Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Spokesperson Mr. Raphael Nakacinda has said the statement by United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema that he controls the Zambia intelligence services (popularly known as “OP”) is extremely reckless and irresponsible. Speaking on “The Interview” programme on Pan African radio on Thursday 25th February 2015, he said the remarks have the potential of causing instability and insecurity in the nation.
He said Mr Hichilema was inciting anarchy by splitting the loyalties of the Intelligence services and other security wings that are supposed to aid and be loyal to the sitting president. Mr. Nakacinda said the remarks are not befitting of one vying for the Republican presidency. He said if indeed Mr. Hichilema was the one controlling the intelligence system and receives the daily national intelligence briefs before President Edgar Lungu, he should keep that information to himself rather than alarm the nation.
He said the security wings of the nation are supposed to be answerable to the Head of State and no other person and the claim that some security officers are not loyal to the president but to Mr. Hichilema is extremely dangerous as it suggests Mr. Lungu is not in full control of the security apparatus of the nation.
When asked about developments in the MMD, Mr. Nakacinda said he is happy that progress has been made in bringing order to the party after the recent confusion that saw the party split into three factions just before the recent Presidential by-election. He said that most of the National Executive Committee (NEC) members and MPs who were facing disciplinary action have submitted themselves to a Disciplinary Committee headed by Dr. Peter Machungwa that was constituted by the NEC meeting of 31st January 2015. He said the committee has also played the role of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and among those that have already appeared before it are the MPs Michael Kaingu, Mtolo Phiri, Elijah Muchima and Isaac Banda.
He said even the former National Chairman Kabinga Pande recently made an effort to meet with MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba, who in turn referred him to the disciplinary committee. Some from among the twenty expelled members have already approached the MMD President and party leadership seeking to have their expulsions reconsidered.
Mr Nakacinda said the people appearing before the committee have expressed great pain at the dismal performance of the MMD in the presidential election held on 20th January 2015. He said the committee is uncovering a lot of important information about what really happened to the party owing to the confusion caused by the re-entry of former President Rupiah Banda and the uncertainty over the talks of a possible alliance with UPND.
“I must commend Honorable Kaingu. As a mark of leadership and commitment to his party, he appeared before the Disciplinary committee to answer charges over his support and participation in the campaigns on the platform of another political party. Out of his submissions recommendations will be made to the National Executive Committee,” he said.
Mr. Nakacinda further said insinuations that MMD had compromised itself by cooperating with the PF Government were incorrect because President Lungu has been respectful to MMD in the way he consulted Dr. Mumba before appointing Hon. Michael Kaingu and Vincent Mwale as ministers. The two MPs contacted Dr. Mumba to seek his blessing before accepting their appointments.
Mr. Nakacinda said this is not new as MMD had previously tried to dialogue with the late President Michael Sata to offer the best MMD MPs to be ministers but he appointed different ones with impunity, ignoring the leadership of the party.
Asked to comment on the brutal murder of a UPND sympathizer by suspected PF cadres, he said the development is extremely unfortunate and political cadres should be educated not to view those that hold divergent views as enemies. He urged President Lungu to strongly condemn the killing and called upon the police to be professional and ensure that the culprits are brought to book, even if they belong to the ruling party.
Responding to a question on President Lungu’s remarks that those opposed to his leadership should leave the country, Mr. Nakacinda cautioned the President against being temperamental in handling issues affecting the people of Zambia. He said Mr. Lungu’s statement was unacceptable and advised him to develop a thick skin to help him better handle criticism as this is expected of a Republican President.