Kabwe deputy mayor MacDonald Mwamba has said it is former president Rupiah Banda’s democratic right to support PF presidential candidate Edgar Lungu, but has counselled his fellow councillors to rally behind the MMD official candidate Nevers Mumba in the election next week.
Mr Mwamba, who is Luansase MMD ward councillor, said it was regrettable that Mr. Banda, after being stopped by the courts, has chosen to abandon a political party that bestowed the honour of him being a republican president.
“MMD is the party which gave Mr. Banda a platform to occupy the highest office in this country and though we feel betrayed that he chose to support a different political party, it is not our duty to castigate or judge him but would rather leave that to posterity because he is exercising his democratic right,” he said.
Mr. Mwamba told the Daily Nation that during a meeting called for all the seven MMD councillors in the Kabwe Municipal Council last week, he counselled his colleagues to support Dr. Mumba as a matter of principle and political morality.
“There can only be one national programme and manifesto which is that of the government in power, so we are implementing that one but that does not mean we have defected to the ruling party. I request that my colleagues who would want to cross over to other parties do so at the end of their tenure to avoid unnecessary by elections; it is just a sign of political morality,” he said. Mr. Mwamba was also hopeful that the leadership and organisational problems facing the MMD would end after a national convention which was expected at the end of this year.
The MMD national executive committee earlier nominated Mr. Banda as its presidential candidate but party president Dr. Nevers Mumba sought the intervention of the court to order that he (Dr. Mumba) was the candidate.
After the court order to bar him, Mr. Banda endorsed PF candidate Mr. Lungu and has been on his campaign entourage together with other MMD MPs while others have opted to support UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema.