Friday, December 21, 2012

Chituwo faces expulsion

Chituwo faces expulsion
By Allan Mulenga and Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 21 Dec. 2012, 15:00 CAT

THE MMD wants to expel its vice-president for administration Dr Brian Chituwo from the party and replace him with Lucky Mulusa for siding with Major Richard Kachingwe.

And Mulusa, who is Solwezi Central MMD member of parliament, said there was a feeling by most members of the party of a need to get him into NEC, although he was not aware that he was the favourite to replace Dr Chituwo. Meanwhile, Dr Katele Kalumba says he readmitted Nevers Mumba into the MMD based on the information Mumba provided to him at the time.

Sources within the national executive committee (NEC) revealed that senior NEC members wanted to replace Dr Chituwo with Mulusa who had suddenly toned down on the expulsion of national secretary Maj Kachingwe.

Sources further said some senior party members felt offended by the recent remarks Dr Chituwo made over the expulsion of Maj Kachingwe and his differing with Mumba.

"We have been calm on these people Dr Chituwo and Catherine Namugala, otherwise we would have expelled them a long time ago. Just think about the statements these people have been issuing to the media. The other time we saw Dr Chituwo and Namugala addressing the press at the party secretariat denouncing Dr Mumba's decision to expel Kachingwe," the source said.

"The president feels they are indisciplined," said the source.
Sources explained that the fallout began when Mumba was 'hoodwinked' by Dr Chituwo and Namugala over the subject of the press briefing which was held at the secretariat by the duo.

"To our amazement, the two members of parliament deliberately chose to ignore the speech which Mumba was aware of. Instead, they went ahead and read a hastily prepared speech to the press," the source said.

Sources further revealed that Mulusa was sent by Mumba to monitor the happenings during the press briefing at the secretariat. But when contacted for a comment via the phone, Dr Chituwo refused to comment on the matter.

Namugala yesterday asked NEC to give Mumba a vote of no confidence and go for a convention to elect new office bearers.

And in an interview this week, Dr Kalumba, who is former MMD national secretary, said Mumba had told him that he did not belong to Reform Party.

Recently, Mumba's presidency was invalidated by Maj Kachingwe as national secretary.

However, the MMD decided to expel Maj Kachingwe. And Dr Kalumba said his decision to readmit Mumba could be challenged if new information resurfaces which indicates that he did not reveal the full facts.

"The national secretary as the registrar of candidates, of members, depends on the truthfulness of members to declare themselves as authentic individuals of integrity who cannot ride two horses at the same time. I did attend a meeting which was called by the late president Levy Mwanawasa and I remember there was honourable Ronnie Shikapwasha.

And we said it was not time yet to admit Dr Mumba. But also, know that the national secretary is the honorary registrar of members of the party. During that time under the constitution, the national secretary could be the only one who could make a final decision on any member who wanted to join the party," he explained.

Dr Kalumba said during his time, the national secretary had powers and privilege to register an individual and pronounce them member of the party before a few constitutional amendments were made at the last convention.

"Now, I re-admitted Mr Kavindele who had been expelled and Dr Mumba at that time on the basis of information they gave me that they did not belong to any other party," he said.

"Now if it is now known that he belonged to another party, then that decision can be challenged because they did not reveal the full facts. Mind you, at that time, we had lost the party president. I, as party national secretary, was trying to cast the net as wide as possible and it even cost me."

Dr Kalumba also explained why he had stayed away from defending any of the factions in MMD.

"I have principles too. The people I fight for and I stand for are people who I believe should be able to stand up for the truth. Anyone who wanted to be a member at that time revealed to me who he was. Now if that person did not reveal to me the truth in terms of his or her status and I made a decision on account of available information, when it is later known that the person was not truthful, that particular party has got its own system of resolving those kinds of issues," he said.

Dr Kalumba said MMD leadership must not digress from the party's founding values and principles.
He said the principles upon which MMD was formed were still valid and sound for new visionary leaders to correct wrongs created over the past years and remain vibrant.

"We may have gone wrong along the way but the principles are sound and young men and women of vision can bring it to life. We can't force them. They have to take the risk as we did in 1991," he said.
Dr Kalumba said he was saddened by what was obtaining in the MMD and the opposition in general.

"Zambia's achievements or reputation depends on its democratic foundation which was re-born in 1991. Political parties can rise and fall depending on the capacity of the leadership to read the sentiments and views of the country and ride on issues that concern ordinary people which is what President Michael Sata has done since 2001. He was able to ride on issues that touched on the ordinary people not fighting with each other," Dr Kalumba urged.

"That is how an opposition party becomes rational and an instrument of checks and balances. If that type of leadership is not exercised, then we do not have a democratic and legitimate opposition."
Dr Kalumba cited an example of how the opposition would engage the Mwanawasa government on several issues in an amicable way and discuss them behind closed doors during his time.

"Wynter Kabimba who was then secretary general of the PF, Richard Kapita representing UPND and myself, we were able, through the help of friends, when tensions arose in the country, to call ourselves and discuss," Dr Kalumba said.
"Because of this, I was able to convince Mwanawasa on a number of issues such as the 50 per cent plus one as national secretary of a governing party. So when I hear that people are being punished for going to State House I feel sad."

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