THERE was confusion in the MMD camp when the party’s aspirant for the Petauke Central seat Jacob Mwanza was yesterday blocked and turned away from filing his nomination papers on instructions from national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima.
And MMD president Nevers Mumba has said the party will not participate in any election until the 2016 general elections.
The MMD decided to withdraw from the June 30 by-elections despite earlier issuing aspiring candidates with certificates of adoption.
Mr Mwanza, who arrived at Petauke Civic Centre at about 11:00 hours yesterday, was shocked to learn that there was a letter addressed to the Electoral Commission of Zambia by Mr Mbulakulima stating that MMD was not taking part in the June 30 elections.
“The MMD has decided not to participate in all the parliamentary and local government by-elections scheduled on June 30. The purpose of this letter is to officially request your office to advise returning officers in all affected constituencies and wards not to accept any nomination papers from our candidates and the adoption certificates which were issued to them,” the letter dated May 28, 2015 reads in part.
A shocked and angry Mr Mwanza displayed a certificate of adoption, dated May 27, 2015 and signed by Mr Mbulakulima. He said the turn of events was “frustrating” and an assault on democracy.
“This matter was resolved in Lusaka and I was given the adoption certificate. We agreed to go ahead with the nominations, but we are shocked at what we have found,” Mr Mwanza said.
And Dr Mumba said the MMD will not take part in by-elections because it was shaken after the “betrayal” by some senior party members, reports LINDA NYONDO in Lusaka.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Mumba said the former ruling party is channelling all its resources towards party mobilisation.
“No-one should underestimate the ‘tornado’ that our party had experienced as a result of our friends. We have decided to spend our money on building the MMD,” he said.
Dr Mumba said MMD executive members will embark on a countrywide recruitment exercise and mobilise party members in readiness for the 2016 general elections.
He said the leadership needs to rebuild the party hence the need for party members to understand the decision not to take part in any elections before the 2016 elections.
“When we experienced intrusion, Eastern Province was the most hit of all the affected provinces.
“Some of our members want us to participate, but we should provide leadership and let them understand that the party has to be strengthened,” Dr Mumba said.
He said that the MMD is going through a transition period and unpatriotic members are likely to leave the party.
Dr Mumba said it is normal for a party that has experienced a turbulent phase, like the MMD has, to lose members, but that the exodus of members will not deter them from being active.
He said the MMD is the only party that has been holding conventions since its inception.