Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Namugala, Kachingwe should have themselves to blame - Shakas

Namugala, Kachingwe should have themselves to blame - Shakas
By Agness Changala, Namatama Mundia and Ernest Chanda
Mon 04 Feb. 2013, 17:20 CAT

JONAS Shakafuswa says expelled MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and Catherine Namugala should have themselves to blame for what they are going through. Meanwhile, Namugala says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) went too far when it decided to take sides during nominations for the Mpongwe parliamentary by-election.

Commenting on the wrangles between Maj Kachingwe's faction and that of MMD president Nevers Mumba, Shakafuswa, the former MMD Katuba member of parliament, wondered why Maj Kachingwe, who was returning officer when Mumba was elected party president, did not stop him if he knew that he did not qualify or was ascending to the position illegally.

"MMD was in power for some time and they had all records at their disposal and Mumba was president for another party, and the returning officer was Kachingwe. Why didn't he stop that?" he asked. "It shows the level of thinking of Richard, and it's unfortunate that people like Namugala, who I thought were sharp, can also subscribe to such kind of nonsense."

Shakafuswa said it was shameful for Namugala, who at one time gave him advice when he differed with former president Rupiah Banda, to involve herself in such acts.

"Today, I am laughing at her because for me, I take it that the advice she gave me was not coming from the bottom of her heart. I talked with Banda and if he subscribed to what I and others were saying, he could have been president today," he said.

Shakafuswa said people like Namugala, who were Banda's advisors, were the ones who caused him to be kicked out.

"…Now they want to kill MMD when they are the ones who put the party where it is because of the false advice they gave to the former president," he said.
Shakafuswa said Namugala was one of the people who misled Banda and that MMD was in opposition today because of people like her.

He said it was shameful that people who misled Banda had become champions of democracy and disputes in MMD.

Shakafuswa said what was happening in MMD was disgusting, and attributed the problems the party was experiencing to selfishness and greed.

"I think people have to realise that Mumba is president of MMD; the government and home affairs minister Edgar Lungu also have to realise that they need MMD for them to run this country," said Shakafuswa.

Meanwhile, Namugala, who was expelled from MMD, said it was worrying that for the first time in the history of Zambian politics, ECZ was asking candidates which officer from their political parties had signed on their adoption certificates.

On Thursday last week, ECZ turned away Goodson Chilufya, a candidate for the Maj Kachingwe-led MMD faction after he presented himself for nomination.

"I think when there's something like this, it's important that they try as much as possible to be impartial. Again I would like to call on them, especially concerning MMD, that they should do more than just listen to one side because if they do that, they will be accused of siding with one side. I think that for them when they're running an election, if an organisation goes with a candidate and they want to field, it is not up to them to decide whose signature is legitimate and whose is not," Namugala said in an interview yesterday.

"I think they went a bit too far, they got to a point where they now started trying to even get to know who signs. How? It shouldn't be like that. This is the first time I'm hearing that ECZ was looking at signatures to see if the signature on the adoption certificate was what they wanted or not. So, I think that there, they did not serve us well."

Namugala said her group would in future engage the ECZ and make the electoral body understand differences within the country's largest opposition party.

"I think that ECZ didn't have enough time to engage us, or that we didn't have enough time to engage ECZ. And we hope that going forward, we will find a way to engage ECZ so that they are not confused as to what's going on. I think the notice was short, and our only disappointment is that they decided to take sides," said Namugala.

"We really want to find a way to express ourselves to them so that they get to understand exactly what's going on within our organisation. And maybe they will try to remain impartial, especially that we have two pending by-elections in Kapiri and Lukulu West. We really don't want ECZ to be judge and jury in our matters. We have gone to court, we are fighting within MMD; at the end of the day, we'll resolve our differences. Again going forward, my appeal is that please stay out of our politics, unless there's a court order which says don't allow this group, don't allow that group. I think in the absence of that, they shouldn't interfere."

Namugala said Chilufya's presence in Mpongwe showed that they had membership countrywide as MMD and that the candidate they chose was ready and willing to work for the people.

Chilufya presented himself for nomination at Mpongwe Municipal Council at around 13:40 hours when the other candidate of the MMD under Nevers Mumba, Mineva Mutesa, had already filed in her nomination papers.

Mutesa successfully filed her nomination papers around 10:00 hours.
After Chilufya presented himself with an adoption certificate signed by Major Kachingwe, the ECZ indicated to the police that the valid candidate of the MMD, Mutesa, had already filed in her nominations.

The police then ordered Chilufya and his supporters to disperse, which they did.

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