Will Nevers and MMD Emerge ger? [opinion]

For the second time in the two-years Nevers Mumba has been at the helm of the opposition Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), a well sponsored revolt has emerged, this time threatening to nail the once flamboyant party to death.

A group of MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) members led by spokesperson Dora Siliya is up in arms against Dr Mumba demanding he quits on allegations he has failed to run the party.

This is not the first time Dr Mumba is dealing with a revolt within the MMD. Barely six months after taking over the mantle from retired fourth Republican president Rupiah Banda in May 2012, his own National Secretary Major Richard Kachingwe emerged as the thorn in the flesh of the party.

There was no price guessing Major Kachingwe had made a few trips to State House to meet President Michael Sata where the plan to destablise and weaken the ruling party was hatched.

As a key ally of President Sata during the grassroots days in Kabwata constituency, Major Kachingwe was the Patriotic Front’s best bet to throw MMD into turmoil but he needed some alliance within the set up to aance his ‘Nevers Mumba has failed campaign’ and in vice-president Dr Brian Chituwo, Mafinga MP Catherine Namugala he got his allies.

Major Kachingwe’s rewards by State House were immense. His family members and some of his concubines are beneficiaries to the destruction he was to cause to the MMD. Those he worked with within the MMD did not receive much but remained behind to continue destablising and weakening the former ruling party to the benefit of the Patriotic Front’s prospects of retaining power in the 2016 elections.

With a g and united MMD whose prospects of uniting with the United Party for National Development (UPND) in the 2016 elections a threat on President Sata’s hold on power, it is better to weaken the opposition now rather than later. And between the two – MMD and UPND – Sata has more allies in former to easily penetrate and cause destruction.

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR:

It’s not surprising that the common denominator in the rifts rocking the MMD is Dr Chituwo who when Major Kachingwe had been sponsored to destabilize the opposition had also received his fair share of rewards. After all he has since Rupiah Banda’s days been a PF mole. Little wonder Dr Chituwo and Namugala had formed a g pact to oust Dr Mumba when Maj Kachingwe came looking for alliances.

Ever wondered why when UPND and MMD engage in negotiation over possibilities of an alliance President Sata is fed with the verbatim of their meetings in real time? Look at Dr Chituwo. The sly Mumbwa lawmaker has played a very good mole for President Sata and Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe. This is why he fells no shame in going against his leader when Siliya approached in her sponsored campaign to oust Mumba.

It is not that Dr Chituwo agrees with Siliya but the campaign suits his long time manouvers of destabilizing the opposition and giving President Sata the edge in 2016. Clearly, Dr Chituwo is more comfortable with Sata and M’membe than Dr Mumba’s MMD because his allegiance is more to the man who introduced him to politics than those he met just two years ago.

It was Sata who after the 1998 shooting of Dr Kenneth Kaunda by suspected intelligence officers in Kabwe who introduced Dr Chituwo to politics. And because Dr Chituwo is the one who attended to Dr Kaunda after the shooting, M’membe has always had a soft spot for him themore reason he has managed to coerce him into feeding The Post with vital information from MMD to the detriment of the party.

It’s against this background that Dr Chituwo perfectly well falls into Siliya’s scheme to oust Dr Mumba as it has been an under cover operation on his part. The likes of Kaingu have fallen prey after being squeezed out of business by the powers that be.

Kozo Lodge, a hospitality facility Kaingu owns, is out of business and slowly turning into a white elephant as no government business such as seminars, workshops or conferences are awarded to them anymore. He is therefore ready to sacrifice the MMD to resurrect the waning fortunes of the once booming Kozo Lodge.

As for Siliya, who has previously described M’membe and his business partner Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito, men of little egos, it is a well known fact she has made more trips to State House than she has stood out to defend the former ruling party to bargain a way out of her corruption cases.

