THE Nevers Mumba camp has been accused of intimidating MMD members and offering bribes to provincial leaders so that they distance themselves from calls for the party to hold an extraordinary convention to elect new leaders, party spokesperson Dora Siliya has charged.
Ms Siliya said provincial leaders had indicated that they were supporting calls to hold the extraordinary convention and that Dr Mumba should not force himself on the party against the will of the members.
She said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Dr Mumba should bow to calls for the convention as MMD was not about an individual.
She said the members who were guided by the party constitution had the right to call for fresh elections.
“Once the members feel that the NEC (National Executive Committee) has failed them, the party constitution gives them powers to call for a convention.
“The people who crafted the constitution were very clever and there is no way Dr Mumba can say no to the demands of the members,” she said.
She said the calls for the convention were justified because like in the past, members had constitutionally protested against leaders such as the late Frederick Chiluba’s bid to run for a third term in office.
Ms Siliya said this time around the members were demonstrating in a similar fashion against Dr Mumba in that he was not a favourable person to lead the former ruling party in the 2016 general elections.
“We have received overwhelming support on this stance. Additionally, the leaders in the provinces are informing us that they are being ordered to travel to Lusaka and get paid to distance themselves from the convention calls, but they have refused because they want fresh leadership in the NEC,” she said.
But MMD Die Hard youth leader, Bowman Lusambo said Dr Mumba had the mandate to lead the party until 2016.
Mr Lusambo said Ms Siliya and her colleagues were ‘lying’ to the MMD membership by portraying that the party was in disarray.
He said Dr Mumba was not intimidating or bribing members because he did not need to do so since the party was still united.
“Those people are liars. Dr Mumba is in high spirits and he has never engaged anyone or bribed anyone over this matter. This is a non-issue.
“They are just making false claims alleging that the MMD is dying a slow and painful death, which is not true. Dr Mumba is leading the party very well and has the support from members,” Mr Lusambo said.
Times of Zambia