Dr.Mumba calls for an end to internal struggles in MMD and a restructuring of the party
Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba has conceded defeat in the Mangango Parliamentary by-election and congratulated the ruling Patriotic Front for scooping the seat.
Speaking at press briefing Dr.Mumba said he has instructed party National Secretary Muhabi Lungu to immediately commence the restructuring of the party following the party’s dismal performance in the just ended August 19th by-elections.
Dr. Mumba said the party has been forced to make drastic measures due to a number of factors among them the poor performance of the party in the by-elections.
Dr.Mumba bemoaned the electoral violence in Mangango.He said although MMD have conceded defeat in the Mangango by-election, it should be put on record that the result does not reflect the true picture on the ground.He said reports of armed gangs ferried into Mangango were the order of the day and the nation witnessed the onset of mayhem and inter-party violence.
if you want the party to win by-elections let’s go to Mangango, let’s to Kasenegwa, let’s to Vubwi and campaign together then we will start wining
Dr.Mumba said it was discovered that the MMD party structures in Mangango had been deeply compromised, as has happened in all Constituencies where MMD MPs have been made Deputy Ministers such as Katuba, Feira and Mufumbwe.He said this called for a number of changes to be made.
He called on all well meaning members to welcome the reorganization as resisting will not do the party any good as the changes are necessary if the party is to bounce back to power.
Meanwhile the opposition leader has warned members with ill intentions of trying to use the Mangango loss to advance their personal interest by making negative public statements that they will not be tolerated.
He said any genuine member of the party will not work against party as some members have done in the recent past.
He noted that elections can not be won by an individual but by working together as a party hence people should not be waiting in their homes watching tv and waiting for results to use them to criticize him.
He added that if the party is to succeed people should start pulling in the same direction saying,” if you want the party to win by-elections let’s go to Mangango, let’s to Kasenegwa, let’s to Vubwi and campaign together then we will start wining.”
PRESS CONFERENCE ON 21ST AUGUST 2014 BY DR NEVERS SEKWILA MUMBA
? Members of the Media Fraternity
? Members of the National Executive Committee
? Members of the MMD
? Our Party supporters
? Ladies and Gentlemen
I thank you all for attending this press briefing called to discuss the results of the Mangango Parliamentary by-election, the Local Government by-elections held in 25 Wards, of which we contested 21, and other matters arising.
Let me begin my conceding defeat in all the seats we lost and congratulating the Patriotic Front for winning the Mangango Constituency by-election. I also congratulate them for emerging victorious in the Ward By elections. On our part, allow me to congratulate our candidate Mr. Shadreck Chitafu for winning the Ward by-election in Masaiti District. Honourable Michael Katambo, the Member of Parliament for the area was an instrumental part of this win. Our hearts go out to him with thanksgiving. I also want to thank our Campaign Manager, Honourable Mundia Ndalamei and his team for the hard work they put into the campaign in Mangango and various Wards. I also thank all our gallant men and women that contributed positively to our campaign.
The performance of the MMD in the 19th August 2014 Mangango Parliamentary By elections and the 21 wards we participated in have clearly been a huge disappointment to me and all well-meaning members of the MMD who care deeply about the party. Although we refuse to lose hope and do not want to be down-cast with paralysis as a result of this disappointment, we have to accept that drastic measures have to be taken in order for our circumstances to change. All of us in the party have to take personal responsibility of this unfortunate performance.
Our party has been in existence for 23 years with a significant portion of this having been in government. This longevity in government has created its own drawbacks as we have not been swift enough in our transition from being a ruling party to being in opposition. We have spent the last two and half years in very unproductive internal struggles that have without doubt impacted negatively on our performance. Although there are many committed people both in the National Executive Committee (NEC) and among our Members of Parliament, there is a general feeling in the party that those who are committed to our cause among MPs and NEC members are insufficient for us to make a meaningful impact.
As a party, we need to begin afresh and start from scratch in re-organizing our structures so that we may be better aligned for the coming battles. This realignment does not seek to blame or punish anyone or any group. The realignment merely wishes to recognize that the party has now been forced to remake itself in the face of our poor performance in the last electoral contest. We cannot afford to take things for granted.
