A founding member of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) has said the MMD Constitution does not have any clause that gives special recognition to the so-called ‘Founding Fathers’ as every member, whether present at the formation of the party or has joined the party this year, are all treated equally and freely enjoy all privileges and rights of membership across the board.
Responding to a statement attributed to a duo calling themselves ‘Founding Fathers’ of the party who are calling for a convention to be held before the August 2016 General Elections to elect the MMD presidential candidate, Mr. Malama Sokoni said this is a paid, self-styled misguided group with absolutely no power and need to be helped.
“In the MMD Constitution, there is no recognized grouping called ‘Founding Fathers’ with privileges and rights to call for anything, let alone a convention. If there was such a group I would be a key member as I was present at the famous Garden House meeting in 1990 where the MMD was first born as a movement and was later converted and registered as a political party in February 1991. The reference to a 1991 Garden House meeting by this duo is foreign to me and they may be talking about some other Garden House meeting. I was involved in the opening of the first Secretariat of the Party which was situated on Libala road in the Kalundu area and I served on the International Relations Committee headed by Dr. Vernon Mwaanga with his Vice Dr. Roger Chongwe. I was later District Commissioner for Mpika. If there is such a grouping therefore, I would definitely be a key member ,” said Mr. Sokoni.
Mr. Sokoni further said he would like to educate all MMD members who have allegiance, genuine love and loyalty to the MMD not to be misled by a rogue financed group going round calling for a convention, that the MMD held its last Convention that elected Dr. Mumba into office in 2012 and involved all structures countrywide and his term ends in 2017.
He explained that a National Convention cannot be held in isolation. Elections that culminate into a National Convention start at Branch, then Ward, followed by Constituency, District, Provincial and then the National Convention. They involve all bona fide structures throughout all these levels that eventually form the Electoral College for the Convention.
He went on to explain that due to the instability that has characterized the MMD for some time now, these structures have been cannibalized, destroyed and are only now being audited, mobilized and strengthened through the ongoing countrywide mobilization tours currently being undertaken by Party President Dr. Nevers Mumba. This is the logical prelude to the convention.
Mr. Sokoni said the likes of this duo who are ignorantly calling for a convention represents a lazy power-hungry group in the MMD, who have participated in the destruction of the MMD structures, who sat back and watched Dr. Mumba tirelessly move around the country to re-organize the party, hoping he would fail and have not bothered to contribute any resource, either manpower or financial and now have the audacity to call for a convention.
The view of the party is that this group missed a golden opportunity to be relevant to the MMD by ignoring all appeals from the President to assist in the mobilization exercise and they now have no moral right to call for anything because they have found closed doors where they rushed to and campaigned for Presidential candidates from other parties in the 2015 Presidential by-election.
“The party is pleased to report that Dr. Nevers Mumba is continuing with the countrywide mobilization programme at great cost and has already covered Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces and is currently winding up the Western Province leg. If these voices are coming from genuine members of the MMD who have love and allegiance to the MMD, let them contact the MMD Secretariat and request to join the tours in the remaining provinces otherwise they should keep quiet and not expect to reap where they have not sown,” said Mr. Sokoni.