SPORTS Minister Vincent Mwale is shocked that MMD president Nevers Mumba has targeted him for expulsion from the former ruling party for having been appointed vice campaign manager in the Malambo parliamentary by-election by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
Mr Mwale said it was difficult for him to comment on Dr Mumba’s expulsion threats because he had not received formal communication from the MMD president directing him to drop his position as vice campaign manager for the PF in the Malambo parliamentary by-election.
He said he was shocked by the expulsion threats because he was not the only MMD minister helping the PF to campaign in the three by-elections in Malambo, Mulobezi and Petauke constituencies.
Mr Mwale told the Daily Nation that it was the official position of the MMD that it was not going to participate in the three parliamentary by-elections because it was going to support the PF and wondered why Dr Mumba was threatening him with expulsion.
He said the MMD through its spokesperson Raphael Nakacinda had announced that it was going to back the PF and wondered how it had become a crime for the ruling party to appoint him as a campaign manager in the Malambo by-election.
Mr Mwale said in Mulobezi constituency, the PF had also appointed deputy Minister of Community Development Josephine Limata who was the MMD member of Parliament while Education Minister Michael Kaingu was also campaigning for the ruling party in the same area.
He said Forrie Tembo, another MMD MP was equally helping the PF with its campaigns in Mambwe and that he had checked with the three MMD parliamentarians if they had been cautioned by Dr Mumba and none had been threatened with expulsion.
“I have not received any formal communication from Dr Mumba expressing his unhappiness about my appointment as campaign manager for the PF in Malambo parliamentary by-election. But I do not want to make a comment on this matter until I hear from the president because I am not the only MMD minister helping the PF to campaign. In fact, the MMD through Mr Nakacinda announced that it was not going to participate in the three by-elections because it was going to support the PF and I am wondering why it has become a crime for me to help the PF campaign.
In Mulobezi, we have Josephine Limata and Michael Kaingu campaigning and we also have Forrie Tembo in Mambwe and I am shocked that I have been singled out and targeted for expulsion,” Mr Mwale said.
He said it was untrue that Dr Mumba had called him to direct that he should drop his position as campaign manager stating that it was not fair for the MMD president to single him out when there were other MMD MPs who were involved in campaigning for the PF.
Last week, Dr Mumba threatened that he was going to expel Mr Mwale if he was not going to renounce his position as campaign manager for the PF in the Malambo parliamentary by-election.
Dr Mumba said Mr Mwale was a genuine member and MP for the MMD and was therefore not expected to be the campaign manager for the PF because his loyalty was supposed to be with the former ruling party.
But when contacted yesterday, Dr Mumba said he was not going to continue talking about the MMD in-house issues in the press but that he would allow the national executive committee to determine the matter. Dr Mumba said he was not going to make a decision on Mr Mwale because the Sports Minister had not communicated to him about the role he was playing in the PF campaigns.
He said all the MMD MPs were ministers to serve Government and not the party because there was no agreement between the ruling party and the MMD of a working alliance.
“The challenge our MPs serving in the PF Government is that they are there to serve Government and not the political party. There is no alliance between the MMD and the PF for the ministers to be engaged in the campaigns of the PF.
I am not able to make a decision on Mr Mwale but my responsibility will be to take the matter to NEC to determine,” Dr Mumba said.