Thursday, December 06, 2012

Simbao appointment illegal - NEC members

Simbao appointment illegal - NEC members
By Allan Mulenga and Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 06 Dec. 2012, 12:10 CAT

SOME MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) members have disclosed that the appointment of Kapembwa Simbao as national secretary is illegal because Simbao is not a NEC member.

And Simbao yesterday said his appointment came as a surprise. Sources within NEC have contended that Simbao was erroneously appointed as national secretary because the position could only to be given to a NEC member, which Simbao was not.

"The position of national secretary is an elective position in which only an elected member of the National Executive Committee can serve," the sources said.
"Kapembwa is not a NEC member and he does not qualify to serve as acting national secretary.

Some of the people who were among the 30 that attended the meeting at Dr Nevers Mumba's house are not NEC members. So they cannot even call it a quorum. It is also surprising, not all NEC members were invited while those who sent apologies have been included on the list of those that were present," the sources said.

"The national secretary was also absent at the meeting. Not even the deputy to the national secretary was present at the meeting. Kenneth Chipungu chaired the meeting. This is unconstitutional."

The source revealed that MMD chairman Kabinga Pande had earlier advised that the meeting should not take place, but was later forced to read the outcome of the meeting at a press briefing on Tuesday.

"The other thing is that we were supposed to have two agendas on that meeting, which was to discuss the expulsion of Major Richard Kachingwe and also the contents of the letter which Major Kachingwe wrote to NEC over the invalidation of Mumba as party president," the sources revealed.

"To our surprise, the letter (Maj Kachingwe's) was not discussed."
The sources said Simbao's appointment was hastily done in order to expel Maj Kachingwe and use his expulsion as defence against his application for an injunction in the High Court to restrain Mumba from carrying out party functions because he was not a member of the party.

The sources added that it was suspicious for the organisers of the NEC meeting to omit party chairperson for women's affairs, Catherine Namugala, election chairperson Gabriel Namulambe, chairperson for defence Ronnie Shikapwasha, Situmbeko Musokotwane and Felix Mutati among other provincial and district executives on the list of those that attended the meeting at Mumba's house.

"We are wondering why the rush in appointing an acting national secretary when we didn't form a quorum. We even have people who have been forced to approve of the appointment of Simbao by appending their signatures, who did not attend the meeting. So we expect to hear much from Namulambe, who is the chairperson for elections. What we saw was intimidation, Namulambe should explain," the source said.

And Simbao, when asked about the twist in his appointment, said he was not aware of the justification by NEC to appoint him as national secretary.
"Find out the justification. I don't know. I was not there when they were making decisions. Find out from Nevers Mumba. I have no idea, please," he said.

Asked whether he was part of NEC as per constitutional requirement for one to be appointed national secretary, Simbao said he didn't know anything.
"What do you mean? I don't know. What do you mean by that, before or now? I really don't know. I haven't yet received my letter of appointment.

So, I don't think that I should be talking about that. There is nothing that I can say about that. I think talk to Bradford Machila, MMD chairperson for legal. Machila will be able to explain."

Earlier in the day when asked over his appointment, Simbao said it was not automatic that he would unite the party.

He said it would take everyone's efforts to realise MMD's aspirations.
"People make you the unifying factor, if you are really not doing something to support me, then there is no way I am going to function. But if what you are doing now is to make me perform, I will definitely perform. It is not me that will make myself a unifying factor, people have to use me," he said.

Simbao said though he had not yet received the conditions of service, he expected to draw a monthly salary from the job.

"I am now an employee. I am not like any other NEC member. I am an employee and in normal circumstances, this means full-time job which is supposed to be a paid job. My circumstance might be different. I am not sure but in normal circumstances this is a full-time job. Let me see what is going on. Let me see what I can do and what I cannot do," he said.

Asked how he was going to resolve the chaos that had rocked the party following the expulsion of Maj Richard Kachingwe, Simbao said as an employee of the MMD, he needed to be given permission to make statements.

