First National Secretary of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy MMD Ambassador Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika says the party has diverted from the principles that led to its formation in 1990 as some leaders have turned a national agenda into a pocket agenda.
And MMD Vice President for Politics Mutolo Phiri said the party had decided to turn to their founding fathers to try and revive the party and go back to its original agenda of delivering development to the country with the participation of citizens through democracy.
Speaking at a capacity building workshop held for MMD National Executive Committee members and other party officials from all the 10 provinces in Kabwe Central Province on Saturday Ambassador Lewanika said the MMD was not formed to deliver the presidency to an individual but to foster National Development to a democratic society.
He said as a founding member of the Movement, his heart bleeds when he looks at what is happening in the former ruling party.
MMD is the only party apart from UNIP which fought for a genuine cause
He was however quick to mention that with a new vigor that he has noticed in the party and the membership’s zeal to revive it, the MMD will not go into oblivion and that it is important for the party to remain the hope for the country.
He explained that the MMD is the only party which has a national identity and has embraced all tribes in the country.
He bemoaned the direction the party was taken to in the last few years which he said was not the aspirations of the founding fathers of the party whom he said put the interests of the country before theirs.
“When we formed MMD our goal was to develop the country with the participation of all. We were tired of being led by an individual who thought he had the monopoly of wisdom. Even the slogan which we have been using is a lie, the slogan was “One Zambia, One Nation, One Nation, One Leader, that Kenneth Kaunda No Change”. We formed a movement and it’s purpose was not to deliver the presidency to an individual but to deliver development through democracy were people were free to participate by criticising or demanding without being intimidated by those with the mandate to run the country. Even when you look at how we chose our president as MMD it was after recognizing that the skills in Dr Chiluba, I could have been the President myself after all am among the first few individuals who formed the party.
“Over time we as the founding fathers of the MMD we have noticed that the party has lost its agenda as some people have turned a national agenda into a pocket agenda were they are even fighting the will of the members. MMD does not belong to an individual, it belongs to Zambians and it is the hope for the people in this country. It is the only party apart from UNIP which fought for a genuine cause which some people seem not to understand. MMD will surely go back to power because it has a record. Zambians can identify themselves with the party but there is need for the leadership to restrategize and ensure that it starts mobilizing from the grass roots, the structures are already, all you need to do is wake them up,” he said.
He also said it was not in the DNA of MMD for leaders to be fighting saying only intruders are capable of doing so as the party members know how the party chooses it’s leaders and it is not through the courts.
Meanwhile MMD Vice President for Politics Mutolo Phiri said the MMD leadership had gone to its founding fathers to try and draw lessons and knowledge from the people with the original agenda of the party.
He said there is need to ensure that the party remains relevant to the political dispensation of the country and contribute to the development of the country even when it is in opposition.
He noted that the forefathers of the party would help reinvigorate the membership across the country that it would help young members to understand the party as well as ensure that it reminds old members of why the party was formed.
He also said losing power in 2011 has led to mass exodus of members to join other political parties hence the need to have the old timers help to recall them by reminding them that though the party diverted from its original cause it is still the party of choice in the country because of its National identity.
Other invited to the workshop were founder member Dr Donald Chanda, who said all the projects that people want to claim to be theirs were MMD programs which were systematically being implemented before it was kicked out of office.
Dr Chanda who worked at State House as one of the economic advisors to Dr Chiluba has since pledged to help the party with any research related to how the party will revive itself.
Also in attendance was former private secretary to late President Dr Levy Mwanawasa Alfred Chipoya who gave a lecture on the roles of the President and that of the National Secretary.
Former National Secretary and seasoned diplomat Ambassador Dr. Vernon Mwaanga though not in attendance was equally instrumental to the workshop as he wrote the Concept Note Paper for the workshop.
Among the invited founding members who failed to make it to the capacity building workshop due to personal commitments over the weekend include Dr Katele Kalumba, Teddy Mulonga, longest serving Party National Treasurer Mr Suresh Desai and many other founding members.
The MMD was over the weekend tilted to very serious business as after the capacity building workshop, the National Executive Committee held its first ever full NEC meeting after its May 20th Convention with all its provincial heads present.