Thursday, December 06, 2012

Situation in MMD is complicated - Machila

Situation in MMD is complicated - Machila
By Kombe Chimpinde, Tilyenji Mwanza, Roy Habaalu and Allan Mule
Thu 06 Dec. 2012, 11:10 CAT

MMD legal chairperson Bradford Machila has described the impasse in the party as complicated. And Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki says Nevers Mumba told him that his dual membership in MMD and Reform Party was not a big issue.

Meanwhile, former MMD chairman Michael Mabenga has suggested that MMD chairman Kabinga Pande should immediately assume the position of acting president of the MMD and solve the rift between Mumba and Major Richard Kachingwe.

And Pande yesterday announced that Maj Kachingwe had been expelled from MMD. Machila said he would interpret the law as he understood it once a chance was given.

Machila said there was need for members of NEC to discuss the constitution and map the way forward.

"The idea will be to resolve issues and bring reconciliation. I mean it (the issue) is quiet a damaging situation that we should address so that MMD can continue its important role of ensuring checks and balances," he said.

"I don't want to state who is right or wrong at the moment because it might end up complicating things than they already are."

And in an interview, Andeleki who challenged Mumba to deny the matter which he said was on record, said the issue had been a longstanding problem between Mumba and his office.

"I personally talked to him and also wrote to him through the national secretary because the societies Act requires that when a society changes office bearers, they have to notify the Registrar of Societies within 14 days from the date of such a decision. And when a registered office changes its (physical) address, they need to notify us within 14 days," he explained.

"MMD has changed their office but they have not informed us. You also agree with me that on 25th May this year, they had a convention which saw in new leaders but to date the record is still showing that Rupiah Banda is the President of MMD."

Andeleki said in addition to the matters in question, he had written a letter to the party secretariat regarding the status of Mumba, with the Reform Party.

"His (Mumba) response was that there was an agreement between the Reform Party and MMD which made it more like one entity. So I advised him to amend the MMD constitution to include the Reform Party. Correspondence is there," he said.

"I even gave Mumba an option to dissolve the Reform Party or merge the two parties."

He also warned that the MMD was still owing the Registrar of Societies over K90 million, which he urged the party to settle before he cracks a whip on Friday.

"If I whip them, they will say Andeleki is not good," said Andeleki.

But Numulambe said on Monday that Andeleki should give the party some more time.

"Let me also appeal to the chief Registrar of Societies. I have received information indicating that by Friday, MMD will be deregistered for failure to pay the balance of K90 million. Now following what is happening in MMD, I appeal to him to give us time so that we sort out the internal problems the party is engulfed in. Let him act as a human being in line with our democratic principles as a country so that we resolve these problems," he said.

Namulambe also called on the legal chairperson of the party to interpret the law regarding the status of Mumba, who was removed from the party by Maj Kachingwe.

"We have to talk about these issues at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting. I urge all the two parties to be quiet and wait for the meeting at which we will look at what the constitution says and that is what is going to guide all of us," he said.

"I will also give a version of what will happen."

And Mabenga said in an interview that if the impasse in the MMD was not handled carefully, MMD's hopes of continuing as a party might be shattered.

"I am the most disappointed person to see the happenings in the MMD. I am very disappointed because I left that party intact. I had a feeling that the party would remain so," Mabenga said.

"It appears there is a big wage between the president of the party and the national secretary and when such things happen, the solution is for the national chairman (Pande) to step in. My hope is that Pande will be magnanimous enough to come and cushion this negative impasse that is shadowing the MMD because going to court does not solve a thing. That is a club."

Mabenga said the responsibility of bringing the two factions (Mumba and Maj Kachingwe) together was dependent upon Pande.

"I have every hope and prayer that honourable Pande will be magnanimous to go in and close up this wage. The wage can bring problems that can never end," he said.

Mabenga also said the committee targeted to scrutinise presidential election candidates must be held responsible for approving the candidature of Mumba who, some of them claimed, was not eligible to stand.

"There was a report we got from the committee, which was that all those parties that applied were qualified to stand in that election. So I am surprised that Nevers Mumba did not qualify. That committee must be held responsible for what is happening," Mabenga said.

"I can tell you that some people had raised this issue about Nevers but they were told that he was eligible to stand."

Meanwhile former MMD chairperson for elections Mike Mulongoti said Mumba had lost his leadership authority over the party.

Mulongoti added that the issue of Mumba's illegibility to contest the MMD presidential elections was not new and that it had been simmering for a long time.

