Saturday, June 09, 2012
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Sat 09 June 2012, 12:59 CAT
MMD Copperbelt chairman Joseph Chilambwe says malicious schemes by some MMD members of parliament to hound Felix Mutati will destroy the party if left unchecked. In an interview yesterday, Chilambwe said media reports suggesting that Mutati was facing expulsion from the party on allegations that he was persuading MMD members to join the PF were malicious and meant to tarnish his image.
He said it would be extremely unfair for some individual members of the MMD who are also members of parliament to continue harassing and tarnishing the image of Mutati who had over the years demonstrated undoubted commitment and sacrifice to the party.
Chilambwe said the new leader of MMD, Nevers Mumba, must come out strongly and protect the interests of the party by stopping the continued harassment of Mutati by people with strange and selfish motives like MMD Solwezi Central member of parliament Lucky Mulusa.
"The indiscipline being exhibited by people like Mulusa must be brought to an end. Felix Mutati contested the elections, he lost and he has kept quiet, that's what democracy is all about. Why are they scared of Mutati? They are saying that he has been persuading people on the Copperbelt to join PF. Let them substantiate their allegations before they continue with their insults. I 'am the chairman of the MMD here and there is nothing like that," Chilambwe said.
He said many Zambians expected the MMD to be more united after the election of the party president if the party was to regain the confidence of the citizenry.
Chilambwe said Mutati was a peaceful man who meant well for the MMD and had never been in the culture of political attacks and insults.
He said Mutati was on the Copperbelt campaigning just like other candidates who were seeking the party presidency.
"We have heard very unfortunate statements that he has failed as leader of the opposition in Parliament. They are saying that because Mutati does not know politics of insults. Do they want him to start insulting President Sata for them to see that he is a loyal member of the MMD? Politics of insults will never take us anywhere," Chilambwe said.
Sources during the week disclosed that Mutati was persuading MMD members to join the PF as a show of no confidence in Pastor Mumba and the MMD.
The MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) sources accused Mutati of asking some MMD officials to resign and defect to PF, a move meant to weaken and distabilise his party.
They said Mutati was plotting with some MMD provincial officials to rise against Pastor Mumba's leadership.
"On the Copperbelt, he's telling people that Pastor Mumba can't be trusted and won't recognise leaders at lower levels. He wants members to resign and join PF to show that people don't have confidence in Pastor Mumba so that the party dies like UNIP because for him, he has a chance in PF...Actually he's trying to engineer within NEC to cause a revolt," the sources said.
The sources said Mutati would first be removed as leader of the opposition in the house.