Sunday, February 17, 2008

MMD needs people with integrity to succeed Levy ,says VJ

MMD needs people with integrity to succeed Levy ,says VJ
By Patson Chilemba
Sunday February 17, 2008 [03:00]

MMD needs people who have integrity to succeed President Levy Mwanawasa, retired politician Vernon Mwaanga has said. And Mwaanga has urged MMD members intending to succeed President Mwanawasa to avoid declaring their intentions early as this might be divisive to the party. In an interview, Mwaanga said President Mwanawasa’s successor should have integrity and committed to the party ideals of serving the people.

He said the party should ensure that corrupt people were not elected to assume any leadership position.

“My hope is that people who have remained behind and now driving the MMD would be able to fulfil the aims and objectives we the founding fathers made,” Mwaanga said.

Mwaanga said in 1999, he chaired a committee which was appointed to look into the strengths and weaknesses of MMD and hoped that the party leadership would follow keenly on the reccomendations that were made.

And Mwaanga said it was too early for party members to start making known their intentions of succeding President Mwanawasa. He said party members should be mature enough by waiting for the right time so that development was not derailed.

“My experience based on what has happened in the past is that the leadership debate can be very divisive and we must guard against division in the party.

People around President Mwanawasa who have the best interest of the MMD and the country should concentrate on helping President Mwanawasa achieve that and not concentate on the leadership,” Mwaanga said. “People can begin indicating their interests at the end of 2009 and through to 2010 so that we create the momentum for the convention.”

Several MMD members have indicated their intentions to contest the MMD and ultimately the Republican presidency.

Among those that have made their intentions known are home affairs minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha and Professor Clive Chirwa of Bolton University. Health minister Dr Brian Chituwo said he was still pondering over the matter.

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