CONVERGENCE OF ANARCHISTS:

The country is faced with one of the poorest political leaderships since independence. The economic indicators are poor, the social and political style of administration is equally way below par. And the issues arising from the poor administration are giving the opposition a lot of ammunition to deal with President Sata’s mal-administration.

Look at how the Zambian currency has generally performed since the PF came to power then turn to the health sector and see the number of problems the country’s biggest referral health institution – the University of Teaching Hospital – has faced.

If it is not the acute water shortage where mothers are delivering in buckets, it is the shortage of the oxygen supply. As if that is not enough, the administration is failing to handle staff welfare with the recent firing of nurses which left UTH on its knees. It became a death trap.

The plunging Kwacha, even after rebasing, was suffocated by poor policies in the name of Satutory Instrument number 33 and 55 which respectively banned the quoting and payment of goods and services in foreign currencies locally and empowered the Bank of Zambia to monitor inflows, outflows and international transactions.

The removal of subsidies on maize and fuel whose savings are drained in the budget overruns by the PF are still a throne in the country’s flesh. Farmers across the country are disenchanted with the Fertliser Support Programme and how it has been administered the last two farming seasons such that even the shuffling and reshuffling of inept Cabinet ministers which include Emmanuel Chenda, Bob Sichanga and now Wilbur Simuusa has done nothing but worsen the dissatisfactions.

Turn to Western Province and look at how President Sata and his administration have failed to respond to the Barotseland Agreement promise which they said would be resolved within 90 days of assuming power. It is not the only promise that has collapsed. There is the NGO Act, the Freedom of Information Bill, the granting of national broadcast rights to private radio stations and now the Constitution.

Add to these issues the self created misunderstandings with traditional leaders such as the Bemba supremo – the Chitimukulu Henry Kanyanta Sosala – where President Sata wants his own man to ascend to the throne in unprecedented fashion.

The nearest response President Sata has come to giving what he thinks are satisfactory answers is claiming his administration is focused on developing the country. And when he says development, President Sata points to the poorly handled road contruction network whose funding is borrowed money the country will have to repay at huge interest rates.

That is why to help him pollute the atmosphere from real issues, President Sata has recruited what he thinks are vulnerable opposition members, among them Siliya who is desperately in search of a lifeline. Siliya, in typical Jezebel style, has gone on to deceivingly recruit the likes of business starved Kaingu, the usual suspects in Chituwo and a power hungry Lucky Mulusa to try and portray a crisis in the MMD.

With The Post Newspaper expectedly on Sata’s side, the MMD crisis will then be blown to huge proportions that it will subdue other important subjects. For that reason, the arnachists in Siliya, Chituwo and Kaingu will have some political relevance. But what these otherwise honourable gentlemen and ladies are forgetting is they are only being used for the moment and when their mission is over, they will be dumped like prostitutes from Cockpit or Joseph Mwilwa Road.

They are not the first and may not be the last to be used in this manner. No doubt the name Ngandu Magande is not strange to them. But where is that brilliant Finance minister? Was he not the darling of M’membe to take over MMD after the death of President Mwanawasa in 2008. Did they even look at him in 2011 when the elections came? Why didn’t they continue propping him up but instead jumped onto supporting Sata? This is what Kaingu, Chituwo and Siliya should ask themselves. The trio is today what Magande was to M’membe in 2008.

That is why allowing them to succeed in MMD will confirm the death of the former ruling party. Fortunately, the greater numbers in MMD seem to read through this and there is no way the opposition party with the biggest number of MPs in parliament will be surrendered to anarchist.

DISTRACTING THE CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS:

Realising that his response to issues surrounding his administration is unsatisfactory especially now when all the major opposition political parties, the church, civil society, student unions, trade unions and ordinary citizens are uniting to demand the constitution in unison, President Sata has been looking for ways to derail, divert and distract the constitution making process.

According to available information from State House, President Sata is not ready for a new constitution before the 2016 elections largely because of the 50+1 clause as a requirement for a winning presidential candidate.

