nomination while the two of them disappeared from Zambia's political scene.