CHISHIMBA Kambwili says he is still NDC president, describing the meeting hosted by his vice Joseph Akafumba and secretary general Bridget Atanga as illegal.
And Kambwili has insisted that the UPND Alliance is highly disrespectful because it does not honour its partners but only serves the interests of UPND.
Addressing journalists at an emergency briefing at his residence in Lusaka, Thursday, Kambwili said according to the party constitution, a president could only be removed from office after a full council of the Central Committee sitting.
“I was surprised that this morning we were told that there was a press briefing which was held by the vice-president and secretary general. That press briefing was illegal because the vice president has no powers even the secretary general to convene the meeting or press briefing of the party without the knowledge of the president who is me. They have no right to call for any meeting without my authority as president. Whatever happened there happened and they have said that they have expelled me Chishimba Kambwili as NDC president. The question is what constitution did our colleagues use? Because our constitution is very clear on how the president can be removed out of office. It has to be a full Central Committee or 80 per cent of the Central Committee has to be convened and the president has to be charged and that offence must be an offence that is stipulated in our disciplinary code. The president must respond and when the president responds, the Central Committee will sit and deliberate and make decision. I want to ask my colleagues with due respect. Where did they hold the central committee [meeting]?” he asked.
“When they told me the outcome of the alliance meeting, I indicated to them and directed the secretary general to call for urgent Central Committee on Saturday at 10:00 hours in Luanshya because as a party we wanted to go and decide on the way forward of this alliance.”
He said if Akafumba and Atanga wanted to go to UPND, they should do so without starting a war.
“I want to appeal to our members to be calm and no president has been expelled and you have seen this before, Mwenya Musege again expelled me and people don’t learn from history. When you are starting a war check the risk, assess the risk. You can’t find a fluffy dog wanting to bite a lion. There must be something wrong with you. You can’t be a fluffy dog or sausage dog and you want to bite a lion. So if the five people want to go to UPND, let them go without starting a war,” he said.
“For you my boy Chishala, I think you don’t learn my boy. I feel for you. Otherwise more details will be given on Saturday February 27 when we shall have full Central Committee meeting in Luanshya and I urge all members to be in Luanshya so that we decide.”
And Kambwili insisted that he was not against the alliance, but that he had refused to allow his party to be swallowed by UPND.
“My fellow NDC members, we are not against the alliance but we have refused to be in an alliance where the NDC is going to swallowed. How is it going to be swallowed? Look, our friends have said they only want an alliance to be called UPND Alliance and our suggestion that, if we want to stand on one ticket from president to councillor then we need to find a neutral name. Then we can all run on one political alliance but if we are going to run as UPND, then each political party must be given some constituency where they are going to fill their MP and that is what is known as alliance. An alliance is not a merger, you don’t take advantage of your friends you have to respect others…In fact, when we started that alliance, we were 14 parties but now we had just remained two; UPND and NDC, because the rest are just individuals,” said Kambwili.