Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lungu urges MMD to resolve their problems before by-elections

Lungu urges MMD to resolve their problems before by-elections
By Allan Mulenga
Sun 27 Jan. 2013, 11:50 CAT

HOME affairs minister Edgar Lungu has warned that he may be forced to use the law to drive the MMD into total extinction if leaders of the former ruling party fail to resolve the two factions.

But MMD vice-president for political affairs Michael Kaingu accused Lungu of harbouring a grudge against Nevers Mumba.

Former MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and Catherine Namugala last week formed a parallel MMD secretariat after their expulsion from the former ruling party for gross indiscipline.
Maj Kachingwe and Namugala have said the party being run by Mumba was Reform Party, not MMD.
The new faction has even asked people to apply to be adopted as candidates for the forthcoming Mpongwe and Livingstone by-elections.

Briefing the press yesterday in Lusaka at his office, Lungu said he had powers under the societies Act to bring into extinction a society becoming a danger to peace and good order.

"I wish to let you know that we are monitoring events in MMD because some faction has appealed to us, police, to intervene and we have said 'no, we cannot intervene because that is an in-house issue', but when you threaten law and order, the law certainly visits you," he said. "I did warn some senior members of MMD who approached me seeking police intervention in the matter that they are doing so at their own peril because if we found that they are becoming a threat to peace, we will not hesitate in invoking powers which I have under the societies Act to bring them into extinction. Of course this is subject to what is going on in court."

Lungu urged the MMD to put its house in order failure to which its candidates would not be allowed to file their nomination papers for the forth-coming Mpongwe and Livingstone by-elections.

"If I was going to be malicious, I will do that on the eve of filing nominations so that they don't take part in Mpongwe and Livingstone by-elections. So be forewarned, put your house in order, so that as we go to the filing of nominations we want to have one MMD, not multiple MMD because then it will be difficult for the commissioner of elections to receive candidates from MMD," he said.

"We only know that there is one party called MMD. If they bring two candidates for Livingstone, we will say; 'sorry'. But for me as a custodian of law and order, I warn them that put their house in order now before that filing day. Otherwise, you risk not taking part in elections or you risk going into total extinction."

When contacted for comment, Kaingu said Lungu was aware about the true MMD.
"Is he Lungu telling them truth that he doesn't know MMD? Why should he pretend? That is what will kill this country, pretence. He knows which one is MMD. That is squarely under his office and he knows that Kachingwe was expelled by our party," he said. "MMD is an institution; it does not belong to one person. If he has difficulties with my president Dr Mumba, it doesn't mean that he should now even generalise that to an institution."

And Mumba's special assistant Raphael Nakacinda Nakacinda said Lungu's statement was laughable.
He said the government should never get involved in problems created by members of a club who have refused to be disciplined.

"It's a major shock to the nation that government cannot allow us to discipline our own members and if we do, they get involved. We know it's been their intention to deregister MMD for a long time. Remember they wanted to deregister us through the Registrar of Societies, we had to pay those huge fees. There is absolutely no way that government can get involved in this matter," Nakacinda said. "We discipline our officials and they decide not to recognise that and they go to form another political party and government says they will deregister us!"

He said the MMD under Mumba's leadership had paid its dues to the Registrar of Societies and wondered what authority Major Richard Kachingwe is using to operate a parallel structure.
"Why should government swing behind this rebel group? It has no registration certificate, no instruments of power, it was not voted for by the members. It's laughable that a government can even think like that," he said.

"Mr Lungu is a lawyer and knows well that if any member of a party is aggrieved by decision by his club, there are courts of law. Government should stay away from this matter."

Nakacinda said Lungu could not say what he said unless the lawlessness by Maj Kachingwe and his group was being sponsored by the Patriotic Front government.

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