MMD National Youth Chairperson Howard Kunda says the party leadership needs to seek a new mandate from its membership so as to restore the membership’s confidence in the leaders as the party goes into next elections.
Speaking in an interview Mr Kunda who is one of the few MMD MPs not to endorse the candidature of neither PF President Edgar Lungu nor UPND President Hakainde Hichilema said the party leadership must heed to the calls for a convention if it is to go into the August 11th elections as a united front.
He said the endorsement of other candidates is a clear vote of no confidence in the party’s leadership and that the leadership must reflect and make a decision to seek fresh mandate from the grassroots.
“As National Youth Chairperson I have been overwhelmed with the calls wanting to seek direction that the party will take in view of the happenings in the recent past. Suspensions, expulsions and now endorsements from our Member of Parliament for candidates other than our own candidates is a clear vote of no confidence in the current leadership of the party and the leadership must reflect and make a decision to go and seek fresh mandate from the grassroots if we are going to enjoy their support especially that there is any election coming.
“It is not an evil call, it is not a negative call, it is a positive call meant to ensure that there is consensus among the membership to support the leadership even as we go towards the elections,” he said.
He explained that youths across the country have been calling him for guidance and that it is clear that the solution to the challenges the party has been facing is to go to a convention.
“The calls for a convention, hearing from what the youths from all structures starting from branch to provincial have been saying,it is very clear that the message is that we should go for a convention.
I want to also call on my President, who is also a pastor to not only listen to the advise of two individuals who have been influencing his decision but to hear what the membership of the party across the country is saying, it is not a scheme to remove him but a platform for generating consensus among the members, ” he said.
Meanwhile MMD has released the following statement in response to the 11 MPS that defected
MMD Reaction to Defections of 11 MPs
The defection of the 11 MPs to the UPND is nothing new. The nation will recall that all the names reported campaigned on the side of the UPND in 2014. As a matter of fact, the list comes short of one or two others names. These MPs have long stopped being available for the MMD.
It is revealing to see Mr Elijah Muchima on this list. He is one of 3 who took out the court action against the MMD just a few days ago championing calls for a convention in the party. This maneuver exposes real intentions.
This is what we mean that the calls for a convention in the MMD are not being made by genuine members and are deliberately designed to distract and label the MMD as a party that is divided, confused and not at peace.
We know our genuine members and respect their views when they speak. We are not confused about who is with us and who is not. Our positions on many topical issues within our party are informed by principle and a deep sense of knowledge.
The MMD does not have any great memories of the said heavyweights, except what it gave to them and made them to be.
The party truly wishes the former MPs well and hopes that they can settle in the UPND and not continue to make MMD a subject of their business.
We are receiving an encouraging response in the application process for Members of Parliament and Local Government officials.