FORMER President Rupiah Banda says dialogue and reconciliation must be allowed to prevail whenever a conflict has arisen.
But MMD president Nevers Mumba’s special advisor Raphael Nakachinda says Mr Banda’s camp is not sincere in its efforts to reconcile with Dr Mumba’s group.
The International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution yesterday attempted to hold a reconciliatory meeting between Mr Banda and Dr Mumba, which the latter shunned.
Speaking at a reconciliatory meeting held at Mika Hotel in Kabulonga yesterday, Mr Banda said all efforts should be made to achieve peace because this is important for Zambia.
“We came here to inform the nation on the efforts being made to reconcile with Dr Mumba but the president is not here. Our view is to find lasting solutions to our problems since we cannot have democracy. If there are wrangles in political parties, there should be debates,” he said.
But in a telephone interview from Kitwe, Mr Nakachinda said Dr Mumba was not aware about the reconciliation meeting with Mr Banda
“Maybe RB is reconciling with other people in MMD, we don’t know anything about the meeting. Right now we are holding a rally in Kitwe, so I don’t understand what that meeting is all about but I think the organisers are bogus or they have taken sides with Mr Banda since they did not invite us and they want to create an impression that Dr Mumba does not want reconciliation,” he said.
But International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution president Tresford Chomba insisted that invitations were sent to both parties.
“Dr Mumba confirmed that he would attend or send a representative, so we are surprised that he is nowhere to be seen,” he said.
And ALEX NJOVU reports from Kitwe that Dr Mumba has assured Mr Banda that the MMD is in safe hands under his leadership and that he has enough experience to run the affairs of the country.
Addressing a rally at Chibote grounds in Kitwe’s Chimwemwe township yesterday, Dr Mumba, who referred to Mr Banda as his elder brother, said the former president should not worry about MMD because the opposition party is in safe hands.
Dr Mumba said the God who helped Mr Banda to govern the country will also give young people like him wisdom to rule.
“When President Banda was governing this country, I was learning silently. Do not be worried that we will make mistakes. Every president of MMD has a right to win or lose, it is his right to campaign because he is the president of the party, he said.
He urged Zambians to vote for him.
“God wants to raise his own leaders to rule Zambia, leaders that fear God. I want to tell the people that MMD is not finished. How can MMD be finished when I am not yet the president of Zambia?” Dr Mumba said.
He said there is no confusion in MMD and that the party is united.
And ZNBC TV reported yesterday that FDD leader Edith Nawakwi says Zambians are missing out for not having a woman president.
Addressing a rally at Changanamai grounds in Kitwe yesterday, Ms Nawakwi said time was now for people to vote for credible leaders that would deliver economic development.
And United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema says his party would provide cheap loans for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and marketeers if he wins the January 20 presidential election.
Speaking in Mkushi yesterday, Mr Hichilema said UPND would also introduce free education from grade one to grade 12.