MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu has warned of stern action against provincial chairpersons that are rejecting the National Executive Committee (NEC)’s decision to adopt former President Rupiah Banda as party candidate for the presidential election slated for January 20 next year.
Mr Lungu said it is absurd for some party members, especially provincial chairpersons, to be issuing statements that have no blessing from NEC, which is the supreme organ of the party.
He said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that disciplinary action will soon be taken against such erring party members.
“NEC made a good and bold decision to adopt the former head of state Rupiah Banda, who has since been written to.
“There are no disputes over the adoption of Mr Banda and all party members, especially provincial chairpersons, are therefore instructed to desist from commenting on this landmark decision taken by NEC,” Mr Lungu said.
He said there is no need for party members to start fighting over the adoption of Mr Banda because the step NEC took is aimed at ensuring the party bounces back to power next year.
Mr Lungu explained that Dr Nevers Mumba will still remain party president and that his suspension does not mean that he seizes to be a party member.
“He abrogated the party constitution by making unilateral decisions without consulting NEC,” he said.
Mr Lungu explained that the MMD constitution does not provide for any link between party presidency and presidential candidate.
He said the MMD constitution, however, gives powers to the NEC to select any member to become the party’s candidate for any national election.
Mr Lungu said this power is on the other hand exercised only in between party conventions.
“This is the same power that was exercised in 2001 when NEC chose late President Levy Mwanawasa as the presidential candidate and in 2008 when NEC again chose former President Rupiah Banda as presidential candidate following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa,” he said.
Zambia Daily Mail