MMD Acting president and national chairman, Michael Mabenga, has warned senior party members of stiff sanctions if they continue issuing policy statements on party affairs to the media without clearance from the national secretary or acting president’s offices.
Mr Mabenga, who is acting party president, said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that he was dismayed by the “complete breakdown of discipline” following the October 30 presidential election in which the MMD emerged victorious.
“I am directing that no statement on policy or administration of the party shall be entertained from any leader without clearance from the office of the national secretary or the acting president.
“This must be taken as a serious directive, a breach of which will attract stiff sanctions,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said some leaders from senior party organs had embarked on divisive campaigns by allegedly inciting party members to issue statements in the press that could create an impression that the MMD has no leadership or was deeply divided.
He said the party’s victory in last month’s election was a product of the collective efforts of the general membership and sympathisers.
Mr Mabenga said it was the sum total of every individual vote cast in favour of the MMD candidate, Rupiah Banda, that made him become fourth President of Zambia.
Mr Mabenga said the MMD campaign team that was managed by party election chairman, Mike Mulongoti, was cleared by the presidential candidate and appointed by national secretary, Katele Kalumba, under his authority as party acting president.
He said the recommended structures, which the campaign team utilised, did not create any vacuum in the party leadership or decision-making with respect to the campaign.
“I wish to note, however, that the press utterances that have been issued after MMD won the election have not pleased me and cannot be pleasing to any of our hardworking party members,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said the party leadership had not yet received a report from the campaign team for it to start making any statement on how the election strategy was conducted.
He said MMD senior members should recall that the late President Mwanawasa aborted a post-mortem of the 2006 elections to avoid divisions and accusations.
“As acting party president, I am awaiting a report from the campaign committee before the national executive committee meets. This report will show, in a judicious way, an account of how the team executed the campaign across the country,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said he had directed Dr Kalumba to table the campaign committee’s report after he had received and scrutinised it.
“I insist, however, that such an exercise cannot, with all objectivity, be conducted in the press,” Mr Mabenga said.