To this effect, I am hereby directing our National Secretary Mr. Muhabi Lungu to immediately begin the process of reorganizing MMD, starting from the grassroots structure at the Ward level, through to the Constituency, District and Provincial level. I am aware that this restructuring process, due to a number of factors which include resource mobilization limitations, may take several months. It is my hope that this process will remake and re-energize our party so that our performance in by-elections and our general circumstances improve for the better. I have every confidence that by the time our National Convention is held in line with our Constitution, the party will once again be in a state of battle-readiness.
I am already in the process of engaging the senior members of the party and the NEC so that the total reorganization of our party is done quickly and efficiently. There shall be no sacred cows in this process, even if it requires that entire Provincial, District or Constituency Committees at any level be dissolved and fresh mandates granted. We have to undertake and undergo this difficult process in order to conclude the re-engineering of MMD. Failure to take this drastic strategic step may put the party at a continued disadvantage in future contests.
I urge all members of the party, at all levels, to be focused and sober as we attempt to make this reorganization possible. It will not be helpful to any of us if such an important process is done in a disorderly manner and negatively impacts on the remaining by-elections that are currently taking place. It is all our responsibility to think about the welfare of the party first, and put aside our personal interest.
I want to emphasize that as we reorganize, we have to keep in mind that we are going into another crucial battle for the 11th September by-elections. We have learnt painful lessons from our past mistakes. Although often viewed negatively, failure is a cardinal part of the path to success. As the famous adage goes, there is a silver lining around every dark cloud. I strongly encourage our party members to remain disciplined, united and steadfast as we face our battles. We should not do anything to distract ourselves from encouraging our five candidates and campaign teams involved in the next set of elections. We have a real opportunity to perform well and win all the coming five seats that we are contesting.
I take this opportunity to warn those within the party that wish to use this loss to make negative public statements, that they will not be tolerated. The National Secretary shall not hesitate to instill discipline in the party whenever necessary by using the powers vested in his office. Any genuine MMD member will not work against the party the way some people have done in the recent past.
Although we have conceded defeat in the Mangango by-election, we wish to put it on record that the result does not reflect the true picture on the ground. From the beginning of the campaign period, the nation was gripped by reports and images of electoral violence. Reports of armed gangs ferried into Mangango were the order of the day and the nation started to witness the onset of mayhem and inter-party violence. FODEP, SACCORD, the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the local traditional leadership all expressed and shared concerns about the violence that ensued, ending up in people being assaulted, property destroyed and a Member of Parliament arrested.
Such kind of Stone Age politics should be resisted and all perpetrators brought to justice. All parties that wish to persuade the electorate to vote for them should do so maturely and by using persuasive intellectual arguments, not by throwing stones, burning bridges or hacking each other using pangas and axes.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased that MMD was neither involved nor named in any single incident of violence. This is not a sign of weakness as some may presume. This is because we are a disciplined and peaceful party that has proved it in deeds. We hope other parties take a leaf from us so that Zambians participate in peaceful elections without a single act of violence. What has happened in other parts of Africa should not be allowed here in Zambia. Let us say “NO!” to electoral violence.
During the campaigns for the by-elections, we went into Mangango and discovered that our structures had been deeply compromised, as has happened in all Constituencies where our MPs have been made Deputy Ministers such as Katuba, Feira and Mufumbwe. In these constituencies, as was the case in Mangango, we suffered a high degree of sabotage from within or own structures. Our Mangango MP was made Deputy Minister in the PF Government, only to be discarded in the now familiar “Don’t Kubeba” fashion.
Despite all these setbacks, we refuse to lose hope and will not be deterred as we prepare for the five upcoming by-elections in the following constituencies with their respective candidates: Solwezi Central – Lucky Mulusa; Kasenengwa – Victoria Kalima; Zambezi West – Prisca Kucheka; Vubwi – Eustarckio Kazonga; Mkushi South – Sydney Chisanga.
In conclusion, I urge our candidates in the upcoming by-elections to work extra hard and take nothing for granted. It is now upon you to take the MMD message to all corners of your respective Constituencies; the message of peaceful multi-party elections; of honesty and integrity; the message of rule of law and of issue-based campaigns.
Tell the people of Zambia that MMD is the New Hope.
Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba