Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nevers has felt the heat of calls to step down - Tembo
By Christopher Miti in Chipata and Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Wed 24 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

THE PF in Eastern Province says MMD leader Nevers Mumba, who is currently in Chipata Central Constituency, has felt the heat over calls by his colleagues in the party to step down.

Reacting to Mumba's attacks on the PF government during his campaigns at Nadalitsika Basic School and in Mchenga area, provincial PF chairperson Mike Tembo advised the MMD leader to resolve the leadership wrangles that have engulfed his party.

Tembo advised Mumba to go back to Lusaka and meet head-on his colleagues who want him out.

"This man is actually running away from the heat coming from his own members. He (Mumba) has come here to have a peace of mind because the situation in Lusaka is bad," he said.

On Mumba's calls for the PF government to stop what he termed victimising former president Rupiah Banda, Tembo said a crime would remain a crime.

He said Rupiah would be acquitted if he is innocent.

"The issue is that if he is found with a case to answer, he is going to face the law. I don't agree with Mumba because law is law," Tembo said.
He said the PF was confident that its candidate, Lameck Mangani, would win the by-election because the people have received the ruling party with both hands.

"Our message as PF has been received very well by the people of Chipata and we are just waiting for the poll day so that Mangani is declared MP for Chipata Central Constituency. We have campaigned very well because as a party, we have been pulling in one direction. I would like to thank the people on the ground for doing their best during the campaigns," Tembo said.

Meanwhile, suspended MMD district chairpersons on the Copperbelt say the party would have been saved from destruction if NEC had listened to them when they called for the removal of Mumba.

Speaking on behalf of other suspended chairpersons, Kitwe's William Nyirenda said although the reaction of some senior party officials had come rather too late over the leadership crisis in the party and the need for Mumba's removal to pave way for the national convention, those that opposed Mumba's leadership had been vindicated.

Nyirenda said the party had been destroyed to a level where it could not stand on its own because of the insensitivity of senior party members in the National Executive Committee (NEC), who refused to pay attention to the cries of the general membership.

He said it was sad that senior party members tolerated Mumba's action to suspend them when they challenged his leadership qualities and did nothing when Catherine Namugala, who called for sanity and genuine leadership, was also thrown out of the party business.

"Whatever the leadership in NEC is doing is just a waste of time because it's the same leadership that tolerated Nevers Mumba and everything he was doing. If they had joined us the time we the Copperbelt chairpersons were fighting with Namugala, if they had paid attention to our concerns and what we were fighting for, this party could have been saved from extinction," Nyirenda said.

He said the MMD would have remained a force to reckon with in the political arena if the leadership had been bold enough to challenge the party president and his style of leadership. He said it was sad that the party now stood on very weak ground due to lack of leadership.

"The Kabinga Pandes of this world, Brian Chituwo and many others that are speaking now, we needed them then. Now the waters have reached their necks and that's when they have started talking! It's very sad the MMD has been destroyed just like that. These people went as far as allowing the UPND to gain political capital out of the former ruling party, the MMD, and when they realised, it was too late," Nyirenda said.

He said it was ridiculous that district chairpersons on the Copperbelt and the Luapula leadership were told that they were suspended when the party was in a crisis and needed them.

MMD vice-president-political Michael Kaingu, vice-president - administration Brian Chituwo, national chairperson Kabinga Pande and acting national secretary Kapembwa Simbao recently summoned Mumba and asked him to resign on account of poor leadership and the party's dwindling fortunes.

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