RAPHAEL Nakacinda has vowed that office bearers for Felix Mutati’s MMD grouping will only vacate office when it goes to its next convention.
Last week, Elizabeth Chitika-Molobeka, the national secretary for Nevers Mumba’s MMD faction, wrote Nakacinda, the national secretary for Mutati’s group, that they vacate the secretariat “without any further delay by respecting the order of process regarding our party.”
“The case of the illegal convention that you held in May 2016 at which you elected yourselves to positions in the party is before the courts of law. You are aware of this…” Chitika-Molobeka stated.
“The party leadership has remained functional and in charge throughout the time that you have been engaged in these acts of destabilisation and now the hour has come and we demand that; you vacate the secretariat without any further delay [and] you restrain yourself from ransacking the assets of the party…. You are aware of this. In the action before the Court you appear and sign all the legal documents in your personal capacity.”
She told Nakacinda that he had no legal reason or right for posturing as the MMD national secretary when his grouping’s actions were being challenged in the courts.
“The papers from the Registrar of Societies which you have been fronting do not give you any authority at all because they are part of the illegality that stems from the illegal Convention. Therefore, until the Courts have pronounced themselves, you remain an illegal faction group and have no right to hold yourselves out as leaders in our Party,” Chitika-Mulobeka stated.
She advised Nakacinda and group to wait patiently for the conclusion of the cases before the courts.
“We wish to put it on record that, the only reason we have not acted in an unreasonable and confrontational manner before and do not wish to do so now, is because we care about our party and wish for it to remain at peace with itself, fully reconciled and prepared to offer alternatives and to eventually form government on behalf of the people of Zambia. We hold dearly the values of integrity and morality as our ethos in the conduct of our political engagement,” read Chitika-Molobeka’s letter.
“You have the option of peacefully waiting for the court process while you remain outside of the leadership of the party. Should the Courts confirm your illegal Convention and it’s offshoot as having been consistent with the provisions of our Party Constitution, we shall respect that outcome fully as we hope you will too when the Courts agree with us that your Convention was illegal.”
But Nakacinda stressed that he was reluctant to respond to “strange women like Chitika”.
“First of all, I am very reluctant to answer to strange women like Elizabeth Chitika…. Suffice to say that I’m a little bit perplexed at the reasoning of the letter circulating. The question we have is where was Elizabeth Chitika elected as a national secretary [of the MMD]? Which convention? If she was never elected, how did she assume the position of national secretary? It is basically baffling to have this kind of dramatic behaviour tolerated in our society. If Dr [Nevers] Mumba has resorting to using Chitika to advance his personal ambition…They are suggesting that we should vacate office because they have gone to court. Now, they (Mumba’s group) are challenging the holding of the convention of May 2016 and that challenge has not succeeded,” Nakacinda said.
“The simple logic is that not until they themselves who are challenging the resolutions of the convention exhaust the legal process, the status quo remains. Even if in their minds think it was illegally obtained, the legal position is that a convention was held, elections were conducted, people were elected – Honourable Felix Mutati as president. I was elected as national secretary in a vote that was heavily contested with the former deputy national secretary Mr Chembe Nyangu having contested. Results were pronounced by a competent legal practitioner who was a returning officer. So, this is not something that people should consider like child’s play; these are national matters.”
He explained that in 2016, the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC), which was elected in 2011, had its mandate expiring and that “it was inevitable for the convention to be held and the convention was held”.
“Dr Mumba was also invited [but] he shunned it, which is his democratic right. The convention continued with its business and leaders were elected and we are [now] in office. We can never vacate office! We’ll only vacate office when we go to the next convention and another set of leaders have been elected. Outside that, they should forget! There is no court case right now which deals with us vacating office; the only court case which is there was the case to do with the injunction which was struck by judge Sikazwe,” said Nakacinda.
“If Dr Mumba has any valid claims or arguments, he has the right to go to court, which he has done. The only unfortunate part is that the court process has not favoured him. The question we want to ask the Zambia people is that Dr Mumba was claiming that his tenure of office comes to an end in April 2017 [but] we are now in January 2018! How has his tenure of office extended?”