While the draft constitution is ready and has already been unofficially presented to him and a few other officials, it is not his desire or any of his officials to act on it because they are aware it will be practically impossible to retain power with the 50+1 threshold.

Sata’s acceptance that a 50+1 victory in 2016 is impossible is borne from the experience in previous elections where at his most popular stage, he could not garner votes beyond 45 percent of the total electorates.

And so in order to dodge a possible 2016 electoral disaster if the new constitution is enacted, President Sata, M’membe and his group have designed a plan to derail the constitution process.

In their strategy, the draft constitution by the Technical Committee they set up will not be given any form of attention this year. And in order to deal with the pressure arising from this delay, they have to find issues to dominate public discourse.

The plan, therefore, is to drag the constitution fight into next year when measures for a census which is a legal pre-requiste for a referendum will be hatched. In itself, a census requires huge funding and a considerable amount of time to carry out so by the time it starts in early 2015 and ends late the same year, the election fever for 2016 will have kicked in.

President Sata and his team will then claim it will be too expensive to fund both a referendum and the general elections in 2016. In that way they would, to a larger extent, have succeeded in not giving Zambians a constitution in the first term of the PF’s rule.

That is why the MMD is a victim of a second wave of rifts in just two years of Dr Mumba’s leadership. These rifts, as they divert attention, are meant to sustain President Sata’s lies in distracting the constitution making process. Sadly, it is Siliya, Kaingu and Chituwo that are trading this important document on the alter of expedience.

Dr Mumba is aware and knows very well the source of these schemes the reason he recently remarked “The meetings which have taken place at State House to craft a plan to derail MMD are known to us. The statements and individuals to give them have all been lined up.”

However, the Siliya group denies this link to State House. But who would admit they were being used to distract the constitution making process for even Major Kachingwe at no point openly declared Sata had assigned him to destablise the MMD when it was public knowledge.

Before it was public known that Maj Kachingwe had made ‘midnight’ trips to State House, Mufumbwe MP Stephen Masumba hit the alarm button before he crossed over to create a by-election and win re-election on the PF ticket.

Events following Maj Kachingwe’s exit, which Dr Chituwo survived, were sponsored by State House and its rewards have been demonstrated. There are also a few personal rewards to Maj Kachingwe including some of his concubines being appointed spokespersons at some City Councils.

Siliya, Mulusa, Dr Chituwo and Kaingu may deny that they have no link to State House as suggested in their statement “We deny any links to State House nor to the Post Newspaper and we wish to state in no uncertain terms that ours is a noble call of duty to take leadership on numerous calls from our members for an extra-ordinary convention to put in place a leadership that will be inspiring to our members – a leadership that will achieve relevance for our party – a leadership that will inspire many Zambians to return to their original home, the MMD.”

But the fact is that there is no secret under the sun and some of the concessions so far agreed will soon come to light. Yet they should rest assured that the general citizens is resolved on the constitution and will not budge until this very important document is delivered whether they succeed or not in their destructive scheme.

DORA Vs MUHABI:

Trading insults in public is not a show of brilliance although this seems to be Siliya’s specialization. Little wonder she has struggled to maintain a good image of the MMD as party spokesperson because public relations is not about insults, slander or a show of who is best at making derogatory statements.

Siliya is not knew to making derogatory statements and sadly history shows us she could not even respect her former husband Chisha Folotiya when they parted. As if she has not learned from the public reproach on how a woman should conduct herself, Siliya recently narrowed her uncouth language at Muhabi Lungu.

In a show of maturity, Muhabi did not reduce his intellectual prowess to that of Siliya because although he has the capacity to successfully denigrate the former Petauke MP of parliament, he stayed put. Siliya’s personality is well documented and there is little or no inspiration from her promiscuous life which can be left out – at least for now.

