Tuesday, July 30, 2013

UPND too small to swallow us - MMD
By Allan Mulenga
Mon 15 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

UPND is too small to swallow MMD, says Chembe Nyangu. And Nyangu says it is an insult for the UPND senior leadership, which has been vulgar towards other parties, to propose a merger with MMD.

Commenting on the decision by the UPND senior leadership to task Mutale Nalumango to engage senior MMD officials, among them Dr Brian Chituwo, Kabinga Pande and Kenneth Chipungu with a view to merging the two parties, Nyangu, who is MMD deputy national secretary, said there was no way the former ruling party could join UPND.

"We can't join UPND because UPND senior leaders' language is not inspiring. There is no way Mutale Nalumango can propose that MMD joins UPND," he said. "These mergers must be negotiated by sober individuals. They need to send people with good language to do that. MMD is not like these other political parties which are run by individuals. MMD has a very different system of running the party, and no single person owns MMD."

Nyangu urged UPND senior leadership to use "responsible" persons with good negotiating skills to negotiate a merger.

"It will take a group of responsible senior people to negotiate with UPND, if that is the wish of Zambians to merge the two parties. I will guide them on how to negotiate issues of such nature. We will not just pick Bowman Lusambo to go and speak to UPND, no. We have to pick responsible people, not for people like Bowman," he said.

"If UPND pick on Nalumango to come and negotiate with us, we will doubt her in MMD in the first place. Nalumango just left MMD and poured a lot of scorn on MMD and you expect people to listen to her?"
And Nyangu said it was an insult for the UPND senior leadership to task ordinary officials to deal with a serious issue like an alliance between the two parties.

"You cannot just send a handful of people to go and negotiate. Such a serious matter must have the blessing of all party members and we need to select sober people to go and negotiate," he said.

"This is a national issue because it borders on issues that affect lives of Zambians. Lives of Zambians depend on what these two political parties will come up with."

Nyangu said he was shocked that some senior party leaders were involved in negotiating for a merger between the two parties.

"We don't know why Kabinga Pande, Dr Brian Chituwo and Kenneth Chipungu have been mention because the party has not given them authority to do that. MMD has a method of working; you need to be given authority to negotiate with UPND. We operate very skillfully," he said.

"There is no way we can leave out key people in the party and just pick those individuals. There are people who can make decisions on behalf of the party. It will not be Nalumamgo to come and negotiate with MMD. Nalumango is nowhere in the hierarchy of UPND. What platform does she have? She is just an ordinary member. Is it how UPND negotiates with other political parties to say, 'go and negotiate with the vice-president, chairman and chairperson for elections?'"

The UPND senior leadership has tasked Nalumango to engage senior MMD officials, among them Dr Chituwo, Pande and Chipungu with a view to merging the two parties.

UPND wants to merge with MMD in order to dislodge the PF from power in the 2016 election.

Sources disclosed that Nalumango, who recently defected from MMD to join UPND, has so far held meetings with Dr Chituwo, Pande and Chipungu.

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