—The MMD splinter group opposed to party president Nevers Mumba has renewed calls for its embattled party leader to vacate office following the dismal electoral performance in the just by elections.
But embattled MMD president Dr. Nevers Mumba has maintained that views expressed by expelled Mafinga MMD Member of Parliament Catherine Namugala’s splinter group does not represent the views of the party.
And the group has joined President Michael Sata, the church and other stakeholders in condemning the political violence that characterised the deferred Livingstone Central parliamentary by elections in which one life was lost.
And the group calling itself the MMD True Blue ( MTB ) has accused Dr. Mumba of requesting Members of Parliament to increase their contributions to KR 3 500 aimed at supporting his flamboyant lifestyle at the expense of reorganise the party.
MTB member Catherine Namugala says the dismal performance of the party in the just ended Mpongwe parliamentary and other local government elections is enough indictment of Dr. Mumba’s poor leadership.
Speaking at the Group’s Secretariat in Lusaka, today , Ms. Namugala charged the dismal performance is due to Dr. Mumba’s uninspiring and visionless leadership.
She expressed surprise at the rate the party was sinking since Dr. Mumba took the mantle from former president Rupiah Banda after being defeated by President Michael Sata during the 2011 tripartite elections.
Ms. Namugala, who is also MMD Mafinga Member of Parliament, charged at that when Dr. Mumba took office, the party had 55 parliamentarians but the number has reduced drastically to less than 40 and quickly losing membership to the PF.
She asked other NEC members to prevail on Dr. Mumba’s stubbornness and call for a national convention in order to usher a focussed leadership that can mobilise members to prevent the party in going into political oblivion.
It was at the same occasion that scores of former MMD members who had defected to the United Party for National Development (UPND) at the height of the leadership wrangles that engulfed the former ruling party joined the MTB.
And speaking at the same function, another member, Bernard Mpundu advised Dr. Michael Kaingu who is vice president in the Nevers Mumba’s faction to distinguish between academic qualifications and politics.
Mr. Mpunda attributed the current divisions in the party to Dr. Kaingu and other NEC members’ failure to advise Dr. Mumba on the party’s constitution correctly.
He alleged that the failure to provide guidance to Dr. Mumba has led to the numerous creations of positions in the party and illegality in the appointments of members to elective positions.
Meanwhile, the group accused Dr. Mumba of requesting Members of Parliament to increase their contributions aimed at supporting his flamboyant lifestyle at the expense of reorganise the party.
Ms. Namugala further accused Dr. Mumba of having a lavish lifestyle hence asking MPs to increase their contributions to the party so that he can sustain his lifestyle.
She added that Dr. Mumba’s behaviour has shown that he is uncaring and does not have the interests of the party at heart because most of the MPs are fighting electoral petitions which are costly.
Ms. Namugala said her group is calling for a national convention to elect new office bearers with a fresh mandate to mobilise the party to its former status.
But embattled MMD president Dr. Nevers Mumba says that views expressed by expelled Mafinga MMD Member of Parliament Catherine Namugala’s splinter group does not represent the views of the party.
And MMD Communications Director in the Office of the party president and National Executive Committee (NEC) member, Muhabi Lungu has challenged Ms. Namugala to officially join the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) instead of sowing seeds of discords within the party.
Reacting to scathing attacks from Ms. Namugala after suffering another humiliation electoral defeat in the Mpongwe parliamentary and other Local Government by elections, Dr. Mumba who was reluctant to respond to the attacks said it was wrong for journalists call the group a faction because they are not part of the MMD.
Dr. Mumba told ZANIS in an interview this evening that Ms. Namugala’s group was expelled from the party hence its views does not represent that of the party before referring the reporter to get a comment from newly appointed Communications Director in the Office of the party president, Muhabi Lungu.
And when contacted for a comment, MMD Communications Director in the Office of the party president and National Executive Committee (NEC) member, Muhabi Lungu said the party is focused on reorganizing its self.
Mr. Lungu who is also immediate losing aspiring MMD Lusaka Central parliamentary candidate, dismissed assertions that the former ruling party was heading for political oblivion under Dr. Mumba’s leadership.
He justified the defections of some MMD parliamentarians and other members to the ruling PF saying it was difficult to gain back public confidence premised on the electoral pledges that the PF made to the voters.
Mr. Lungu explained that it was normal for a defeated ruling party to lose members to the PF following the ruling party’s vigorous campaign against the party prior to the elections.
He however pointed out that Dr. Mumba’s faction is working tirelessly in order to restore public confidence so that it can challenge the ruling party in future elections.
And on calls from the splinter group to hold a national convention, Mr. Lungu said the party has hold two national conventions within three years that ushered in the Rupiah Banda and later Dr. Mumba in office.
He added that the party would not succumb to the group’s demand and accused Ms. Namugala’s group of fighting Dr. Mumba and the MMD on behalf of the ruling PF party.