In this audio, FDD president Edith Nawakwi says Zambians made a clear choice in the last election and there is need for the PF to be given a chance to exercise their authority.
And Nawakwi says she took a break from politics in order to reflect on the divisions which the party was facing.
Meanwhile, Nawakwi has reconciled with her vice-president Chifumu Banda and others who were calling from her removal from the helm of the party.
At a media briefing at the FDD secretariat today, Nawakwi said Zambians made a clear choice in the 2016 elections.
“When you say the nation has missed me, I have also missed the nation and I thought when we went to the polls in 2016, the nation actually put out a clear choice and we need to allow our friends to exercise their authority and see where they are taking us,” Nawakwi said.
And Nawakwi said she took time off politics to reflect on the wrangles which her party was facing.
“Even in the Bible it is clear that there must be a time for reconciliation and time for meditation. I have been on the political scene since 1990. Every year, 360 days commenting on issues, I thought while the party was more or less trying to find it’s balance, I should not be the face of the party and cement the idea that the party was just about one individual. I think where we are now, it is a very clear indication that intra party democracy in FDD is what propels the party. Yes, there are national issues but parliament is there, they have been commenting, you have been writing. If you talk about fire tenders, I will remind you that all that needed to be said was said two years ago. The only challenge is what I said in 2001 that us Zambians have a very short attention span, you leave one person to pursue an idea and that person becomes a bad person,” she said.
“I think it is a very healthy arrangement that I withdrew, it is not because I couldn’t say anything but I wanted the party to have other faces. To date, an impression was created that I want to amend the constitution, but I want to tell you that to amend the party constitution you need two thirds majority…it is unfortunate that the world feels that they have lost my voice but you my comrade, when I was being told that I want to change the constitution, you didn’t stand up for me and say ‘we need her voice in this scenario’, I thought the press also agreed with that position that maybe it was time for my reflection to happen but there are many issues which we need to get together and it is this getting together that is very important because when we issue statements, you will know that these are FDD statements, not Mr [Antonio] Mwanza’s statements, not the chairman’s statements, not Edith Nawakwi’s statements. We want to have a spirit of togetherness so that when statements are coming, they are interrogated, they are well researched.”
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Meanwhile, Nawkawi reunited with Banda whom she sidelined in the 2016 elections, opting for a political novice, Reverend Clement Mwanza from the Reformed Church of Zambia, as her running mate.
On March 22, Banda launched a ‘Save FDD’ campaign; demanding for a party convention to elect a new leader saying it was unconstitutional for Nawakwi to cling to the party presidency.
“The FDD party last held a convention in 2005. According to its Constitution, FDD is supposed to hold a convention every five years. As such the next convention could have taken place in 2010, but this did not happen. The explanation which was furnished to the general membership for the failure was the National Policy Committee had failed to raise funds for the event. Later on 2015 presented another lawful occasion for holding a convention. Again, the convention was not held and the opportunity was equally missed. The party secretariat explained off this failure by arguing that since the nation was going to the general elections the following year, change of leadership could have disadvantaged the party in the polls. For this same reason, it was accordingly announced that the convention would instead be held in February 2017 after the said general elections,” said Banda despite being expelled from the party a month earlier.
But Nawakwi announced that they had reconciled and she had welcomed him back to the FDD as her vice-president,
“We believe that genuine dialogue is a path to unity of purpose. It is for this reason that after serious reflection through an open and honest process of dialogue, we have today decided to offer a general amnesty to all those party officials whom we had expelled. Together, we are strong, divided, we diminish…at this point in time, allow me to welcome back honorable Chifumu Banda as the vice-president for the Forum for Democracy and Development,” said Nawakwi.
And Banda said the leadership had risen above their differences for the love of the party.
“In every family, there will be feuds. There is bound to be conflict and sometimes injury caused to one another. What is important in the life of every political party and in our lives as human beings is the ability to rise above these problems. Today the FDD is demonstrating how good the leadership of FDD is because this is the first in the country where a political party that was besieged with misunderstandings for one reason or another, the leadership has risen above those. I wish to tell you madam president that the discussions we had were candid, we were open to one another, all because all of us have love for this party called FDD,” said Banda.