|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,
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.
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,
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.
the new amendments would take effect at 18:00 hours yesterday (April 5, 2011). This means that the second highest position is that of
Voting for the other positions will commence this
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
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.
international level, the MMD invited representatives from the ruling parties in
Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Botswana, and
And officially opening the convention, President Banda vowed to
enshrine the empowerment of women and the disabled in the
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.
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
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
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
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