Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rupiah files in his nomination for MMD presidency

Rupiah files in his nomination for MMD presidency
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 26 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda says he is surprised about reports that the MMD had frozen the position of vice-president. And President Banda said he supported the bombings of Libya in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.

In an interview after filing in his nomination papers for the MMD presidency yesterday at Mulungushi International Conference in Lusaka ahead of the party's national convention set for April 5-7 at Mulungushi University in Kabwe, President Banda said only the convention could freeze the position of party vice-president.

Asked about reports in the Zambia Daily Mail that the MMD had frozen the post of vice-president, President Banda responded: “I am not aware of that. My colleagues are going to issue a statement.
Somebody jumped the gun. That decision has to be made by the convention, so I am not aware of that, myself. I was surprised.”

MMD acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu later told journalists that there were suggestions to freeze the position of vice-president.

“There was an intention to freeze the position of party vice-president but the decision has not been made by the convention,” Nyangu said.

“There are a few members that thought this position is creating some problems. There is a lot of acrimony and friction among the members. Others have proposed amendments to the constitution.”
He said applicants for the party vice-presidency, including the two that had already declared interest - Republican Vice-President George Kunda and former Kabwe central member of parliament Patrick Musonda - were free to file in their nominations between yesterday and 24 hours before the convention.

Nyangu said the convention would debate on whether or not to freeze the vice-presidency.
“If they delegates think it should be frozen, then the convention will decide. It's not for one person to decide,” Nyangu said.

Nyangu said Nason Musoni and Charles Ngesa had shown interest to challenge President Banda for the party presidency at the convention.

Nyangu said Mike Mulongiti, Jonas Shakafuswa, George Mpombo, and two others members were deemed indiscipline and not in good standing with the party and as such would not be allowed to file in their nominations for national executive committee (NEC) portfolios.

Talking about his nomination, President Banda said he was happy that he had successfully filed his nomination and was “ready for battle”.

On Western powers shelling of Libya, President Banda responded: “We know the AU already supported the resolutions by the United Nations Security Council. I am a member of the AU, I believe in it and I support it.”

MMD electoral commission chairperson Christopher Mundia, who is also President Banda's personal lawyer, announced that party members would be allowed to file in their nominations until 24 hours before the convention starts.

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