Confusion in the former ruling party the MMD has taken a new twist with Lunte MMD Member of Parliament Felix Mutati accusing party President Nevers Mumba of making the initial contact which led to MPs from the former ruling party to support the UPND in the last Presidential elections.
In a statement issued to the media on Wednesday, the former commerce Minister said he had remained silent amidst all the accusations that he led a rebellion of MPs because he did not want to wash dirty linen in public but that he has been forced to say something because of the high levels of hypocrisy and immorality within the party.
Mr Mutati said it was MMD leader Nevers Mumba who told NEC members and MPs that he had met the UPND leadership in South Africa and had agreed to go into the 2015 elections with UPND and that it was hypocrisy for him turn and point an accusing finger at him.
“First of all, It was not my idea nor did I lead a rebellion of MMD MPs to support another political party because at a NEC meeting, seating together with MPs on 16th November 2014 our President Dr Nevers Mumba briefed us that in facing the 2015 Presidential election he led a high powered delegation to South Africa for a meeting with UPND.
“Suffice to say that prominent African leaders helped broker a deal between the UPND and the MMD leadership. Among those who attended the meeting was Dr Mumba himself, then National Secretary Muhabi Lungu and Honourable Mwansa Mbulakulima.
Dr Mumba briefed us that everything had been discussed and that we as MMD would go in the election with the UPND. It was Nevers Mumba who led us to the UPND, while other people were advocating for RB to come back but some of us who acknowledged the legitimate leadership of Dr Mumba at that time decided to follow his directive. He even appointed some MPs and senior members to constitute a team to finalize the details of the alliance. I shudder to think that a man of God can U-turn today and start blaming us for going to UPND in 2015,” reads part of the statement.
And Mr Mutati says he has refused to discuss personalities with Dr Mumba and he will only engage him on matters regarding the former ruling party which he wants to see survive beyond the 2016 general elections.
“I have vehemently refused to engage Dr Mumba on a personal level because these are not personal issues but institutional matters, we are dealing with an institution which must survive beyond the 2016 elections.
“The stage we are at as a party is not where we start looking at parties that we can form alliances with but the greatest responsibility that we have is rebuilding our Party to levels of respectability so that even if we are to consider an alliance, it should be an alliance were we have value not in our current fragile state because we will just end up being a minor partner to who ever we are going to work with if that happens,” he said.
He said he will not be part of the emotional out burst going round within the party and that his focus is to make the party stronger so that it can go into the 2016 election as a united MMD.
On calls for him to take over the running of the party Mr Mutati said he has not hiden his ambitions.
“On the issue of running against Dr Mumba, I’m not sponsoring any one and have never sponsored anyone but my name is just being mentioned as one of the alternatives to the party leadership. And MMD being a democratic party, were I am as a bona fide member, it is my democratic right to stand against anyone and fancy my chances. And I have never hidden my aspirations of leading this party before and I don’t see the reason I should start hiding now,” he said.