Saturday, July 04, 2009

Rupiah should be challenged – Willa

Rupiah should be challenged – Willa
Written by Patson Chilemba
Saturday, July 04, 2009 3:14:14 PM

MMD member Willa Mung’omba has advised the party to allow President Rupiah Banda to be challenged at the convention. Commenting on the endorsement of President Rupiah Banda as the MMD's sole candidate by the national executive committee (NEC) and the statement by Benny Tetamashimba that the presidency would not be contested for at the convention, Mungo'mba asked the MMD to obey the constitution by allowing members to contest for any position in the party.

Mung'omba, who applied to be adopted as presidential candidate for the MMD in 2008, said MMD was an open party and people should be allowed to contest positions in the party.

"I hope everybody knows that there are constitutional provisions for different positions and those have to be studied and obeyed. I think that MMD remains an open party and should try to encourage as many members as possible to contest for certain or any positions in the party according to the constitution," he said.

Mung'omba said the MMD constitution stipulated that people would contest for positions at the party convention.

"I think that is my statement from a legal point of view," said Mung'omba who is former Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) chairperson. "The MMD should obey the constitution by allowing members to contest for positions at the convention."

Asked if he were still interested in the Republican and party presidency, Mung'omba said it was still too early as elections were still ongoing at the lower organs of the party.

Recently, the NEC endorsed President Banda as the sole candidate for the MMD ahead of the party convention and the 2011 elections. Following the resolution, party members on the Copperbelt Province and other parts of the country advised the party to defer the convention since a candidate had been identified to save money for election campaigns.

In response, MMD chairman for elections Mike Mulongoti said it would be unwise to ignore the calls to defer the convention while Tetamashimba said the convention would go ahead and all positions would be contested for except for the presidency.

Former finance minister Ng'andu Magande said he was still interested in the Republican presidency another MMD presidential aspirant Professor Clive Chirwa said it was undemocratic for the NEC to have a sole candidate because the final decision lay with the convention.

However, Tetamshimba said Prof Chirwa was not a member of the MMD. Tetamashimba maintained that the presidency would not be contested for and all party members should support the NEC's decision.

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