MMD president Nevers Mumba says he is the MMD’s presidential candidate in the forthcoming by-election by virtue of him being party president and not former President Rupiah Banda.
Dr. Mumba says the MMD constitution provides that the party president, for as long as he is sitting in the mandate of his years, is not only party leader but also the candidate for any of such a national Presidential election that comes within this period.
He has told a media briefing in Lusaka today that if there is anyone who wishes to challenge this provision of the party constitution such person can go to court to get verification through a judicial review.
Dr. Mumba says he was not elected MMD president to warm the seat for another person as some people have insinuated that he is puppet who was paid to keep the seat.
He says contrary to earlier media reports, former President Rupiah Banda was not adopted as the MMD’s presidential candidate by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Dr Mumba states that it is not for him to explain whether or not the precedent that was set after President Levy Mwanawasa died and the NEC met to elect the ruling party’s presidential candidate can be used in the present situation that the MMD is in.
He says what happened when Mr. Banda was unanimously nominated by the party’s NEC to be the former ruling party’s presidential candidate is different from the current situation.
And Dr. Mumba has sounded a warning to any members that may wanted to mess around with party structures during the campaigns for the by-election in which he is standing as MMD presidential candidate.
Dr. Mumba who has since directed the closure of the party secretariat for a few days in order for the MMD to reorganizes itself, has warned that he will not take kindly any member found destabilizing party structures.
He has also disclosed that because of the infancy of the Opposition Alliance, to which his party is a member, there is no time for the Alliance to constitute itself in a way that can result in a united front in terms of approaching the forthcoming by-election except through individual political parties.
Meanwhile the opposition leader has promised to recognize the Bemba paramount chief Chitimukulu almost immediately once his party forms government.