Monday, April 30, 2012
By Kombe Chimpinde
Mon 30 Apr. 2012, 11:30 CAT
Enoch Kavindele says MMD must not allow itself to be high-jacked by those with little understanding of the party's founding values, ideas and beliefs.
In his launch for the presidency of the MMD ahead of the provincial conventions slated for May 25, 2012 following consultations within the party, Kavindele, who is former MMD and Republican vice-president, said his party should in 2016 be able to close the gap of 185,000 votes that made it lose the last election.
"it is therefore my hope that our members will give me the opportunity to take them back to government in 2016 through service with integrity based on a demographically-balanced leadership for our nation," Kavindele said.
He said he had the highest regard for his colleagues who had offered themselves for the challenging role of MMD presidency, but that he believed he was the most experienced contender for the mantle.
"I believe that my experience and broad appeal is critical to ensuring the continued existence of the MMD and hope that those who don't make it will continue to remain loyal to the party as I have done previously despite many setbacks," he said.
Kavindele acknowledged that President Michael Sata, leader of the PF, was an accomplished political strategist who required a person with vast political experience to be able to offer the necessary checks and balances on his performance.
"I offer to bring to the MMD a wealth of experience from my tenure as a member of parliament rising from a back bencher during the UNIP era and culminating as leader of government business in the National Assembly under the MMD. I have represented both urban (Chingola) and rural (Kabompo West) constituencies and, therefore, have in-depth understanding of the issues affecting our people from grassroots to middle-income level," Kavindele indicated.
He added that his ministerial portfolio was quite extensive.
Kavindele said his political career began at the tender age of 14 years through the UNIP Youth League and eventually rose through the ranks to the position of member of the UNIP central committee and went on to serve on several sub-committees,
In his own words, Kavindele said he later unthinkably attempted to challenge President Kenneth Kaunda for the position of party president, an attempt that proved futile after he withdrew at the eleventh hour.
Kavindele said his withdrawal from the race, that was pre-empted by the undemocratic threats perpetrated by certain segments in attendance at the convention, was something that many people would not attempt during that era.
He stated that in the MMD, he was selected party chairperson for economic and finance committee in 1993, a position he held until he was selected vice-president.
During the 2005 party convention, Kavindele challenged late Levy Mwanawasa but his bid failed due to inadequate preparations.
He said when several party faithfuls chose to leave MMD following the controversial selection of Mwanwawasa as MMD president in 2001, he chose to stay on with Dr Mbita Chitala.
"As Republican vice-president, I on many occasions acted as President when the incumbents were out of the country... I was assigned to several functions that would normally be carried out by the president himself...we should be able to close the gap of 185, 000 votes that made the difference between the MMD winning and losing the 2011 last election," said Kavindele.