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 2011-04-06 05:36 pm Back to NEWS
MMD scraps vice-presidency, expels Mpombo, Shakas and Mulongoti
Former first ladies Maureen Mwanawasa (l) and Vera Chiluba Tembo, who is now tourism deputy minister, at the MMD convention in Kabwe yesterday April 5, 2011

The second MMD extraordinary convention opened yesterday and resolved to expel George Mpombo, Jonas Shakafuswa, Mike Mulongoti and Ng’andu Magande.

The convention has abolished the position of party vice-president, which Republican Vice-President George Kunda and former party youth national chairperson Patrick Musonda had filed for.

And President Rupiah Banda went through unopposed as party president, making him the party’s presidential candidate in this year’s presidential and general elections.

This was after acting MMD national secretary Chembe Nyangu proposed to the convention to expel the four who were said to be in bad standing with the party. Nyangu’s proposal was seconded by sports deputy minister Kenneth Chipungu. The four members of parliament were initially expelled by the party’s national executive committee (NEC). Apart from Magande, the three challenged their expulsions in the courts of law. And while Mulongoti has decided not to push his expulsion case further in the courts of law, Mpombo and Shakafuswa’s cases are still active before the courts on appeal. Magande has since formed a political party, the National Movement for Progress Party.

The convention also expelled David Kalutwa and Peter Kaluta as councillors in Kafulafuta and Solwezi, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bwalya Chiti, who is the party’s legal advisor proposed to abolish the position of party vice-president claiming that the party hierarchy was ‘top heavy’. He was seconded by Keith Mukata.

Chiti said the new amendments would take effect at 18:00 hours yesterday
(April 5, 2011). This means that the second highest position is that of national chairman.

Voting for the other positions will commence this morning.

And senior MMD sources disclosed that the convention was compelled to abolish the position of vice-president in order to save Vice-President Kunda a humiliating defeat he was destined to suffer at the hands of Musonda who refused to back out of the race despite several persuasions from senior party members.

The full list of candidates who have successfully filed in their nomination papers had not been announced by press time.

And Mulongoti, former vice-president Enoch Kavindele, Shakafuswa and Mpombo were absent.

But Chongwe MMD member of parliament Sylvia Masebo was present and in full swing, competing for the position of national chairperson for women’s affairs.

The convention, which was officially supposed to start as early as 07:30 hours, only started after President Rupiah Banda’s arrival at 10:40 hours.

Notable among the invited local guests were Zambia Congress of Trade Unions president Leonard Hikaumba and his general secretary Roy Mwaba.

Others were Zambia Development Agency chief executive officer Andrew Chipwende and Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia president Joyce Nonde-Simukoko.

At the international level, the MMD invited representatives from the ruling parties in Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Botswana, and Malawi.

And officially opening the convention, President Banda vowed to enshrine the empowerment of women and the disabled in the constitution.

President Banda further said no one would force him to hate anyone just because they did not like such a person.

“If the constitution bill had gone through, the next parliament would have had at least 30 more women parliamentarians. I promise you that should we win this year’s elections, I will ensure that the empowerment of women and the disabled is embed in the constitution,” President Banda said.

He urged party members to bring into the national executive committee credible leadership.

Meanwhile, seven candidates, including President Banda, have gone unopposed. These are Michael Mabenga (party national chairman), Kabinga Pande (vice-national chairman), Situmbeko Musokotwane (finance chairman), Felix Mutati (chairman for commerce), Chembe Nyangu (deputy national secretary), Evans Chibanda (national youth treasurer).

The national secretary position is being contested by Major Richard Kachingwe and Bernard Mpundu while Lameck Mangani and Gabriel Namulambe are contesting the position of chairman for elections.

At the position of national treasurer, there is Suresh Desai, Goodward Mulubwa and Michael Kaingu.

Bwalya Chiti and Todd Chilembo are contesting the position of chairman legal. Ronnie Shikapwasha and Elijah Muchima are battling it out for the position of chairman security. In addition to Masebo, Annie Chungu and Maggie Musonda are contesting the position of national chairperson for women affairs.

Meanwhile, Kelvin Sampa and Patrick Musonda were disqualified from contesting the position of national youth chairman and chairman for transport, respectively, for allegedly being in bad standing with the party. Musonda wanted to challenge Peter Daka following the abolition of the position of vice-president for which he had also filed to challenge Vice-President Kunda.

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