MMD NEC’S “FINAL WARNING” TO DR. MUMBA A BLOW TO DEMOCRACY IN ZAMBIA
Is the MMD a democratic party? Their latest attempt to silence the candidacy of Dr. Mumba for the party presidency would seem to indicate not.
The article in the April 1 edition of The Post states that the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) yesterday gave a FINAL WARNING to former vice-president and MMD president aspirant Pastor (Dr.) Nevers Mumba against conducting his campaigns in a provocative manner.
We find the nature of latest round of threats from MMD Party Leaders directed at Dr. Mumba to be very troubling. The words, “final warning” in and of themselves sound very ominous and we call on all Zambians, both at home and abroad, to take note of the dramatic underlying tone of this warning from the MMD NEC. We are particularly concerned by the ominous tone of this “final warning” to Dr. Mumba since it is comes on the verge of a nation-wide tour that Dr. Mumba is about to embark on to take his message of hope and renewal directly to the people of Zambia.
It is obvious to us that the MMD Party leadership is clearly seeking to intimidate not only Dr. Mumba but anyone who may know in their heart of hearts that he is a strong and viable candidate versus Mr. Levy Mwanawasa and would like to support him. It is a sad day for democracy in Zambia when Party Leaders threaten and intimidate candidates from seeking office by resorting to threats to viable candidates. You cannot fool the Zambian people. It is obvious that your threats to Dr. Mumba are also meant to threaten the people of Zambia.
The MMD NEC’s “final warning” to Dr. Mumba is alarming for several reasons:
1) Dr. Mumba is a bonafide member of the MMD who is exercising his democratic right to contest for the presidency of the MMD Party. He is an honorable member of the party who has served not only his party but his nation with honor as the former Vice-President of Zambia. To be issued a “final warning” by the MMD party leaders reveals clearly that the MMD Party claim to support democratic ideals is suspect.
2) Why is Dr. Mumba being referred to as an “outsider?” Is this how the ruling party in Zambia treats members? Aren’t members entitled to all the rights and privileges of the party? This nonsense of referring to Dr. Mumba as an “outsider” should cease immediately. Otherwise, every member of the MMD Party needs to rethink their membership in that party. Who wants to belong to a party that publicly refers to aspiring leaders in their party as “outsiders” and “visitors” who have no right to speak to the issues in the party?
3) The 1,333 delegates to the MMD Convention at Mulungushi Rock in Kabwe in May should ask themselves very seriously whether they can be proud to be MMD Party Members when their leadership is intimidating and threatening one of their own? If they are doing this to Dr. Mumba today, is it not possible that they will do the same thing tomorrow to any one of the 1,333 delegates?
4) To be given a “final warning” is tantamount to an ultimatum. So we are forced to ask the ones who issued this “final warning,” what constitutes a violation of your “final warning?”
Zambia is facing tremendous challenges as a nation. Since independence in 1964, Zambia has gone from being a breadbasket to being a basket case. Zambia is crying out for visionary leaders who can lead the nation out of this valley of hopelessness and despair.
The current President had five years to bring about change to Zambia. What has been done to revive our economy? What has been done to improve education? What has been done to improve our infrastructure? What has been done to make Zambia a respectable member of the international community? What has been done to eliminate corruption?
The current MMD leadership continues to display a pattern of intimidation and scare tactics. Dr. Mumba will not be intimidated nor allow these scare tactics to hinder or block his quest for the presidency of the MMD Party and the national presidency because he believes that we as a nation can do better. He is clearly the candidate who brings hope and vision to the table.
To the 1,333 delegates to the MMD Convention, you hold in your hands the ability to make or break Zambia’s chance to change for the better. It can only happen if the right leader is in place. We call on the 1,333 delegates to the MMD Convention to take your voting privilege at the convention seriously. You will be voting individually, not as a block. You will be voting by secret ballot and need not be intimidated or pressured into voting for someone you do not want to vote for. You have the most precious privilege in a democratic country and that is the right to exercise your vote as an individual.
We ask each of the 1,333 delegates to truly search your hearts and ask yourself who is the better candidate who can lead Zambia? Let us not forget that Zambia is at a crossroads. Zambia needs a leader who has the vision, the vigor, the trust and the ability to represent Zambia with pride in the international community. Zambia needs a leader who can restore hope to the Zambian people.
The MMD Party Leaders who have issued Dr. Mumba this “final warning” need to tell the people of Zambia why this “final warning” was necessary. They owe the Zambian people an explanation as to why they are treating Dr. Mumba with disrespect when he has served honorably as the former vice-president of the nation.
The issuance of a “final warning” by the MMD NEC to Dr. Mumba has raised the pattern of threats and intimidation toward Dr. Mumba to a new level. We have noted that the level of attacks against him has been steadily increasing over the recent days. We call on all MMD Party officials to cease these tactics of fear and intimidation toward Dr. Mumba. These tactics violate democratic values and principles.
We call on the current president of the MMD Party, Mr. Mwanawasa himself, to retract the “final warning” issued by his party. We cannot begin to imagine what is being said to Dr, Mumba behind closed doors. We can only conclude that Mr. Mwanawasa himself is approving the threats, scare tactics, and intimidation against Dr. Mumba and will be held personally responsible for whatever consequences may result for any violation of this “final warning” to Dr. Mumba, whatever that may be.
The world is watching.
Mumba for President Campaign MediaTeam