MMD finally at crossroads

Judge Kondolo has put in legal language a very common sense position that the leaders in the MMD should have apprehended, without going to court.

Leadership in a political party is not personal-to-holder; it is a trust that can be withdrawn by the electorate at any time.

In South Africa President Thabo Mbeki was recalled long before his time and now bells are tolling for President Jacob Zuma who is still holding on because he has the support of the party  mainly at grassroots level.

The case with the MMD is comparable and different in many respects.

  Firstly the argument against an MMD convention has never been convincing or compelling because the party has history of holding regular conventions. The myth that conventions are held every five years remains a myth that should remain as such. Party history reveals that conventions were always held for political exigency than regularity.

Therefore the convention cycle myth being brandished by both the Felix Mutati and Nevers Mumba groups is illusory; it may exist dejure but has no basis defacto.

More importantly where there is contestation of power the ultimate test is the ballot box.

What Judge Kondolo has done is to remove the veil of “legal licence “to introduce political bare knuckles. The current political reality demands decisiveness and a very clear focus.

There is neither the time nor luxury to pursue narrow personal interests in the run up to the August Presidential and general elections, given the prevailing circumstances in which two political contending groups seem totally dominant leaving very little room for diversity.

The MMD has always been a national party, embracing membership from all regions of the country. It is the only party that still has living structures and can boast of a visible membership and presence throughout the country.

However, on its own the party will be lucky to win a single sit anywhere because of the decline it has suffered following the squabbling and leadership crisis over the last few months.

We now hope that the two sides will go back to the drawing board and do what should have been done in the first place, namely sorting out the leadership issue.

The Judge in his order made it very clear that the issue of leadership was a matter which the members and not the court must resolve. That is why we hope that men of goodwill in both camps will find it within themselves to come together in spite of differences to serve the best interests of the party.

Not everything is lost. There is still room for the founding fathers to knock heads together and cajole contending parties into an amicable settlement that will serve the best interests of the party and the nation at large.

What is inevitable however is a convention. This must be held without fail so that leaders who emerge must have the full mandate to speak on behalf of the party. Those who lose out must accept the outcome and serve in whatever capacity they may be assigned if any.

What is not acceptable is the   current standoff which has estranged many loyal and faithful members who would have made an effort to ensure that the MMD gets a least one or two seats. This is now a very distant expectation given the erosion and haemorrhaging that the party has suffered. The best it can do is to retain identifiable membership that will serve as building blocks for the future.

Zambia needs a third force to stand in the breech and chasm created by the PF and UPND.

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