By Edmond Miti
Just for the record, I am not a leader of any MMD party wing, I am just a young man that loves the party and still believes that the MMD as a party still has a place in our hearts and politics as a nation. I had to explain all that first because after what am about to say, I know some people will rush to the media and denounce me saying “he is not an MMD member, he was expelled during the time of Mwanawasa” or “he is a UPND/PF cadre paid to destabilise the operations of the MMD” as is the case with anyone and everyone calling for a convention or questioning the current party leadership.
This is something that should make any reasoning person ask questions like why is anyone calling for the convention labelled either not a party member or has been paid by someone? Does it mean that the new and current membership and leadership of the party has no regard for the constitution or simply doesn’t know what is contained in it? And that only the expelled members or paid UPND/PF members know and respect the provisions of the MMD party constitution?
The MMD, as we know it today, was created to be a movement aimed at promoting democracy in our country, this has been how it has operated since inception. The membership of the party has always believed in leadership that believes in the rule of law and not the rule of man without law.
Today we are faced with questions as to whether we are still the same MMD or are merely a shadow of the former MMD? Today people are fighting each other over something designed to promote democracy and unity in the party.. why?
Article 14 of the party constitution clearly states that “A regular convention of the party shall be held every five years” the last regular convention was held in 2011 and former Republican president Rupiah Banda was elected president at the said convention, in 2012 after losing the Republican Presidency Rupiah Banda resigned his position as MMD president and consequently resigned from active politics creating a vacuum in the office of the party president, which brought about the extra ordinary convention that was held in 2012, where Dr Nevers Mumba was elected party president.
Why then should there be debate on whether or not to hold the convention when everything is straight forward? Why should we split the party over an issue that is meant to unite the same party? Just the other day, an obviously disgruntled woman from the copperbelt a Ms/Mrs Mataka who apparently is a party leader was quoted as saying people calling for a convention where paid to do that and are not in the party structures. Well, I have two questions for her, first, should I be in the structures of the party for me to be concerned about how undemocratic the party is becoming? Secondly, how do I find myself in the structures of the party if you the people in the structures are blocking the party from holding a party convention as stated in the constitution where I will be accorded an opportunity to stand for party leadership positions at any level? I mean, seriously, how can a genuine member ignore the constitution and the fact that a convention is called for every 5 years BY THE CONSTITUTION and not by an individual?
To some of the party leaders today, calling for a convention which is, by the way a provision of the constitution, is bad, translated as Democracy has become bad for the MMD. Maybe that’s why Mataka did not hesitate to insult, threaten and even send thugs to attack a group of innocent members of the party who where simply urging NEC to call for a convention. My question is who does this particular leader represent? Why should she become aggressive towards anyone calling for a convention? Is it that she fears she will lose her position at the convention? Or maybe she is the paid member scared if a convention is called for the results will render her useless to her masters?
In the 20 years of the MMD in existence, we have never heard of the party having fights over holding a convention, why should we have that problem today? Members of the party are urged to concentrate on what’s best for the party and not whats best for their pockets, the MMD is bigger than any one member, remembering the principles of the party and what it stands for should be in the best interests of every member. Ignoring the principles, values and the constitution that governs the operations of the party is tantamount to spitting on the graves of the party’s founding fathers (MTSRIEP) & throwing away something they laboured for, risked everything for, sacrificed a lot for and above all loved dearly.
Let us follow the vision and the constitution of the party in order to remain relevant to the zambian political scene and prove to the people that the MMD party is still a Democratic party that respects the rule of law.
By Edmond Miti