Mulongoti blamed both Mumba and NEC members of lacking leadership by failing to deal with the matter before elections.

He said the constitution gave power to the party national secretary to originate disciplinary measures against the president, although NEC was entitled to make a final decision.

"What was wrong was Nevers' reaction. I think it was extreme. Even if the other man was wrong, he would have just requested or called for a meeting to exculpate himself. That way, he would have maintained his authority," said Mulongoti.

And police in Lusaka have launched a manhunt for MMD Die Hard national coordinator Bowman Lusambo and three others for allegedly assaulting Maj Kachingwe.

Maj Kachingwe on Saturday reported to the police Mumba, Lusambo, Watson M'tonga, Scorpion Kadobi and Chiwele Maimisa.

But Lusaka police commissioner Joyce Kasosa said the four, except Mumba, had fled and their whereabouts were unknown.

"We have searched their homes and possible places and they have run away. However, we will catch up with them. Yesterday Monday we had a tip that they were at Dr Mumba's house but you the media alerted them and by the time we got there, the place was empty," Kasosa said.

"We are not relaxing and officers are on the lookout everywhere to get hold of them. There are media reports that they have fled outside the country to which I cannot confirm but we are on the lookout."

Later in the day, ZNBC reported that Mtonga had been arrested.
On Monday, police surrounded Mumba's house in Lusaka's Kabulonga area to search for cadres that beat up Maj Kachingwe.

But Mumba told police that the people they were looking for were not present.
However Christopher Mumbuna, who led the search, said he had earlier seen Kadobi and Lusambo inside the yard.

After searching the vehicles outside Mumba's residence, police found a metal bucket and a plank believed to have been used by the duo to escape.

Meanwhile the MMD has with immediate effect expelled Maj Kachingwe for indiscipline.

This was after the NEC, which met on Monday at Mumba's residence in Kabulonga, resolved that Maj Kachingwe's letter invalidating Mumba's presidency was invalid and illegal.

Pande said Senga Hill member of parliament Kapembwa Simbao had replaced Kachingwe.

"Three weeks ago, members of parliament brought a petition to the president demanding the immediate removal of national secretary Richard Kachingwe. The MPs charged that major Kachingwe was highly compromised by the PF government based on his own confirmation and conduct," said Pande.

Pande said listening to concerns from members of parliament, Mumba tasked his two vice-presidents and himself to interview Kachingwe on allegations raised against him.

He said the members of parliament petitioned Mumba that they would withdraw their monthly contributions until major Kachingwe was removed from office.

"In his discussion with Major Kachingwe, the president told him to take leave for three months on suspension while NEC looked into his case.

The two agreed. Unfortunately, this administrative procedure angered Mr Kachingwe. Single-handedly, without authority from NEC, he purported to invalidate a democratically elected president of our party. This singular act of indiscipline is unprecedented in Zambia's political history.

Arising from this gross misconduct, the NEC was left with no option but to expel major Kachingwe with immediate effect, according article 19N of the party," he said.

Pande said contrary to media reports, Maj Kachingwe's matter was purely of discipline and not a difference in opinion on what was important to the party.

And Maj Kachingwe said his expulsion from MMD is null and void.

Briefing the press at his residence in Lusaka's Marshlands area, following his expulsion, Maj Kachingwe said NEC did not follow the laid down procedures stipulated by the party constitution.

"The expulsion is illegal, frivolous and mischievous, as well as null and void. According to the party constitution, Nevers Mumba was supposed to follow the procedure. I was supposed to be given 10 days in which to exculpate myself. After hearing my side of the story, that is when they were supposed to expel me," he said.

Maj Kachingwe vowed to fight his expulsion in the courts of law.
"Mumba does not form the part of the disciplinary committee. He has limited powers. He is not among the NEC, provincial, districts, constituency and branch officials. Yesterday, in a hurry he used proxies to expel me without following due process," he said.

"My fight is not against MMD, but it is against Dr Mumba and I will make sure that Dr Mumba gets outside MMD. I have nothing personal against Dr Mumba, but I only have issues with his style of leadership."
Maj Kachingwe said Mumba had been held captive by a few MMD corrupt barons who sponsored him during the elections.

"Dr Mumba is using corrupt money. He does not have his own money; he is not even the one who sponsored those thugs, not even to pay. But a corrupt baron sponsored that and she has been sponsoring him all along," he said.

And Maj Kachingwe accused Mumba of hijacking the party.

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