Who will deliver the MMD to the UPND?
Honourable Felix Mutati must credit Zambians with some modicum of intelligence.
It is not true that the future of the MMD lies in a convention. A convention for the beleaguered Movement for Multi-Party Democracy is not such an urgent exercise outside the context of the August elections.
It is only relevant to the personal ambitions of those demanding it.
The UPND to which Hon Mutati has been associated has not held a convention for many years and yet no single member has been campaigning around the country for such an eventuality. Why should it be such an important exercise for the MMD now four months before elections?
We have heard murmurs within the UPND regarding the many years in which the party has failed to hold a convention contrary to the constitution but no member has gone around the country in the manner that Hon Mutati has gone around demanding for one, members have observed discipline, coerced or not.
Only last week the FDD which claims to be the most Democratic Party in Zambia agreed to postpone its own convention to December, long after the elections.
Surely Hon Mutati does not expect the membership to believe that a convention is the sole panacea to whatever ails the party. That is why there is serious apprehension of his conduct which seems determined to undermine, subvert and eventually kill the MMD in the form and shape it is presently operating.
The question is, to whose benefit?
The truth is that in whatever form the MMD emerges from the current quagmire it will not on its own accord and credentials mount any major challenge to the frontrunners. Depending in the mortal damage that will be inflicted, it might emerge as a very weak partner to bolster the chances in the 50+1 configuration.
The money earmarked for the convention, whatever the source, should be used to strengthen the MMD to make it relevant to the issues of the day.
Both the Mutati led and Mumba led MMD factions will serve the negative effect of eliminating the influence that a strong and coherent MMD would have played in the 2016 elections.
The Mutati faction has no time, let alone free hand, to mobilize nationally because the Mumba faction exists and enjoys some support. There is no doubt it will pose as a formidable challenge to any such manoeuvre.
At the same time the Mumba faction simply has to look at the 2015 election results as testimony to the fate that awaits the New MMD that goes into battle without the full support of the entire membership.
The question at the moment is: Why is Hon Mutati fighting for the presidency of the MMD? Is this the best time for change of leadership, if so what are the compelling reasons for such change, more so that we already know that the party has no chance of winning the elections? It has been so weakened by fluxion of time after the loss of power and the current infighting. These are factors ignored at the peril of the party.
The best that a strong and united MMD can do in the next elections is help one of the strong contenders gain power in 50+1 arrangement.
We believe that once united and of one voice the party will find it easier to engage former President Rupiah Banda and other leaders to chart a way forward towards the August election and thereafter the party can plan for a convention.
First things first.