MMD power struggle deepens


IN-FIGHTING in the MMD has deepened with the Copperbelt provincial executive committee defying its president Nevers Mumba by backing Lunte member of Parliament (MP) Felix Mutati for the presidency at next year’s party convention.
Provincial secretary Obby Mwansa said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that Mr Mutati has the required credentials to salvage the former ruling party from extinction.
Mr Mutati lost to Dr Mumba in the 2012 party elections after the resignation of the then party president and former republican President Rupiah Banda.
He has declared his intentions to stand for MMD presidency at next year’s party convention ahead of the general elections to be held in the same year.
But his intentions have drawn a warning from Dr Mumba, who has said disciplinary action will be taken against people causing confusion by focusing on ascending to the presidency instead of mobilising members.
Mr Mwansa said Mr Mutati had done nothing wrong by aspiring to the party’s top position.
“Mr Mutati has a democratic right to contest for presidency at our party convention next year. He has been around in the party for a long time,” he said.
And the party’s provincial chairperson Moses Mumba has advised Dr Mumba to ensure the party convention is held in April next year when his mandate comes to an end.
Mr Mwansa said in a statement released in Kitwe that it is a constitutional requirement for the former ruling party to hold a convention in April next year.
He said Dr Mumba should seek a fresh mandate from party members if he wants to continue being at the helm of the former ruling party.
Mr Mwansa said the current national executive committee was elected on April 7, 2011, and that its tenure will have expired after April 7, 2016.
But Dr Mumba has insisted that his mandate will come to an end in 2017, having been elected in 2012 to replace former President Banda.