"I know you are asking something a bit personal. I wouldn't like to get into this right now. I would like to understand my position very well," said Simbao.

And MMD Livingstone has welcomed the expulsion of Maj Kachingwe, describing him as a shame to the party.

District chairman Bornwell Moomba said Maj Kachingwe was responsible for the harassment that he suffered at the hands of the youths because they (youths) were merely protecting the image of the party.

He said the party would not allow Maj Kachingwe to bring confusion.
"We are behind Dr Mumba as party president and the National Executive Committee for expelling Kachingwe. Kachingwe has been there for a long time and he was even instrumental over the party presidential elections. He did not say anything about the presidency of the party then, but why should he come out now? He has something to hide," said Moomba.

But MMD Copperbelt information and publicity secretary Yotam Mtayachalo said it was wrong for NEC to expel Maj Kachingwe without giving him an opportunity to be heard.

He said the problems that had rocked MMD needed a political solution.
Mtayachalo said the MMD should have followed party procedure in expelling Maj Kachingwe.

He said he expected that Maj Kachingwe was going to be charged and asked to exculpate himself so that he be accorded an opportunity to be heard.
He said going to court to get an answer over the problems in MMD might not be in the interest of the party.

"I agree with what (MMD legal chairperson Bradford) Machila is saying that there is need for NEC officials to discuss the constitution objectively and find the way forward. I have always been telling NEC officials that let's leave these partisan lines. If I am supporting Major Kachingwe or Dr Nevers Mumba, let's not align ourselves to individuals but let's deal with this matter objectively," Mtayachalo said.

He said the MMD should identify who was wrong between Dr Mumba and Maj Kachingwe without taking a predetermined position. I expected that even Major Kachingwe should have attended the NEC meeting and NEC should have given guidance that since there are two issues involving the president and national secretary, let them declare interest and the vice-president was going chair the NEC meeting and the deputy national secretary was going to assume the role of national secretary," he said.

He said as long as NEC did not address the issues raised by Maj Kachingwe and only wanted to deal with him, the party problems would continue.
Mtayachalo also advised Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki not to poke his nose into MMD issues because it was not the only political party.
He said Andeleki should resign and join politics so that they could deal with him at a political level.

But MMD North Western chairperson David Kapwepwe said selfishness had propelled the infighting in the opposition party.
In a statement, Kapwepwe said members were perturbed and disappointed with the manner in which Maj Kachingwe misdirected himself and that he had proved to be a mole serving two masters.

He stated that Maj Kachingwe's claims that Mumba was not a party member were serious indications of "memory loss and disillusioned reflex index".
"It is wishful thinking and very cheap reasoning for someone in his right mind to stand up seven months after someone was voted into office to claim that he was not a member when in fact as the custodian of all party functionaries, Major Kachingwe is well versed with party statutes that include elections and qualification of candidates," he stated.

"....On the validation of Dr Mumba's membership, Major Kachingwe would have done well to raise his worthless claims 10 days before the elections in May 2012. Section 1 and 2 of article 39 of the MMD constitution is very clear about the qualification or validation of the presidential candidate. Article 38 section 2 equally allows anyone with queries about the presidential candidate to bring them to the attention of the returning officer 10 days before elections."

Kapwepwe stated that it was surprising to see Maj Kachingwe criticising a person he was a "chief campaigner for in the run-up to the presidential elections".

"It was Kachingwe who was open to tell all of us to vote for Dr Nevers Mumba if MMD was to move on after the loss. As the people who voted for Dr Nevers Mumba, we find Major Kachingwe's assertions childish, irrelevant and baseless. Unless Major Kachingwe's reflex index is in tatters, he must be ashamed of himself," stated Kapwepwe.

He said North Western MMD was "proud" to have Mumba as their party president. On Tuesday, MMD chairman Kabinga Pande announced that Maj Kachingwe had been expelled from MMD. Pande said Simbao had replaced Maj Kachingwe.

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