National Democratic Congress (NDC) President Saboi Imboela has accused the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security of interfering in the internal affairs of the opposition political party.
Ms. Imboela’s NDC group and the George Sichula-led faction are battling for the NDC leadership. Mr. Sichula and Ms. Imboela both claim to be party president of NDC.
In a media statement issued on Thursday morning, Ms. Imboela said the NDC was saddened by the levels of insecurity being brought about by political cadres at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
She alleged that President Hakainde Hichilema appointed former NDC official Josephs Akafumba as the Permanent Secretary at Home Affairs in order to destabilize political parties.
“We gave President HH the benefit of doubt when he appointed Mr. Rikki Josephs Akafumba as the Permanent Secretary at Home Affairs, but it has become more apparent that the reason why he took Mr. Akafumba to Home Affairs was to destabilise political parties using any means possible, including illegal ones. As NDC, we were very happy to see the Ministry issue a statement yesterday, but while they tried to be professional and objective at the beginning of the statement, they let politics get the better of them and as they concluded they made mention of the so called two NDC factions,” Ms. Imboela said.
“Factions exist in the political arena and not in government ministries, let alone at the Registrar of Societies which has all the records of the NDC and other parties. When politics produce factions, administration should be relied upon for records to prove who has a legal claim to an organisation. But both the statement from the Ministry yesterday and a letter from the Chief Registrar that we have already taken to the Anti Corruption Commission refer to factions that the ministry should not be dealing with. Does this, therefore, mean that anyone in this current government can just produce minutes and deliver to the ROS, and they will effect changes? Never before have we seen the ROS deal with factions, as they always look at their own records for clarity. Innocent until proven guilty exists even for organisations,” she said.
Ms. Imboela said the recent documents circulated claiming to contain NDC office bearers from the Registrar of Societies was vague.
“We have resolved to submit yesterday’s statement as one of the documents that the Anti Corruption Commission should examine, because as stated earlier, factions exist in the political arena and not democratic institutions like the Registrar of Societies, Electoral Commission of Zambia and others. Only a court order can or should make these institutions act against the registered legally documented leaders of an organisation, unlike what we are seeing now. Clearly unprecedented, clearly undemocratic and very political. It may interest Mr. Nephas Chifuta to know that the so-called Extra Ordinary meeting that took place on the 18th of September 2021 had people and names that we do not know of. We have submitted letters by ourselves and our lawyers several times to effect changes on the list of NDC, but Mrs. Thandiwe Mhende wrote to us that nothing can be done to the list of NDC until the court cases are over,” she argued.
Ms. Imboela added:”It is for that reason that we have left the list of subscribers as it is. So to see a letter purported to be coming from NDC and yet we have no knowledge of it is very shocking. And to see the ROS effect changes using that same fraudulent letter is even more worrisome and they are just trying to cover up the fact that they made changes to the list without our consent. Mr. Chifuta also talked of the ministry not wanting to be ‘forced’ to do illegalities based on falsehoods and yet this is clearly the complaint that we have against his ministry. His statement has caused a lot of concern and fear in us, as the apparent bias that we have been talking about was clearly manifested.”
“We are, however, very happy to see him pledge that the ministry will execute its mandate as provided for by law without fear or favour and I hope he knows that what that means is that the ministry should respect the status quo unless the court says otherwise. The matter in court is that Mr. Akafumba sued Dr. Chishimba Kambwili for allegedly claiming to be NDC President and NDC as a party was never sued. So to legitimize their so-called ‘other faction’ which is clearly a conflict of interest issue with his boss, is not only saddening but illegal and malicious,” she concluded.