IT IS sad that the leader who opposed Frederick Chiluba’s third term bid, and formed the Forum for Democracy and Development in protest, should today be firing FDD members opposed to her perpetual rule, former cabinet minister Peter Machungwa has charged.
Dr. Machungwa, who is also a senior lecturer in management and human resources at the Zambia Open University, said it was surprising that an individual who spoke so passionately about upholding the tenets of democracy would turn around and begin to flout the same principles on which her party was founded.
He said Ms. Nawakwi and other political party leaders would realise that there is time for progression where those who spearheaded certain causes took the back stage and allowed others to carry on saying the fact that she was the founder of the party did not make her to sole owner because a political party was a public institution.
He said it was democratically and morally wrong for Mr. Nawakwi to start issuing threats to her members who were questioning the way she was running the party because each organisation had rules and regulations to which all must adhere regardless of the positions they held.
He said the call by party members to go for a convention to elect new leaders were justified and should not be politicised just lie she waged a campaign against Dr. Chiluba until he abandoned his third term bid for the sake of peace adding that if she wanted peace to reign in her party, she should allow democracy to prevail.
“A political party is not a kantemba or personal business that one person should cling to at the expense of the wish of others. For those who do not know the history of FDD, the party was formed by Ms. Nawakwi and other as a protest to Dr. Chiluba’s third term bid. Ms. Nawakwi herself said she would not be part of undemocratic principles and so, left the MMD but what has changed now? Where has the democracy she was championing gone now?
“People will continue to ask her why she has now pack-peddled on her claims that she was a champion of democracy when she formed her party because they know what she did. People in her party are justified in calling for a convention and her subsequent replacement because that is what the party constitution says and she should not divert from that. Let democracy reign supreme because the fact that she was a founder of the party does not mean that others do not have a say in its affairs because that is a public institution,” Dr. Machungwa said.
He urged opposition political parties not to hold party members to ransom by forcing their will on them as they risk remaining in the opposition forever as people will get fed-up of them.
“This is why some opposition political parties have remained in the opposition forever without forming government because people are fed up with their antics to always want to change the constitution to necessitate their stay in the party,” he said.