NATIONAL Restoration Party (NAREP) spokesperson Frank Sichone says the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to fire Steven Nyirenda still stands, adding if the latter masquerades as president, the party will use means and ways to ensure that he is restrained from doing so.
And newly appointed NAREP president Charles Maboshe says he will build the party for it to fully participate in next year’s general elections.
Meanwhile, Maboshe has agreed with the sentiments by the party’s National Executive Committee that Nyirenda was bringing division in the party.
In a statement, Sunday morning, Maboshe informed the nation that he had accepted his appointment as NAREP president following the NEC’s resolution to expel Nyirenda who ceased to be their party president on Saturday.
And in an interview, Sunday, Sichone said the decision by the NEC still stands, adding that Maboshe was now president of the party.
He added that if Nyirenda masquerades as president, the party would ensure that he was restrained from doing so.
“He (Maboshe) has actually accepted our appointment as NEC. We as the NEC are the majority and we are the ones who are legitimate to put who should be president. We are actually the ones who negotiated to bring him (Nyirenda) [to the party]. So he cannot start disputing our decision. We have decided and there is nothing that has changed. He (Nyirenda) is no longer president, Mr Maboshe is now the president of NAREP,” Sichone said.
“If he [Nyirenda] is going to be masquerading [as president], the party is going to use means and ways of making sure that we restrain him from performing or doing that. We also want to urge the media not to be quoting him [as one] because he is only going to be masquerading as president of the party when he is not. NAREP has a constitution and procedures that we follow. The highest body of the party is the NEC which resolved that he (Nyirenda) seizes to be the president. So he cannot continue to masquerade as a leader of the party.”
In another interview, Maboshe said he had accepted his position as president as he wanted to support the party where he had been a vice-president for 10 years.
He added that he also saw that the differences between Nyirenda and the party were not going to be reconciled.
“At that press conference on Saturday morning, remember I said I was going to meet the other party and try to reconcile [them]. So when I went there to make the other party reconcile, on the other hand of Mr Nyirenda, he was too arrogant. He didn’t want to recognise the NEC member to attend that meeting. Because the arrogance went on, and the majority of NEC members passed a vote of no confidence in him, I had to choose, whether to support the man, Mr Nyirenda or the party. I chose to support NAREP as a party which I have been a vice-president for 10 years. And I accepted the position people gave me because I saw that the differences were not going to be reconciled because of the arrogance which was coming from the man we invited to come and join us,” Maboshe said.
“How can he (Nyirenda) be a president without the people? We are the people who put him there and we are the people who removed him.”
He said he would build NAREP so that it could fully participate in next year’s general.
“From now on, I will build the party, NAREP. I want to build the party so that we can fully participate in the 2021 elections as NAREP…I want to urge party members that they must stay calm and know that they have their party back. NAREP is not going to be run as personal property. It is a political party and we have to consult one another as it has always been. All ideas are welcome. We respect everybody in NAREP as it has been for the past 10 years,” Maboshe said.
He agreed with the sentiments by the party’s NEC that Nyirenda was bringing division in the party.
And on the party’s request for its former president, Elias Chipimo, to return as they work towards building the party for the 2021 election, the new president said if Chipimo accepted the request, he could join them as a member.
“If Mr Chipimo accepts. He can come in as a member. I am the president. You see, joining a political party is not about positions. It is about ideas you are bringing in the party. If I am leading, I must accept to be led, that’s what we believe in. Mr Chipimo is a co-founder of this party, he is welcome. There are a lot of things he can do in the party. But for the moment, I have been given the responsibility of being the president of the party and to run it,” Maboshe said.
Nyirenda could, however, not give his side of the story as his phone went unanswered when contacted Sunday.
In a statement, Saturday, Sichone stated that the opposition party’s National Executive Committee had with immediate effect dissolved Nyirenda’s presidency for allegedly bringing division and failure to follow party procedures.
But at a press briefing held immediately after the release of the statement, Nyirenda insisted that he was still the party president, arguing that his purported removal was a small thing and nothing to worry about.
And Maboshe, who was also at the said briefing, said he attended in the interest of the party’s unity as he wanted to meet the other group to hear their grievances and see if they could become one family again.