By Roy Habaalu in Kaoma and Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thu 24 May 2012, 12:59 CAT
WESTERN Province MMD chairman Katongo Kameya has advised losers at the party convention not to form parties out of frustration. Addressing delegates to the MMD convention slated for tomorrow where a new president will be elected, Kameya said losers should accept the outcome and work with whoever would be elected.
He said the outcome of the convention would be the decider whether to make or break the party. He urged party members to support and campaign for the winner as their candidate for the 2016 elections.
He said currently the party was like an orphan from the time former president Rupiah Banda resigned.
"Friday will be the day to build or destroy our party. People will be angry or praise us depending on how we vote. No one will force you to vote for a particular candidate. People will throw stones at us if we do bad on Friday," said Kameya.
He said the outcome of the convention should not separate them or create enmity among members.
"Don't tell them (losers) to form political parties. If they approach you, tell them 'I don't like this, these are elections, there is a winner and a loser'. Let's respect and guard the MMD. We need a person who can contain President (Michael) Sata. We need a person with a national appeal, not one with tribal inclination and if we do that we are going nowhere. If you force a person on the MMD, that's the end of MMD," he said.
He claimed that the MMD would return to power because the PF had failed to govern.
Meanwhile, MMD presidential aspirant pastor Nevers Mumba said he's ready to work with anyone who will be declared winner.
He however said he was confident that he would emerge victorious and immediately redefine the political future of the MMD.
He said after winning, he would launch a national campaign culminating into the 2016 campaigns.
Pastor Mumba said MMD needed a leader that would have time to traverse the country and mobilise grassroots structures.
And Felix Mutati says although some people have suggested that he and Pastor Nevers Mumba are the strongest contenders for the MMD presidency, he would not underrate any of his opponents.
And Mutati says the endorsements of candidates which happen in MMD are just for window dressing.
In an interview after addressing MMD members at Gloka Guesthouse on Tuesday, Mutati said all the seven presidential aspirants had reasonable qualities of leadership to lead MMD.
"I have also heard that the two main contenders are myself and Nevers Mumba, but my own sense is that let us not underrate the other competitors because when you underrate, you may be surprised at the end of the day," Mutati said.
He said any of the seven contenders had a reasonable chance to win the presidency.
"I will work hard because I am mindful that those that are being underrated can cause a surprise. So I am covering all the corners. I have been to over 64 districts in this country to increase my chances to succeed on the D-day," Mutati said.
He said there was need to create a new model of MMD.
"We should begin to invest in our membership and also in infrastructure. Let's begin as a party, to participate and train our young party cadres as entrepreneurs to be self-standing. Let's remove the dependence on the party, let people be independent. I think these are critical issues that we must do," Mutati said.
He hoped MMD would adjust and adapt to the realism of the new circumstances that it was in the opposition.
"The life in the opposition is not going to be as easy as it was when we were leading government. So there will be hardships and let's not pretend that things are going to come our way all the time. Let's work very hard in unity, unified and focusing on the goal and our goal is 2016," Mutati said.
He described the MMD's endorsement system as old politics.
Mutati said MMD had a lot of endorsements prior to last year's elections but the outcome of the elections did not reflect the volume of endorsements the party had.
"So these endorsements are just window dressing. The masses at the end of the day choose as they want to choose. The gimmicks, the propaganda of endorsements have no major impact on the choices that people make. We have evidence as a party; we received many endorsements compared to PF who had hardly any endorsements but then they carried the day," he said.
Several individuals, including in Eastern Province, have endorsed Pastor Mumba whom they say was the only one capable of taking on the PF government.