PEOPLE’S Party (PP) president Mike Mulongoti and National Revolution Party (NRP) president Cosmo Mumba were yesterday involved in a near punch-up at Mulungushi International Conference Centre during the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) meeting with political parties and civil society organisations.
And Dr. Mumba said he had given Mr. Mulongoti a 24-hour ultimatum to retract his statement and apologise or he will have to meet him in court for contempt.
Mr. Mulongoti accused Dr. Mumba of mobilising cadres with pangas to grab land from people in Lusaka West not long ago, adding that politicians needed to maintain high levels of integrity at all times if they were to add value to the country’s political dispensation.
This was after Dr. Mumba questioned why police had not done anything over veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga who allegedly issued an alarming statement about rigging in this year’s elections despite him and Bowman Lusambo lodging formal complaints.
Following Dr. Mumba’s comment, Mr. Mulongoti urged politicians to have moral integrity in the way they conducted themselves. “This is what I am saying that as leaders we need to have integrity at all times. We are discussing elections but here is Dr. Mumba, who is talking about Dr. Mwaanga who is not even part of us here.
‘‘Where is integrity? This is the same person who mobilised his cadres armed with pangas and other offensive weapons to grab land from people in Lusaka West,” Mr. Mulongoti said amid protests from Dr. Mumba that he was out of order.
This incensed Dr. Mumba who protested to ECZ public relations manager Chris Akufuna, who was acting as moderator for the session, for overruling his point of order, insisting that Mr. Mulongoti was out of order to talk about issues of land when the discussion was about elections.
“Mr. Chair, is he in order to talk about land? We are not talking about land here; we are talking about ECZ here and not land and moreover that issue is in court. He is committing contempt of court. I have raised a point of order and the chair is not doing anything. Is he (Mr. Mulongoti) talking under the influence of intoxicating liquids?” Dr. Mumba asked.
And as soon as Mr. Mulongoti sat down, Dr. Mumba stood and attempted to follow him but was restrained by his body guards before storming out of the meeting in protest.