MMD faction national secretary Rapheal Nakacinda says a court of law cannot force party members to accept Nevers Mumba as its president because his mandate as party leader expired in 2016.
And Nakacinda has vowed that the party will deal with Mumba for causing confusion.
Speaking when he met MMD Eastern Province structures at St. Atanazio Parish in Chipata, Friday, Nakacinda, a nominated member of parliament, insisted that the court would not force party members to accept Nevers Mumba as its president because his mandate as party leader expired in 2016.
The High Court ruled, November 5, that Mumba was the right and duly-elected MMD president, nullifying the convention that purported to elect Felix Mutati, Raphael Nakacinda and others as president and national secretary of the former ruling party, respectively.
“But even if things get back to normal, the only answer to the MMD leadership wrangles is the convention because you, as the owners of the party, are supposed to fall in and speak to say, ‘these are the leaders that we want.’ The court cannot force us to say, ‘this is your leader’ because this Nevers Mumba whom they want to take over the leadership, his mandate ended in 2016! So, when they say, ‘he is the party president,’ which mandate is he leading the party because his mandate ended in 2016? So, because of what happened at the court, we do not have a president as things stand. So, the court and the people of Zambia need to give us a chance to go to the convention to elect our leaders. Even Nevers Mumba is also invited to the convention. Even those who are mad and those who are normal are invited to the convention. And even if Mumba doesn’t want to go to the convention, we will force him to attend,” Nakacinda vowed.
He said that the party had appealed the court ruling, which declared Mumba as a legitimate leader because the ruling was unfair.
“We know that the judgement, which was given on November 5, was an unfair judgement. There is no truth in it because MMD holds conventions every five years. But from 2016 when the time for holding another convention came, Pastor Nevers Mumba refused to go to a convention because he knew that he had not worked well. How can someone stand as a president and get only get 14,000 votes from the entire country? But I want to promise him that one day, he will have to account to the members of the MMD how he can reduce a party, which was winning with millions of votes to less than 14,000 votes? What happened in the party, I want to assure you that we will correct it in Lusaka. We have already gone to the Court of Appeal and very soon things will get back to normal,” he said.
And Nakacinda has vowed that the party would deal with Mumba for causing confusion in the former ruling party.
“This battle that we have is not for the faint-hearted. We removed the One-Party State and brought in freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. We brought development in Zambia. These roads you are seeing today, all this came as a result of what we managed in 1990 and 1991! The PF is just adding on what MMD did. All these roads you are seeing all over the country were started by us, the MMD. So, would you say that because of one setback we should agree that MMD should die? I have come here to encourage you that MMD is a party without fear. We will not fear. We will deal with that pastor who is causing confusion in MMD!” he vowed.
He also insisted that anyone who wanted to form a new political party had the right to do so, but urged them to leave the party in peace.
“And for those who are not strong and have opted to find other ways and start their own political parties, how can you want to throw a big bird that is already in your hands and want to find a small one, which is still in the bush? That’s not being normal. Those who want to start a new political party, it’s their democratic right, but they should leave us with our party! They should not confuse our structures because our structures are not sale like fritters! So, just leave those who want to form a new political party and just wish them well. Even PF only got strong because present (Frederick) Chiluba supported it, otherwise, even PF would have finished in 2001. So, don’t be afraid, we are going to fight together. We need to make MMD stronger because if we allow it to go down, then that will be the end of democracy,” Nakacinda cautioned.
He also apologized to party members for having brought Mumba to the party.
“After Rupiah Banda, we brought this pastor who has caused us so much problems! I want you to forgive me for bringing this pastor to MMD. I am the one who brought that pastor and held him tight and brought him with a bang in the party. Please forgive me for bringing this problem to the party, and that sin which I committed, I am ready to solve it. I want to solve that problem so that MMD remains in peace,” he said.
He further argued that he was not being used by anyone to fight for the MMD as perceived by others.
“Others are saying that the national secretary was nominated in parliament so that he fights MMD for PF, that’s a lie! I am MMD. When I was being nominated, I even asked them to say that I don’t want to be given another brand name as I get to parliament. Other political parties are saying that ‘since there is confusion in MMD and because the membership doesn’t want Nevers Mumba, and so let’s just sway them to join our party,’ I want to tell them that mwaloba ilyauma (Bemba proverb) and MMD is not going anywhere,” said Nakacinda, who also added that he did not have any ambitions to be MMD party president unless there were calls from the structures through the national convention to elevate him to that position.