THE only way to save the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) from extinction is to go for a national convention within the next 30 days, its national chairman Kabinga Pande has said.
Mr Pande has nullified all the suspensions and expulsions declared by MMD president Nevers Mumba and has asked all the purported national executive committee members illegally appointed by its president to stop masquerading as NEC members with immediate effect.
He said the ‘‘suspended and expelled’’ NEC members were the bonafied elected leaders in the former ruling party and that Dr Mumba had no constitutional authority to suspend or expel any elected official of the opposition party.
Speaking at a media briefing at MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu’s residence which was also attended by 33 NEC members, Mr Pande said following the events that had seen the party split into three camps, it had become imperative that the MMD should go for the convention to choose its new leadership. The media briefing which was supposed to take place at Mika Hotel in Kabulonga was stopped by the police because the law enforcement officers demanded for a permit. This is the first time that the police have demanded for a police permit from a political organization intending to hold a press conference and the MMD secretariat was surrounded by the police.
Efforts to get a comment from Raphael Nakachinda, the new spokesperson in Dr Mumba’s new NEC failed as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Mr Pande accused Dr Mumba of having caused the differences in the party and advised him that the best way to resolve the continued quarrels was to go to the convention and ask for a new mandate from the party members.
“We had a NEC meeting which was attended by 33 of the 52 NEC members and we have resolved that following what is going on in the MMD, the only survival for our party is the convention. If the group appointed by Dr Mumba and masquerading as NEC members thinks it can continue holding the offices given by Dr Mumba, they are breaking the law. Dr Mumba has caused all the problems the MMD is going through and if he believes he is popular, let us go to the people and ask for a new mandate from the people. We hold a convention every five years and it is normally before the general elections. So as the legitimate chairman of the MMD, I have called for the convention because we want to make the MMD strong and ready for the 2016 general elections,” Mr Pande said.