Saturday, March 28, 2009

MMD suspends Kazala

MMD suspends Kazala
Written by Katwishi Bwalya
Saturday, March 28, 2009 5:52:42 AM

THE MMD has suspended former Nchanga member of parliament Richard Kazala for alleged indiscipline. But Kazala said no one can root him out of the MMD because he is more genuine than some people in the party. MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga said the secretariat had suspended Kazala for what he termed "sulky language" against President Rupiah Banda and the party.

"If a person can say Zambians have no hope in the President [Rupiah Banda], it means they can even talk that about their parents in the same way. Now, you don't talk like that in the African society," Mabenga said. "If there is anything you want to talk about, he [Kazala] has all the avenues as a member of the party. He has a provincial minister there, he has the provincial party leadership there. In fact, I don't know if he is still in the party leadership or not but, he has had the opportunity where he could talk. No one is refused to talk, no one is refused to suggest provided he uses the correct language befitting the kind of a person he is speaking to and, number two, the correct time and place and not anywhere you find."

Mabenga said Kazala had been suspended for defying party directives for members not to issue statements without clearance.

He said none of the party officials had received any correspondence from Kazala for him to make such statements.

"It still stands that no member shall issue statements without clearance from relevant authorities especially in this case that he goes ahead to use sulky words against his own President; that is unbecoming," he said.

He said no member was allowed to talk about President Rupiah Banda and the party through the press.

He said it was against the African tradition to speak against elders in public, adding that such a thing could not even happen in a home.

"This man talks about his own president, his own party president in the media and talks negatively against him. Surely, hasn't he got better avenues where he can discuss these matters if ever he has got that feeling? Why go to the press?" Mabenga asked. "Once you do that you are dissociating yourself with such a person and your own party president. So, he is dissociating himself with the party president and hence the action that the secretariat has taken."

He explained that the party had meetings at parliamentary, national, constituency, ward and branch levels where Kazala could have aired his grievances.

He said Kazala's suspension did not mean that the party was trying to silence its members.

"That is not silencing at all, there must be a system in every organisation. You don't just stand up and talk. How do you just wake up and say things in the papers? Surely, if Mr Kazala belongs to the district executive committee or whichever, he has an opportunity to say whatever there, and not run to the paper that is indiscipline and that is against the directive I gave," Mabenga said.

He urged MMD members to desist from making statements that ridiculed the party leadership.

Mabenga said MMD members needed to respect President Banda because they adopted him as their candidate and he was eventually elected President by the people.

"Surely, they should respect that because it is their own making. The presidency is theirs and therefore, I expect them to respect their own decision and not to disrespect their own decision that they made when they put him as candidate for MMD," he said.

Asked if President Banda had sanctioned Kazala's suspension, Mabenga responded: "He has not, I didn't even talk to him. We are the party, President Banda is a leader but we are the party. The people make the party, he is part of that and when we think that what is being talked about him is wrong, we acted."

But Kazala, who confirmed that he had been informed of his suspension by MMD deputy national secretary Jeff Kaande, vowed that no one would root him out of the party because he was a genuine member of the party.

"Jeff Kaande phoned me, he says we are expelling you from the party but I told him 'you write to me, don't just phone me'. But I told him that I have been speaking for the voiceless members of the MMD and I told him that [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda ruled for 27 years and he silenced Zambians. There is no way Jeff Kaande can silence me, an ordinary member of the MMD," Kazala said. "[I told him that] 'I am only advising you [Kaande] so that this party [MMD] of ours can resurrect but you don't take my advice and instead you said you are expelling me from the party. Anyway you write to me but before you write to me think twice because I am going to take a lot of people with me wherever I am going to decide to go'."

Kazala said he had decided to speak out because a lot of MMD members were scared of talking.

"The thing is that a lot of people in MMD are scared to speak and there is no way Jeff Kaande could be telling me on the phone that 'you people have got other means and ways of communicating'. How do we have other ways and means of communication when a branch leader can't even afford to get on a bus to come and see Jeff Kaande and tell him that ‘this is what I need’?" Kazala asked.

"The party structures are dead, all they do is come and give us mealie-meal, Kapenta and K100,000 for foot soldiers. After they get their votes, they get positions in government and they forget about the people."

He challenged President to fulfil his campaign promises.

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