NOMINATED member of parliament Raphael Nakacinda says the newly-formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Felix Mutati was born out of frustration and only meant to fulfill one person’s agenda.

And Nakacinda says MMD president Nevers Mumba’s rigging allegations in last month’s Lukashya by-election are baseless and a sign of his failed leadership.

In an interview, Nakacinda charged that the Mutati-led MDC party was full of former MMD members who lacked courage to fight for the former ruling party.

“I do have information and it is a known fact that, basically, MDC is more less a splinter group from MMD. The ones who are spearheading it are people who are frustrated as a result of the fighting within the MMD and maybe they don’t have the tenacity and courage to fight on until the right thing is done in the MMD. They are trying to create a platform for themselves. It is creating that platform with the aim of getting some of our members to join them. So, that has been on the cards for some time and now that it is a legal entity more or less, we have begun to see an attempt to entice our members to go in that direction,” Nakacinda said.

“For us, our message to our members is that the former ruling party you belong to is dear to this country, is dear to the SADC region and to the continent. MMD was one of the pioneers for the reintroduction of multi-partyism, not only in Zambia, but also in the region. We saw other countries follow us after 1990, 1991 and we were privileged to govern for upto 20 years. I think it will be erroneous to be making political decisions out of convenience other than conviction, ideals of the MMD, which must be protected, we must fight to preserve them, we must fight that those ideals are renewed and possibly in the future, the Zambian people can trust us again.”

He stressed that he could never join a splinter party, which was meant to appease the ambitions of one individual.

“I can never join splinter groups, I don’t operate like that. I have been there before in 2001 when we were fighting over third term. Some of us left and joined some splinter groups here and splinter groups there, we didn’t go far with it, and eventually we had to come back to the party. So, I have seen the Patriotic Front, for example, in 2014 had splinters groups that came up. This business of forming political parties just for convenience and because of individuals’ ambition is not grounded enough to have a future because the moment the ambition of that person is either fulfilled or frustrated, that is the end of that political party. All these groups, whether it’s NDC, it is about Kambwili; DP it is about Kalaba. You can talk about other political parties, it is about individuals. If the individual moves from that organisation, that will be the end. So, basically, MDC is pushing an agenda for an individual,” Nakacinda argued.

And he dismissed Mumba’s rigging allegations in the disputed Lukashya polls as baseless and a sign of his failed leadership.

“Mumba is just trying to divert attention from the embarrassing performance, even having been warned before. When you don’t have the mandate of the people, it doesn’t matter how robust you can be imposing yourself as a leader, the people will not follow you. Prior to those by-elections, remember that Mumba expelled all members of parliament, who does that? The MPs were adding credence to the party. Instead of working a method to make sure that he begins to bring everybody on board, out of arrogance and appetite for power, he has dragged the party to levels of embarrassment that you can never describe,” Nakacinda said.

“So, really, those allegations are baseless, but since the police are investigating, we can only but wait to hear what the findings would be. We are all interested to know, especially that his allegations are so grave and they also border on bringing the integrity of ECZ into question and we are going into an election next year. Lukashya was a sign that Mumba’s leadership was rejected in MMD.”

Meanwhile, Nakacinda insisted that the MMD remained strong, but lacked leadership.

“The truth of the matter is that MMD still has strong structures across the country. Every political party attempts to go and fish from the MMD. Even the new political party that have been formed, MDC, and so on you can tell that they are also fishing from some MMD structures, UPND and including our alliance partners, the Patriotic Front, they are also in a way having members of the MMD. So, if members like Nevers Mumba don’t wake up to the reality that the route they have taken is destructive to the party, unfortunately, we may not have the MMD to talk about in the next few months, and worst still, after the election in 2021,” said Nakacinda.

“If we do something about it, we may not win the election in 2021, but we will be on the path of recovery as a party moving forward because we should not be short-sighted. Our view and vision of politics must be beyond just 2021. So, what is wrong with us recognising and not in doing so seeing ourselves in the picture because what distorts judgement is that everything must be done around my personal ambition, then we have lost it.”