Newly elected Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Spokesperson Mr Raphael Nakacinda says that challenges experienced in the party just prior to the recent Presidential By-Election have left the MMD drastically weakened and deeply divided. The party faced the election with three factions; those supporting former President Rupiah Banda, those for the United Party for National Development (UPND) and those that remained loyal to MMD.
Speaking during a two-hour interview on Joy FM recently, Mr Nakacinda explained that the party has acted decisively after receiving many submissions from angry party members in the provincial, district and constituency structures all across the country. The party structures have been calling for the expulsion of the “bad-eggs” from the MMD leadership and to start afresh.
He said the party had reached rock-bottom and is now reorganizing itself and rising from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix, into a strong party with a new focused National Executive Committee (NEC) made up of loyal leadership committed to the re-building process.
Mr. Nakacinda recounted the events that led to the long-standing squabbles in the party and culminated in its dismal performance in the election. He discussed the state of MMD over the last 3 years since Dr Nevers Mumba took over the party presidency.
He said that Dr Mumba has been fought and resisted by some of the “old-guard” who lost the MMD presidential contest in 2012 to him such as Kabinga Pande, Felix Mutati, Kapembwa Simbao and Situmbeko Musokotwane. These leaders, some of whom were ministers in the previous regime, have been in the forefront of brewing confusion by supporting and campaigning for other political parties using their own resources.
He further said Dr. Mumba had also been in damaging fights with other senior leaders such as Major Richard Kachingwe who attempted to unilaterally remove him from the party presidency. Mr. Nakacinda said that Dr. Mumba has also fought many vicious external battles with the Patriotic Front (PF) which almost led to the de-registration of the MMD.
The internal rebellions were a well-orchestrated strategy of sabotage and destabilization through deliberate inaction by some key MMD leaders. This led to a deafening chorus from the rebels declaring that MMD was dead and Dr. Mumba was a failure who should be replaced. The strategy was planned for full explosion in 2016 to overthrow Dr. Mumba before the General Election, but the sudden demise of President Michael Sata derailed this evil scheme and their real motives were exposed for all Zambians to see the hypocrites that they really are.
Mr. Nakacinda said the vast majority of the old guard had become accustomed to luxurious living as ministers and had never experienced the hard life of being in opposition after MMD lost power in 2011. They are only interested in the fastest way to get back to their previous lives. They are prepared to abandon any morals and principles in their quest to jump on any train that would quickly get them back to that lifestyle.
Mr. Nakacinda said this is the cause of the drama the people of Zambia witnessed during the recent campaign period. He said that in sharp contrast to the experiences of the old guard, Dr. Mumba began his political career as a humble opposition party leader who committed himself to hard work in order to make a difference.
Mr. Nakacinda pointed out that former MMD Chairman Mr. Pande was the most disappointing of the lot, as he demonstrated a heart-breaking spineless inability to help effectively guide the party through its most trying period since inception in 1990. He said Mr. Pande had the audacity of making one of the most shocking statements, that his constituency (Kasempa) and that of Mr. Elijah Muchima (Mwililunga) were “No-Go” areas for the MMD and PF.
Mr. Nakacinda said from a moral standpoint, Mr. Pande should have resigned from the MMD before the campaigns commenced so as to dedicate himself to the UPND. It is extremely immoral for him to continue declaring himself Chairman of the MMD and calling for the removal of Dr. Mumba. Mr. Nakacinda said the party was dismayed to see Mr. Pande supporting the Rupiah Banda faction at one time, only to swing thoughtlessly to supporting the UPND soon after that with no regard to the damage and confusion he was causing the MMD.
Mr. Nakacinda explained that perhaps the major failure of Dr. Mumba was his naïvety in believing that he was dealing with genuine reasonable people and he overlooked calls from concerned party members countrywide to be swift in ridding the party of the old guard. It was feared that they did not mean well and would frustrate the party’s efforts to re-organize as their allegiances were elsewhere. Dr. Mumba decided to be fair to the old guard and give them the benefit of doubt but they betrayed him.
Going forward, Mr. Nakacinda said the party is focused and has embarked on re-organization and re-building because it has been severely weakened after the cannibalization of its structures by the PF and UPND.
“The RB faction’s strategy was to sell the MMD to the PF and the Mutati faction’s strategy was to sell the MMD to UPND and we say ‘No’ to both and MMD will rise again. We believe that the people of Zambia still believe in the MMD which brought freedom of the press, that liberalized the economy that Zambians are enjoying now and we believe many of them still believe in the MMD and that it should not die but should rise again,” said Mr. Nakacinda.
He said the days of people who join politics for selfish ends is gone and this is the time for leaders of moral conscience and selfless service to the people and the MMD is the party of choice that will lead the Zambian people to the future that they aspire for.