Friday, June 25, 2010

VJ being pushed to replace Katele as MMD secretary

VJ being pushed to replace Katele as MMD secretary
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 25 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

MMD parliamentary Chief-Whip Vernon Mwaanga is being touted to take over Katele Kalumba’s position as party national secretary in an acting capacity. Well-placed MMD sources disclosed that most senior MMD members wanted Mwaanga to take over Kalumba’s position because of his previous experience in that position.

“He is also close friends with the President Rupiah Banda, so his name may even come up during our NEC national executive committee meeting. But word is that he is the one who will take over the position of national secretary,” the source said.

“Remember even on MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu, we were not consulted. He was just brought by the President.”

The sources, however, disclosed that Mwaanga could face some opposition from some ranks because of several splits in the MMD.

“MMD is split into four camps; the people from UNIP, the ex-UPND, ex-FDD like Mike Mulongoti. Then there are those ones who never left, the old ones sometimes called true-blue. Then there is another kama group coming. They are calling themselves the Mukontos. So let’s say there are five. That is the Catherine Namugalas and Felix Mutatis,” the source said.

“So these groups are now struggling for power. VJ is interested. You can see because immediately this thing started Kalumba’s conviction he has been talking about links with Southern Province and Eastern Province.”

The sources disclosed that Mwaanga had always wanted to become MMD national secretary.

“It is just that he lost at the convention. But you saw during the last elections, he was in charge of the campaign team for late president Levy Mwanawasa and he was instrumental even on Banda’s campaign team,” said the MMD source. “He has always wanted it.”

Recently, Kalumba excused himself from running MMD administrative duties until the court disposes of his corruption case in which he has appealed against his conviction by the magistrates’ court.

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