Friday, November 12, 2010

Kavindele should not be victimised - Chipili

Kavindele should not be victimised - Chipili
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 12 Nov. 2010, 04:02 CAT

MMD member Webby Chipili yesterday said Enoch Kavindele should not be victimised for aspiring to contest the MMD vice-presidency because no one has the monopoly to any position in the party.

Commenting on works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti’s remarks that Kavindele should not contest the vice-presidency because he had been contesting and losing since the UNIP days, including threats by some MMD cadres to beat him Kavindele up if he dared to go to the convention, Chipili said people must realise that MMD came into being on the premise of democracy.

He said the MMD should in fact be championing democracy.

Chipili, who is still aspiring to re-contest the Kamfinsa seat and served as presidential affairs minister in late president Levy Mwanawasa’s administration, said threatening people from contesting positions was not only barbaric but anti-MMD.

“Those that are doing that are definitely not MMD because there are no personal to holder positions.

All positions will be contested for according to our constitution. And there is no one candidate who has the monopoly. So those who are saying that are only misguided. I am sure that gentleman has even been disciplined, that shi-Mpundu pa nkoloko,” Chipili said.

“Any member, for as long as he is a party member, is free to vie for any position, because that is what our constitution says. He Kavindele should not be victimised at all actually. He is still an MMD member and he is free to contest.”

Chipili said the same Kavindele contested the MMD presidency in 2008.

“If we had allowed him then, I don’t see how we can disown him now,” he said.

Chipili said he would vie for a position at the convention, but that announcing the position now would be like committing political suicide.

He said it would be advisable for the MMD to accommodate all the members, especially the old party members.

“Whether anybody likes it or not, we have the experience. We have propelled this party over the years, since inception. So we know it better. Don’t look at former leaders as being useless because, in fact, being former leaders, they have seen enough,” Chipili said.

“I think now they need us more than ever, and I would suggest that we take stock of our founding members. Those ultimately are the people who understand MMD.”

Chipili said the MMD had lost some parliamentary by-elections because they had not paid attention to how they were running things.

“For instance Chilanga, you can’t say it’s the question of popularity. It is the question of approach, the way we approached the campaign. I am aware that we had two rallies when our fellows UPND did more than 20. So it means coverage was simply not there,” he said.

Asked on the involvement of Lusaka Province MMD chairperson William Banda as deputy campaign manager in Chilanga, Chipili said Banda needed time to learn the operations of MMD.

“William might be an experienced politician, but I don’t think he understands clearly how we run campaigns in the MMD,” Chipili said.

He said today’s politics demanded for people to be persuaded on issues.

“You can’t ask brothers to violently beat other brothers. It doesn’t matter whether it is coming from the MMD or the opposition. That is an old method of doing things. I think what people want now is to be convinced on issues…that is what people listen to. Intimidation will not work,” said Chipili.

Kavindele has come under attack initially from some MMD cadres who have threatened him with violence should he attempt to attend the party convention where he intends to stand as vice-president.

Mulongoti has also dismissed Kavindele’s intentions to run for the second-highest position in the party.

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