IT IS encouraging that the MMD is making efforts to reconcile party members ahead of the August 11 general elections.
We know it is not easy for those in authority to reverse their decisions but at least the leadership of the MMD has given a 14-day period for reconciliation.
It is our feeling that MMD members in bad standing with the former ruling party will take advantage of the olive branch extended to them so that an amicable solution can be found to the challenges facing the party.
We take this position because it is a well-known fact that all is not well in the MMD. If anything it takes two to tango.
The former ruling party appears divided into three groups.
There are those who believe in the status quo and do not want to entertain any divergent views. Those are Dr Nevers Mumba’s supporters.
Then there are those members on suspension who are pushing for leadership change. These are active in field. They have rejected the label of being UPND sympathizers by referring to a previous agreement sanctioned by Dr. Mumba to work with the UPND.
Then there are the many members who appear clueless and many Zambians who would want to see a united MMD to develop the third force that stands between the PF and UPND to render sanity and credibility in the political sphere.
With less than five months before the general elections, it is clear that in its present form the MMD will collapse and never to rise again.
This will be a very sad ending for which fought for and brought multi-party democracy.
The reason for this is simple. Membership sentiment and sympathy is dissipating because there is absolutely no benefit in remaining is a party that will lose and lose badly it will.
The real question boils down to leadership of the party which must be resolved once and for all.
In a democracy issues of popularity are resolved at the ballot box and not in the statutes of constitutions.
President Nevers Mumba must grasp the nettle and seek a solution that may ultimately consign him to the lower ranks of the party for the benefit of the party and the nation.
We are gratified that Dr. Mumba has continued to assure the nation of his popularity in the party therefore not overly concerned with losing to a vote.
With time running out we would suggest a non-conditional meeting of all interested and relevant actors in the party, under the aegis of a neutral and mutually acceptable umpire such as the church, or indeed registrar of societies, with the support of founding fathers to resolve issues.
It will be a very sad legacy if the MMD is to die in the hands of Dr. Mumba.
There should also be no preconditions to the meeting but open hearts to achieve the desired results.
But even as we offer advice, the MMD should be alive to the fact that the clock is ticking.
MMD has very few ‘‘hours’’ on the clock for them to put their act together and prepare for the council, mayor, parliamentary and Presidential elections.
Failure for MMD members to come up with amicable solutions to the party’s internal wrangles will have devastating consequences on the results of the August 11 general elections.
This will be sad for a party which made history riding on the popular ideology of multi-partism.
MMD members should seize the opportunity offered by the moment.