Muhabi could have responded by going personal on Siliya but who would right thinking members of society adjudge for a fool That’s why it’s best Siliya reconsiders the self-destructive path she is undertaking because attempting to derail an important document such as the Constitution in the name of bringing Dr Mumba down will leave not only her political career in tatters but her personality to shreds.

What, however, Siliya should realize is that MMD is bigger than her ego or personal dislike for Muhabi. There is no doubt, Siliya dislikes Muhabi and opposed his candidature for vice-president during the extra-ordinary convention when Dr Mumba took over the party from Rupiah. She also opposed Muhabi’s appointment to Dr Mumba’s office as director of communications.

There is no other reason than the apparent fact that Muhabi is intellectually sharper and a much more composed media liaison officer than Siliya with regards to public relations. Siliya felt the emergence of Muhabi in the communications department of the MMD presidential office would expose her weakenesses and subdue are public presence.

That is the bottom-line why Siliya does not like Muhabi the more reason she has found an opportunity to be abused by President Sata. This follows a proposal by Dr Mumba to have Muhabi as National Secretary as opposed to Kapembwa Simbao who has been acting since Maj Kachingwe’s exit. The suggestion, according to MMD insiders, to strengthen the secretariat arises from countrywide concerns about how Simbao has administered the secretariat in the interim.

MMD TO EMERGE GER:

This script was written long ago and is no different to what President Sata, then as second Republican president Frederick Chiluba’s right handyman, did to the United Nations Independence Party (UNIP) after the 1991 presidential elections. Following founding president Kenneth Kaunda’s defeat, he resigned from active politics paving way for Kebby Musokotwane to take over the liberation party.

And before Musokotwane could last any long in his position, a faction (like the Siliya one today) sponsored by Chiluba and engineered by Sata emerged to demand a convention to elect new leadership in UNIP. This was despite the fact that Musokotwane ascended to the UNIP throne through a popular vote of the Central Committee.

The UNIP faction was heavily funded to an extent that it had enough funds to even sponsor an extra-ordinary convention at which Musokotwane and his committee were barred from attending.

That marked the virtual death of UNIP which was briefly revived towards the 1996 elections when Kenneth Kaunda returned to attempt contesting the presidential election that year only to be barred by an amendment to the constitution spearheaded by the likes of Sata and Guy Scott. The constitution provision which barred Kaunda states demanded that parents of a presidential candidate should be Zambians by birth, not descent, as in the case of Kaunda.

In the same fashion Musokotwane was barred from participating in the UNIP converntion will, according to sources, most likely be the same way Nevers Mumba will be treated if the Siliya group succeed in stage managing the so called convention sponsored by Sata. For, unlike Nevers Mumba, the Siliya group has an unlimited budget from State House to call a convention that may potentially result in an MMD splinter group. This will still be victory to President Sata because the former ruling party will be weaker.

However, there is more goodwill for Dr Mumba to emerge ger for the majority of National Executive Committee (NEC) members are on his side as demonstrated during the election for the motion tabled to change the National Secretary.

An attempt by Siliya to endorse Simbao as National Secretary failed on a vote by a mini NEC meeting last week and preliminary indication from provincial executives and other NEC members who did not attend but will be available in 21 days when they reconvene is they have seen nothing wrong in Dr Mumba’s management.

Theferore, since the Siliya group comprise some top leaders, it will remain some kind of an extention of the MMD only in the media – predominately Fred M’membe’s Post – for purposes of creating confusion.

In the end of it, President Sata will spend as many billions as he wishes to destablise the opposition but the people’s will will prevail and Dr Mumba stands to emerge with a ger MMD in contrast to a fragmented UNIP of 19923.

Similar machinations are targeted at UPND where PF cadres, disguised as opposition UPND, will start calling for a convention with the aim of suggesting Mazabuka MP Garry Nkombo as Hakainde Hichilema’s challenger. It’s therefore left for those in the opposition to see beyond the ordinary schemes from Plot One State House and 36 Bwinjifumu Road, Rhodes Park.

Source : Zambia Reports

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