Tuesday, March 27, 2007
By Chibaula Silwamba and Inonge Noyoo
Tuesday March 27, 2007 [02:00]
WE are mobilising the party quietly, opposition FDD president Edith Nawakwi said yesterday. But FDD Southern Province vice chairman Phiri Kandindi has said that Nawakwi has become useless to the party and that it was time to hand over power to someone else. Reacting to complaints from FDD members in Southern Province that she was 'killing' the party in the province, Nawakwi said the fact that she was not campaigning publicly did not mean she was not mobilising the membership.
"Some people want to work publicly but some go underground campaigning. If you are quiet it does not mean you are not campaigning. The mobilisation is going on," Nawakwi said. "The FDD is a very strong party amid laughter, there is no party which is stronger than FDD."
She said the general membership was responsible for mobilising new members and not the party president. "Is it the president who mobilises the party? No! The party is mobilised by the general membership. Our party is not organised by the president but the general membership," Nawakwi said. "If he Kandindi says he went to Gwembe and mobilised members and he wants us to go there, we are ready to go there to help him." Nawakwi said some FDD members from Matero Constituency wanted help to mobilise the party and they were due to be given bicycles yesterday afternoon.
But Kandindi said in an interview in Kalomo that FDD was slowly dying at district level as most FDD members were either defecting to other parties or quitting politics. Kandindi accused Nawakwi of having 'killed' the party. He accused Nawakwi of not having put enough effort in the running and organising of the party. "I feel all this is happening because our president Nawakwi is useless to the party. She has not added any value to the party ever since she took over power from her predecessor. She does not even take time to visit districts. The last time we saw her was on the 22nd of March in 2005 during the launch of UDA, and from that time no development has taken place," Kandindi said. "There has been no communication from either the provincial chairlady or the national policy committee."
Kandindi said most members were wondering what the way forward was for the party in terms of the next elections. He said nothing had been done in trying to re-organise the party after last year's election. "All that Nawakwi does is talk in the press but does not do anything on the ground. Why should she just be a president in the press when the structures at grassroots are dead?" Kandindi asked.
He said Nawakwi's performance had been a disappointment considering that people had a lot of confidence in her as a female president. Kandindi suggested that a competent individual takes over from Nawakwi before the party completely died. "We want women to lead us but they have to perform. Nawakwi is a shame to women. She has caused our members to defect. She is a disappointment and we feel she needs to hand over power to someone more competent because right now FDD is just in Lusaka, on TV and in newspapers.
In many districts in Southern Province, the party is dead and I am meant to believe it's the same in other provinces," said Kandindi. Asked to comment on Kandindi's suggestion that she hands over the presidency to someone competent, Nawakwi said she did not want to be drawn into discussion with a junior official. "This is a very useless story that doesn't contribute anything to national development," Nawakwi said. "Is he the spokesperson for the party? The only person who can speak is the provincial chairman... maybe he Kandindi is speaking on behalf of another party."
Nawakwi advised Kandindi to forward his complaints to the party national secretary.