Monday, July 08, 2013

MMD is headed for doom, says Mufunga
By Staff Reporters
Sat 29 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

CONFUSION marred the MMD camp during filling of nominations in Solwezi East with its aspiring candidate Benjamin Mufunga threatening to join the PF after he was told to withdraw from the race.

In an interview, Mufunga who did not file in his nomination papers when the time came for the MMD, accused party leader Nevers Mumba and the entire National Executive Committee (NEC) of selling the party to the UPND.

Mufunga said he was contemplating resigning from the MMD because he was frustrated by the call he received at the eleventh hour from Mumba and other NEC officials that he should not file in his nominations because the party had decided to rally behind the UPND in Solwezi East.

"I was told to stay away at the last minute when I have invested everything in this whole process. I brought many people here, there are costs attached and I know I am a popular candidate. It's very shocking that the current leaders are trading the MMD. You can't run a party like that and that's why this party is headed for doom," Mufunga said.

He said there was nothing left in the MMD with its current type of leadership.

Mufunga said there was no party that survives on trading parliamentary seats.

"What kind of politics are these? The NEC members I talked to among them, chairman for elections Kenneth Chipungu, Mwansa Mbulakulima including Nevers Mumba; they all said 'no, we are trading that seat. UPND will also leave Chipata and Kafulafuta for us' and they are saying that when I have invested money in this whole thing and we had already registered with the ECZ. But they only said we will see how the treasurer will handle the matter. I am very sad that the party is dying at a very rapid rate," Mufunga said.

And PF candidate Peter Ilunga who enjoyed massive support out of the three candidates successfully filed in his nomination at 13:07 hours followed by UNIP's Cephas Luwayile at 14:20 and UPND's Villie Lombanya.
Ilunga who was accompanied by campaign manager Gabriel Namulambe, Nathaniel Mubukwanu, senior member of the central committee Annie Kayula and other party officials said victory was certain.
He said he was a vibrant youth that had dedicated his life for Solwezi East.

And Namulambe said the people of Solwezi East must join the transformation of the country by supporting PF and voting for Ilunga.
Alliance for Democracy and Development candidate Charles Kaputula did not show up for the filling of nomination papers and the ECZ did not receive any communication from the party.

Meanwhile, Luwayile who surprisingly showed up for the nominations and successfully filed in, said he had experience in politics, music and football and the people of Solwezi East must give him a chance because he is one of their own.

Lombanya, a former Copperbelt permanent secretary in the MMD era, pledged to do everything possible to develop the constituency once given chance by the electorate.

In Kafulafuta, MMD candidate Evelyn Mwanawasa on Thursday delayed filing her nomination papers as she struggled to find supporters.
And Patriotic Front secretary general Wynter Kabimba said MMD members are wasting their time trying to mend a party that cannot be restored.
A check at the nomination centre at Chiwala Basic School found Mwanawasa waiting for supporters to accompany her to file her nomination papers. Mwanawasa, however, drove off and later returned with some people and successfully filed.

Meanwhile, UPND candidate Brian Chitafu and Jimmy Kasabwe of NAREP both successfully filed in their nominations together with James Chishiba of PF.

Addressing a rally after Chishiba filed his nomination papers, Kabimba said UPND was a party that is still at nursery school and people should not pay attention to it.

"Don't waste your time voting for the opposition, they will not do anything for you. As for us PF, President Michael Sata wants to develop this country from south to north, west to east and unite all the tribes in the country," he said.

He said Chishiba was the right person to represent people of Kafulafuta in Parliament.

Kabimba urged Kafulafuta residents not to betray Chishiba by denying him a vote.

He said he was surprised that the opposition had the strength to participate in the Kafulafuta by-election considering the embarrassment they received in Feira.

PF Copperbelt chairman Robert Mwewa asked the government through Kabimba to consider removing Kafulafuta from Masaiti district because it was too hard for the area to be developed.

"Kafulafuta is big and we are asking you to kindly tell the President to consider removing Kafulafuta from Masaiti. It is not easy to develop the area because people leave in very far places and they miss out on the developments that are talking place," he said.

In Mkushi, six candidates successfully filed their nominations for the Mkushi North parliamentary by-election slated for July 25.
UNIP candidate Bernard Nkolela Nshimbi, an academician was the first to file in his nominations at 10:36 hours.

PF candidate Ingrid Mulonda Mphande was second, followed by MMD's Jonathan Kapungwe, who is also a former Kabwe district commissioner, and UPND's Winter Libbohole.

NAREP's Albert Chibule Kawaya and an Independent candidate, Felix Chisanga, who was initially told to go back and have one of his documents signed and date stamped by the Magistrates' court also successfully filed their papers.

And all the six candidates expressed optimism about scooping the Mkushi North parliamentary seat.

Kawaya said he would want to address challenges being faced by youths and farmers in Mkushi district.

"I know the challenges that the people of Mkushi district are facing. I want to address the challenges being faced by vulnerable people. We want to address issues surrounding youth empowerment and women empowerment," explained Kawaya, who was mainly supported by youths.

"I also want to address problems facing the farming community. The farmers' yields were affected in the just ended farming season due to late delivery of farming inputs."

Kawaya urged other candidates to stage peaceful campaigns.
UNIP's Bernard Nkolela Nshimbi said Zambia had a good education policy but its implementation was poor.

"As an educationist, I feel that a lot has to be done in the education sector," said Nshimbi. "Like in here in Mkushi, we have to make education facilities not only readily available but accessible to the learners. The health centres should also be readily available and accessible to the people of Mkushi district. I understand the problems the people in this area are facing and I am confident that I will win this election."

PF's Mphande said she was 100 per cent confident of winning the Mkushi parliamentary seat.

"I know the challenges that the people of Mkushi North have been facing. I know, for instance, that road network has to be worked on in order to ensure ease transportation of farmers produce," Mphande said.

"The health sector is another area that needs attention. Availability and accessibility of health centres is still a challenge and there's need to ensure that both the rehabilitation and construction of health centres in rural areas. Water reticulation is another challenge being faced by the people of Mkushi. For instance, I have been to Makolongo in chief Shaibila's chiefdom where people are sharing water with goats and dogs."

MMD's Kapungwe urged other political parties to stage violent free campaigns.

Asked if he defected from the UPND to join the MMD in order to be adopted by the former ruling party, Kapungwe said the people of Mkushi wanted him to go back to his original party.

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