Friday, December 31, 2010

Rupiah can be challenged for the MMD presidency - Chiti

Rupiah can be challenged for the MMD presidency - Chiti
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 31 Dec. 2010, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda can be challenged at the convention, says MMD legal affairs chairperson Bwalya Chiti. And Chiti has said those fearing to declare their MMD presidential intentions are scared of their own shadows because the party presidency has always been contested for.

In an interview, Chiti, who is MMD’s National Executive Committee’s chairperson for legal affairs, said the fear by MMD members to come out in the open to announce their presidential intentions was something people created from nowhere.

“If you look at every election of the MMD, there has always been contestation of all the positions, the presidency included. That is the MMD, okay! So why should you fear? I think people who fear are fearing their own shadows, or it is a creation by candidates who may want to ensure that some people do not participate by creating that fear,” Chiti said.

He said the endorsement of President Banda by the NEC as the sole candidate did not mean that others could not challenge him for the presidency.

He said according to the MMD constitution, nobody would be disallowed to challenge for the presidency.

Chiti said those who were afraid of announcing their intentions for fear of reprisals were wrong people for African politics.

“If you are afraid then you shouldn’t be doing politics,” he said.

Chiti said the debates on the MMD vice-presidency were welcome, saying one did not need to be in the party for a long time to contest the presidency and vice-presidency, as long as they fulfilled the requirements of being a member in good standing.

“There is no position which is there for a particular person,” he said.

Chiti regretted that politics was now in a major sense not looked at as a means to serve.

“We are looking at politics as a way of livelihood. Even the morality in politics disappears because you will not be true to yourself and true to your party…unfortunately for politics it is seen as a source of livelihood, a source of benefit, and that is totally wrong. We must go in there to serve,” he said.

Chiti said Zambians were tired that politics was seen as a matter of livelihood.

“You have nothing, you go in politics. Tomorrow you have a car if you are a member of parliament, which you never owned. Tomorrow maybe you are a minister, you have five cars at your house and the youth and everybody, they look at it as a form of livelihood,” he said.

Chiti said the system needed to be changed.

“In fact, looking at even the material things one gets from positions, maybe we can redirect our energies to more practical things i.e. setting up business,” Chiti said. “People go into positions not to serve; the majority of them…they know that ‘once I get there I will be able to earn a living, regardless of my qualifications. If I go there I am an MP, even with less qualification I can become a minister, I can be appointed’.”

Chiti said that was how politics was generally conducted in the third world countries, particularly Africa.

Chiti said he would not re-contest the legal affairs position at the convention as he wanted to concentrate on business.

He said should he contest, he would go for a less demanding position.

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