LUNTE MMD Member of Parliament Felix Mutati says the solution to the leadership squabbles that the party is going through was a national convention at which a legitimate structure would be put in place to steer the party to this year’s election.
Addressing North Western provincial and district executive leaders in Solwezi on Wednesday, Mr. Mutati said the MMD was not a church where the priest had a final say in matters that bordered on its leadership, adding that there was no way those who thought they were popular could chicken out at the mention of a convention.
He said he was a victim of individuals in the party who did not want members to go for a convention just like North-Western provincial chairperson Danny Mikosa.
‘‘Two weeks ago they applied for an injunction to stop Mutati from meeting members of MMD. They said if I have to come here, I have to go and kneel down before the high priest and say ‘dear priest, I seek permission to see my chairman’ and, depending on how the priest has woken up that day, he will either say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
“Today, he (Mr. Mikosa) is being threatened with expulsion but it will not matter because we shall reinstate him when we go to the convention. If you are popular, why should you be scared of elections? After all, when we had the last elections I lost and so, maybe I can lose again but at the end of the day, you need to have a legitimate person who should lead you,” Mr. Mutati said.
He said the MMD would proceed with preparations for a national convention because that was what the party membership wanted and vowed that no amount of intimidation from those who abrogated the party constitution would stop it.
“Your chairman is being threatened with expulsion because he holds a different view; for representing you the people of Solwezi. But is that the MMD you want? Are you happy when your most talented members are being chased from the party? Do you want to create a church?
‘‘Today, we are being asked: ‘come, kneel down and confess your sins, then we admit you to the party’. Did anyone force you to join MMD?
“The constitution says leaders can be elected, not appointed. You can’t have the whole NEC without any representation from the North-Western Province and the only reason for that is because people in NEC are now appointed, not elected.
‘‘The leadership you should now demand for is that which listens to its members, that support the people because it is you who have the power,” he said.
The power struggle in the MMD has intensified with Dr. Mumba’s group saying the convention was a non-starter until 2017 and has warned the Mutati faction not to use the name of the party should it decide to go for a convention.
The Mutati faction on the other hand has set 20th to 22nd May, 2016 as dates for the convention in accordance with the constitution since the party did not have any structures after the Dr. Mumba-led executive’s tenure of office allegedly expired in the first week of this month.