NDC ‘acting president’ Joseph Akafumba says all the party members who were purportedly suspended by expelled Chishimba Kambwili should just ignore him.
And Akafumba says NDC still remains a strong member of the UPND Alliance and nobody can change that.
Meanwhile, NDC media director Emmanuel Malite says he will report Kambwili to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) for keeping over US$200,000 in his house.
On Saturday, Kambwili announced that NDC was no longer a member of the UPND Alliance.
Addressing the media after a central committee meeting, Kambwili also rubbished his expulsion, saying he could only be removed by the resolution of the national governing council with two-third majority.
He also said the central committee of NDC had resolved to suspend all the members that held the Friday’s press briefing to announce his expulsion.
Those he suspended include; Akafumba, NDC secretary general Bridget Atanga and Roan member of parliament Joseph Chishala.
But in an interview, Akafumba said Kambwili should take time to read and understand the party constitution.
He wondered where Kambwili, as an expelled president, got the power and the audacity to suspend a registered office holder.
“It’s quite saddening and unfortunate that Kambwili was a minister. He must take time to read and understand the party constitution. He was an interim, a provisional president awaiting election by the convention. For me and Ms Atanga we are registered at the Registrar of Society as office bearers. So where does an interim and expelled president get the power and the audacity to suspend a registered office holder? So to me he is chasing the wind. If he’s felt that what happened was wrong, he should have proceeded to court,” Akafumba said.
Akafumba maintained that NDC was a strong member of the UPND Alliance.
“As for the alliance, we know that all along what he wanted was to pull NDC away from the alliance. But the alliance is the people’s choice. What we did ourselves was to follow what the people want. The people of Zambia have suffered under the PF regime. And their salvation is the alliance. So he is telling us that people of Zambia should continue suffering because of himself alone? He has put himself above the people and we are saying no to that. Mr Kambwili does not own the party. NDC belongs to the people. NDC belongs to the general membership. So as far as we are concerned, the position that we took stands. I am saying so because when we went to see him, it’s him who told us ‘if you want to go the alliance way, go and count me out’. So we barely fulfilled his wish. We proceeded and we have counted him out,” he said.
“We are members of the alliance. It’s him who took us to the alliance. And we have been in an alliance now for the last three years, he can’t waste our time like that to come and turn round five months before elections. He wants us to allow him to do that? We are not his children? Yes, if he is not [a member of the alliance], he is not, himself alone. But as for the party NDC, its remains a strong member of the alliance and it will be so. We are in the alliance, nobody is taking us out of the alliance. We know him is going to PF, let him go alone and leave us.”
Meanwhile, Akafumba said the purported central committee meeting which Kambwili held was illegal.
“He is an interim. Who elected him as president first of all? Why does he want to bring a lot of confusion in the party? So to all my members, to all the members who are purported to have been suspended, no, that suspension is null and void ab initio. And he must know that we have commenced an action against him which he is fully aware of because we served him the documents. The matter is in court. Because he has no regard for law and for the courts, he proceeds to make another illegality,” Akafumba said.
“You can’t have a central committee without the vice-president, chairman of the party, secretary general or without the deputy secretary general. No. It is illegal and we don’t recognise it. So all those who are purported to have been suspended by Kambwili should just ignore that. Because we have taken this matter to court we respect the courts, we will wait for the courts to make a decision. Let him meet us in court.”
And speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, Akafumba asked aspiring members of parliament and intending councillors to make their applications through the secretary general.
He added that, “We have heard stories that we have been bribed by president HH, I’m very sorry. Spare the man! We have not been paid, we are just thinking for the Zambian people.”
Meanwhile, Malite said he would report Kambwili to DEC so that the investigative wing can establish why he keeps huge sums of cash in his house.
US$160,000 cash belonging to Kambwili was stolen in his house in December last year, and various people are facing theft charges in court over the same.
Atanga, on the other hand, urged Kambwili to respect her saying she was a mother and senior woman in Zambia.
Edward Mumbi, the new ‘NDC vice-president’, charged that Kambwili, as a criminal by record and a convict, should know that he should have boundaries as he talks to decent citizens like them who have never been in court for any criminal proceeding.
Mumbi also said there has been no letter written to Kambwili expelling him from the party, but that he was only removed as NDC interim leader.