Friday, January 29, 2010

MMD will sell what makes us popular – Dora

MMD will sell what makes us popular – Dora
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 29 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT

NEWLY appointed MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya yesterday said she was not appointed spokesperson to sell herself but the MMD.

Siliya, who had called for a press briefing at the party's secretariat, was flanked by, among others, MMD Lusaka Province youth chairman Chris Chalwe and Scorpion Kadobi recently threatened to gang-rape FDD president Edith Nawakwi if she continued attacking President Rupiah Banda.

In her introductory remarks, Siliya said she had called for the briefing based on the number of calls she had received from the media fraternity who were demanding interviews.

She expressed pleasure and humility on her appointment as the party spokesperson.

But when asked if she thought her involvement in the privatisation of Zamtel through RP Capital Partners had made the ruling party unpopular and what she would do to revive the party's image if indeed it was unpopular, Siliya said she would continue to sell issues that were of concern to the ruling party.

“My being appointed MMD spokesperson is not to sell myself as Dora Siliya, but I'm selling a brand called the MMD. And the MMD is the party in government, we have gone through a number of elections where we have come out victorious. And we will continue to sell the things that make us popular to the people. And that is our concern, about the people's lives, issues of food, issues of women empowerment, issues of transport, issues of building health services, issues of making education accessible to as many people as possible,” an emotional Siliya said.

“Those are the issues that concern the people of Zambia, not personalities, not lie-peddling, not stories. The people of Zambia are interested in politics of issues, and so my job is to ensure that we continue as a party, as MMD to contribute to the political space of this country by bringing issues and not rumours; because anyone of us can tell a story about anyone. But the Zambians are not interested because that will not improve their lives.”

When asked about what she would do to some members of the party like Kafulafuta member of parliament George Mpombo who were perceived to be anti-Banda, Siliya insisted that she was party spokesperson and would not discuss images.

“Let me repeat once and for all that as a party spokesperson, I'm not representing the views of Dora Siliya, I'm representing the views of the party. And this party which has been in existence for a long time has procedures as reflected in our constitution, and the social and economic transformation agenda as reflected in our manifesto. All members are familiar with the procedures and processes in our party. Now, I don't want to dwell on discussing individuals, as I said yesterday Wednesday that members you are referring to are senior members of this party. They've been members for a long time, as a party we are an embracing party, we believe in internal dialogue, we are a democratic party," she responded.

When pushed further on how far her party had gone into investigations concerning media reports that Chilanga member of parliament Ng'andu Magande had been campaigning for the party presidency through some community radio stations, Siliya said she was sure that senior members of the party had already met Magande over the matter.

"First of all again Mr Magande is a senior member of our party. I haven't established the allegations you are referring to. But I'm sure as we've done before our party has processes and procedures that deal with all kinds of disciplinary matters. And I'm sure at the right level those matters will be addressed. And I'm sure that senior members of the party will have already spoken to Mr Magande to establish the truth and see the way forward," she said.

Later, journalists including those from the state media expressed disappointment with Siliya's reaction to questions.

One of the journalists was heard saying, “I wish I had not come to waste time here. Anyway it's good that I've known her, next time I hear that Dora has a briefing, I won't attend.”

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