Monday, August 05, 2013

Dora comes to Nevers' defence
By Roy Habaalu and Kombe Chimpinde
Sat 20 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

DORA Siliya says MMD members that don't want Nevers Mumba as president should resign. And Mumba says President Michael Sata does not need to die for him to take over from him.

Commenting on MMD vice-presidents, Dr Brian Chituwo and Dr Michael Kaingu's summoning of Mumba to the party secretariat last Friday, where they asked him to resign on grounds of the party's dwindling fortunes, Siliya, the MMD spokesperson, said those who were not happy with Mumba should form their own political parties.

Siliya said Mumba could not continue to be held to ransom by a few individuals for being a legitimately elected president. She said Mumba had more legitimacy than those appointed by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

"Those appointed by NEC and not elected at the MMD convention and are not happy with Nevers Mumba as president only have two choices; either to accept the will of the party and people or indeed to resign from their positions. We believe that political influence is determined by how many people are behind and follow you. Those that keep asking Nevers Mumba to resign are free to leave but as MMD members, we are tired of Vuvuzela noise about Nevers Mumba all the time," she said.
Siliya said opposition politics were not about regions or tribe but ensuring that matters affecting citizens like hunger are brought to the attention of the government.

She said those that believe opposition politics are about promoting internal wrangles so that they are known to be existing in the media had it all wrong.

She said those that wanted Mumba out should realise that if theybecame presidents, others would also ask them to resign.

"So our advice to those asking Never Mumba to resign is to do a clear mirror search of themselves and ask who is behind them, who is following them and if they find that they have people they should form their own parties but if they don't have a following, let them wait for election time for MMD to choose a president; for now, it's Nevers Mumba as president," she said.

Siliya said those that believed that MMD had no money were free to join other political parties, including PF.

She said world-over, political parties were supported by members and well-wishers.

"Those that want Nevers Mumba out have no space in the political landscape of this country. I urge our members to ignore these prophets of doom and if they themselves mean well, let them tell us how much they have contributed to MMD. Why haven't they brought their money? Nevers can't continue apologising to a few individuals," said Siliya.

Kaingu, Chituwo, chairman Kabinga Pande and national secretary Kapembwa Simbao summoned Mumba to an emergency meeting to discuss the party's loss of parliamentary seats and his style of leadership.
Sources said the meeting was a heated one, with the quartet taking Mumba on regarding several issues and asking him to step down.
The sources said the four senior leaders threatened to relinquish their party positions if Mumba did not step down as party president.

The sources revealed that divisions manifested during the same emergency meeting called to iron out issues surrounding the party's state of affairs, among other things the proposed merger between MMD and UPND, as well as dwindling fortunes of the party and Mumba's continued stay at the helm of the party without tangible results.
The quartet complained that the party membership had been going down as evidenced by the loss of parliamentary seats to the PF.

And Mumba said he would not comment on the reported summoning by his senior party members, adding that he would leave it to interested unnamed sources to discuss the matter.

"For me, our concentration is on by-elections and I have deployed my national executive committee members and members of parliament into the election areas. We are committed to winning these elections and I would like all our members to pre-occupy themselves with matters that are going to enhance the party and not matters that are going to waste our time," Mumba said.

"So I am not going to comment on unknown sources and what they said."
Meanwhile, Mumba says President Sata will not have to die for him to take over as Republican President.

Mumba said in an interview that the accusation by President Sata that he was among those spreading false rumours that he was seriously ill were unfair.

Addressing residents at Mkushi grounds on Thursday where he went to drum up support for Ingrid Mphande, the PF candidate in the Mkushi North by-election, President Sata wondered why some people were spreading rumours that he was ill, when he was in perfect health.

"He (Mumba) is saying 'Sata is seriously sick and he is dying and when he dies, I will take over from him'. Can a person who is sick stand for long hours as I have been standing since we began the rallies?" he asked. "I didn't want to be called by anyone to the podium to address you. I wanted to go there and wait for everyone to speak so that those that are spreading these lies that I'm sick can see that I am okay; bonse kuti twalwalako panono, noti ukulwalwa uku balelanda (it is normal to fall ill from time to time, not the type of sickness they are talking about). Nevers is telling people I am dying now. Is (that) not as good as being a witch?"

But Mumba said Rupiah Banda did not have to die for President Sata to take over from him.

"I am going to take over from him not because he died and I will never wish Mr Sata dead," Mumba said from Mkushi, where he has gone to drum up support for the MMD candidate Jonathan Kapungwe.

"That statement I made on The Assignment programme (on MUVI TV) recently, if that is the one he (President Sata) is misquoting, I said the people of Zambia are demanding to have the President speak to us physically not through the press because there are many issues that we want him to deal with."

Mumba accused President Sata of being antagonistic.

"President Sata should use the language of understanding and love, not the language of antagonism. He is President. He needs to promote peace amongst ourselves and not acrimony," Mumba said. "The President must come out in the open and begin to engage the Zambian people. That is not wishing him dead."

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