By Nation Reporter
‘‘MMD is not a one-man show. The national executive committee (NEC) composition, style and structure has not changed since the time of Dr Frederick Chiluba and some members left the party due to their own fears,’’ says MMD acting spokesperson Reuben Nsambo.
Reverend Nsambo in an interview yesterday disputed assertions by veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga in the Daily Nation that the current MMD national executive committee members appointed by Dr Mumba were stooges.
Rev Nsambo said that the party constitution allowed the president to appoint 12 NEC members and that has been the practise even during the time Mr Mwaanga was party national secretary.
He said that it was not correct to tag Dr Mumba’s management style as a one-man show when he had endeavoured to keep the party afloat during a difficult time and that some members left the party because they could no longer enjoy the privileges that come with being in government.
“MMD is still anchored on democracy; that has not changed. From an outsider it looks like Dr Mumba is single-handedly running the show but that is not the case. The party constitution allows him to appoint 12 NEC members; that has been the practice,” he said.
He said that even NEC members chosen by the party president sometimes overruled him as his vote was only meant to break a tie.
Rev Nsambo said that Dr Mumba was a brave man who took leadership under difficult times when very few people rose to the occasion, citing the incident when the party was threatened with deregistration and 65 of its parliamentary seats were petitioned in court.
“Dr Mumba is a brave man; at a time when nobody dared confront the late President Michael Sata he stood up to him to stop the petitions and asked him: ‘‘How many MP seats do you want’’? He paid at that time K400 million from his own pocket to see to it that the party was not deregistered; let anyone dispute that fact. The perception that Mr Mwaanga is trying to create is not correct,” he said.
He said that that the party has not diverted from its composition, structure and style of NEC from the time of Dr Chiluba, president Levy Mwanawasa, president Rupiah Banda and now Dr Mumba.