By Nation Reporter
RECONCILIATION talks between MMD leader Nevers Mumba and former president Rupiah Banda should be extended to the Felix Mutati faction if the problems in the party are to be resolved, the Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has charged.
SACCORD executive director Borniface Chembe said while the talks between Mr. Banda and Dr. Nevers Mumba were critical in bringing peace among members of the MMD, there was need for the church who were the initiators to consider courting the Mutati faction.
Mr. Chembe said Zambians were eagerly waiting to have a united MMD before this year’s election but warned total that unity will not be attained if the Mutati faction was left out in the talks as they were a key element to end the wrangles that had rocked the former ruling party.
He commended the church for taking a leading role in promoting peace among political parties as dialogue was the only way that would bring peace among political players but insisted that leaving out one faction in the on-going reconciliation talks will make it difficult for the party to be united.
He said being the mother of democracy in Zambia, the MMD needed to put its house in order to overcome its challenges and SACCORD did not expect the former ruling party to go into political oblivion as it had played a pivotal role in the introduction of multi-partyism in in the country.
“The on-going talks between Dr. Mumba and Mr. Banda are very healthy. All the challenges that MMD is facing today can only be overcome through dialogue and not fighting and finger-pointing among members. The church should be commended for this important role it is playing as mediators in these talks and it is our hope to see the two leaders embracing each other.
“However, there is need for the reconciliation talks to be extended to the Mutati faction so that the leadership problems that the party is facing today can be ironed out once and for all before the elections.
‘‘We would like to see a united MMD participating in this year’s election because Zambians hold this party so dearly. This is the party that brought about multi-partyism which we are enjoying today and we would be glad to see MMD bounce back into leadership if people believe they have what it takes to govern this country again,” Mr. Chembe said.
He said he had faith that the wrangles that have engulfed the party could be resolved through round table dialogue.
The MMD has been plunged into chaos wit Dr. Mumba maintaining that there will be no convention this year because the party’s national executive committee agreed that it would only be held next year.
The Mutati group on the other hand has set 20th to 22nd May, 2016, as the dates for the convention at which a new executive would be chosen after the tenure of office of Dr. Mumba allegedly expired last month.