MMD president Nevers Mumba says he will not resign his position and instead has called for the reorganisation of the former ruling party, starting with the grassroots committees up to the provincial party structures to prepare for the next by-elections and the general election in 2016.
Dr. Mumba said he was annoyed with the performance of his party in the just ended Mangango parliamentary and local government by-elections.
He was addressing the media in Lusaka at the MMD secretariat yesterday.
Dr Mumba said the performance of the MMD in the just ended by-elections was a huge disappointment, to the extent that the outcome was heartbreaking to all genuine members.
He said there was need for the party leadership and general membership to take drastic measures in order to change the way things were moving in the MMD.
“The performance of the MMD in the Mangango parliamentary by elections and the 21 wards we participated in have clearly been a huge disappointment to me and all well-meaning members of the MMD who care deeply about the party. Although we refuse to lose hope and do not want to be down-cast with paralysis as a result of this disappointment, we have to accept that drastic measures have to be taken in order for our circumstances to change. All of us in the party have to take personal responsibility of this unfortunate performance,” said Dr. Mumba.
He said there was need for the former ruling party to start afresh and re-organize.
Dr Mumba attributed the loss to many factors among others failure to adapt to being in the opposition, leadership wrangles and MMD MPs’ appointment to serve in the PF government, a move he said had compromised MMD structures at the grassroots.
“This longevity out of government has created its own drawbacks as we have not been swift enough in our transition from being a ruling party to being in opposition. We have spent the last two and half years in very unproductive internal struggles that have without doubt impacted negatively on our performance,” he said.
Dr. Mumba said the MMD needed to re-start and prepare for more difficult battles yet to come.
“This realignment does not seek to blame or punish anyone or any group.
The realignment merely wishes to recognize that the party has now been forced to remake itself in the face of our poor performance in the last electoral contest. We cannot afford to take things for granted,” said Dr. Mumba.
He was flanked MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu and national deputy chairperson Edgar Keembe.
Dr. Mumba also directed party national secretary to immediately begin the process of reorganizing the MMD, starting from the grassroots structure at ward level, through to the constituency, district and provincial level.
“It is my hope that this process will remake and re-energize our party so that our performance in by-elections and our general circumstances can improve for the better.
I have every confidence that by the time our national convention is held in line with our Constitution, the party will once again be in a state of battle-readiness,” said Dr. Mumba.
And the MMD has conceded defeat and have since congratulated the Patriotic Front and its candidate.
Dr. Mumba said although the party conceded defeat in the Mangango by-election, the result did not reflect the true picture on the ground.
“From the beginning of the campaign period, the nation was gripped by reports and images of electoral violence. Reports of armed gangs ferried into Mangango were the order of the day and the nation started to witness the onset of mayhem and inter-party violence.
“FODEP, SACCORD, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the local traditional leadership all expressed and shared concerns about the violence that ensued, ending up in people being assaulted, property destroyed and a member of Parliament arrested,” he said. Dr. Mumba warned that such kind of Stone Age politics should be resisted and all perpetrators brought to justice.
He reminded all political players to reflect on what happened in Rwanda, saying that the 1994 genocide was as a result of violence and tribal politics.
“All parties that wish to persuade the electorate to vote for them should do so maturely and by using persuasive intellectual arguments, not by throwing stones, burning bridges or hacking each other using pangas and axes,” said Dr. Mumba.