KITWE MMD officials calling for the party convention to replace party president Nevers Mumba yesterday clashed with the pro-Mumba provincial leadership at Hotel Edinburgh where the district officials were scheduled to hold a press briefing.
The pro-Mumba group, led by provincial chairman Dennison Chisunka, stormed the venue of the meeting and told the district and constituency leaders to stop their meeting because it was illegal.
Others who accompanied Mr Chisunka were the women’s’ chairperson Edith Mataka and provincial information and publicity secretary Peter Phiri.
But, the district officials told off the pro-Mumba provincial leadership and called them failures who had brought down the party because their interest was ‘‘to eat from Dr Mumba who was not a saleable candidate’’.
A bitter exchange of words ensued between the two groups, forcing the hotel management to cancel the meeting because the noise from the two groups was disturbing other clients at the hotel.
Earlier, Ms Mataka threatened the anti-Nevers Mumba group with violence by mobilizing thugs to beat them up.
“There is only one MMD under Nevers Mumba, but what are you doing now; you are being stupid. Let me go and call thugs to come and beat you up,” said Ms Mataka.
After Ms Mataka went out, Kwacha constituency information and publicity secretary Peter Muchonka told Mr Phiri in his face that all those who were following Dr Mumba were failures who had brought MMD down and that their interest was only to eat.
He said even if Dr Mumba was allowed to stand on MMD ticket in the 2016 elections, he would lose miserably than he did in the 2015 Presidential elections.
“You, Mr Phiri, we don’t even know where you came from and you want to intimidate us with Ms Mataka. You can’t intimidate us. You don’t know where we have come from with MMD. Nevers Mumba cannot win an election because he is not a saleable candidate.
“If Nevers Mumba is allowed to contest the 2016 elections, he will lose miserably. Actually, he will lose miserably than he did in the 2016 Presidential by-election.
‘‘You, Mr Phiri, you know that Nevers is not a saleable candidate, but you can’t tell him the truth because you want to continue eating from him,” Mr Muchonka said.
After the meeting was cancelled, MMD Copperbelt provincial youth chairman Suzyo Ngulube who was supporting the calls for the convention to replace Dr Mumba managed to hold a press briefing where he advised Dr Mumba not to mislead party members that the convention will be held in 2017, but to start preparing for the same next year.