Category Archives: Zambian Political Theology

Vote for Peace, Vote in Peace!

 E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Michael Sata with Edgar Lungu

Michael Sata with Edgar Lungu

The time is finally here. In a few days, Zambia goes to the polls. What a milestone. Mature nations and great democracies use the ballot as the only legitimate way to change or not-change a government. For this we must commend ourselves and thank God Almighty for having given us the grace and the opportunity to partake in the sacrament of our democracy. I call Zambian democracy a sacrament because it is a system we have chosen for ourselves. It is also a political system we believe God has ordained for us. As such, we come to the table of democracy with gratitude and hope, knowing that it will help us to choose a leader to take our great nation into its future. As Zambians we must take democracy seriously. We must guard it with our very lives. We must do all we can to sustain it and to make it flourish. There is no one who can make our democracy better and greater apart from ourselves. Democracy does not flourish just because of good laws, or good structures. Democracy flourishes due to the diligence of the people concerned. It is the people who are the genuine vanguards of any democracy. In fact, it is the vigilance of our people that will brook the verve of our democracy. We are happy and excited that on 20th January 2015, we the people will choose.

Munshya wa Munshya

Munshya wa Munshya

Democracy however, is not without its challenges. Freedom could be a burden sometimes since it calls for responsibility. Democracy asks a lot from us. In fact, it demands a lot from us. We must be ready to give democracy its drink when it is thirsty. We must be ready to spare bread for democracy when it is hungry. We should be ready to be the legs, the hands and the feet for democracy when needed. It is in this vein that we must be clear in our resolute. Zambians must reject anything that could disturb our peaceful democracy. Once we elect to choose leaders through the ballot, we must ensure that we continue to elect leaders through the ballot. There are temptations to go for the shortcut. These are shortcuts we must not entertain. And I am excited that on 20th January 2015, we the people of Zambia are exercising our liberty to choose a president. It is the people’s choice that will matter on that day. When going to the ballot booths, I appeal to our people to be peaceful. If someone wants to cause confusion, let it not be you. I appeal to our people in Choma, in Chama and in Chipili to remain peaceable. It is the people’s vote that should speak on Tuesday and not fists. In Zambia the only political fight we should entertain is the fight done through the ballot box and not through the boxing ring. I appeal to our people to heed the Electoral Commission of Zambia. I appeal to our people not to wear provocative party regalia on Election Day. There has been enough time for campaigns. Tuesday will be the day to cast our ballots and not the day to wear our various political costumes.

To the candidates in this election, I appeal to you to appeal for calm among your supporters. Political violence is not a preserve of any one political party. As such, all candidates should take a comprehensive approach towards condemnation of electoral violence. From Mwinilunga to Lunga, and from Mpulungu to Mazabuka, there should be no reason why we should be exchanging fists of rage. Hichilema, Lungu, Mumba as well as all the other contenders should let their supporters know that violence will not be tolerated. The people of Milenge, Serenje and Sesheke all need peace!

400px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Zambia

One Zambia One Nation

After candidates have condemned violence, the next logical thing they should do is to respect the voice of the people. Candidates should be as peaceful as we want the ordinary supporters to be. Lungu, Hichilema, Mumba, Nawakwi and all the other contenders should be prepared to accept defeat if they are beaten in the elections. The whole reason why we are subjecting ourselves to a transparent electoral process is to allow the ordinary people of Zambia to make their voice heard through the ballot. No candidate should bury this voice. As such, the most logical thing to do after the elections is for the losers to graciously accept defeat. Losers should not take our country into the brink of feuds. Both MMD and PF should accept defeat if they lose. Additionally, both UPND and FDD should also accept defeat if they lose the election. It would be a terrible situation if these parties refuse to concede defeat. It is true that losing upsets. It really does hurt a lot. But in the interest of democracy, we should be able to accept the will of the people that they exercise through the ballot.

We must desist from making alarming statements about suspected rigging and stuff like that. I really do believe in the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Justice Mambilima and her great team at ECZ are working hard for their country. They need to be commended and appreciated during this time. Ordinary Zambians should also feel free to openly encourage Mambilima and her team. They are doing a great job and we look forward to a free and fair election on the 20th of January.

Michael Sata with Hakainde Hichilema

Michael Sata with Hakainde Hichilema

There is more to this election than just winning and losing. This election is also about replacing President Michael Chilufya Sata whose untimely death was painful for his family and for the nation. As a great tribute to his life, we must ensure that this election is held in the most peaceful of atmospheres. If PF loved Sata and indeed if UPND too loved President Sata, we want them to show it through a nonviolent electoral period. The same goes for Heritage Party, the MMD, the FDD, the ACP, UNIP, the Fourth Revolution and the so many other parties contesting the presidency.

When this column returns next week, a new President would already have been sworn-in. We have no idea who that individual is. But whatever the choice of the Zambian people, I will be happy with it! Let us continue to pray and hope that the next leader takes our great nation into the future we need. Happy Election Day Zambia!

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For Tuesday’s election in Zambia, here is my endorsement

“Ifintu ni Inonge”: The making of the Edgar Lungu candidacy

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

It is November 30 2014. Delegates have gathered at Mulungushi Rock of Authority in Kabwe. The Patriotic Front is supposed to be having its Extra-ordinary conference. The acting president of the Patriotic Front, Guy Scott, called the conference, but for some reasons best known to himself he has decided not to attend the conference. He is not prepared to officially open it. As the delegates gather and wait for the official opening, it becomes apparent that their president would not show up. In fact, he would not even come near the venue of the conference.

Then enters Inonge Wina, the chairperson of the Patriotic Front. She ambles to the platform at Mulungushi and makes an announcement. She is calling the meeting to order. In spite of the absence of Guy Scott, the general conference must go on. She mentions that she had been in a meeting with Guy Scott and it seems like he would not be attending the conference. However, PF must move on to select a leader to succeed President Sata.

Wina enjoys reading, gardening and cooking. She holds a degree in history and sociology. She was the first CEO of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) shortly after independence. She has worked in the government as a civil servant and as a politician. As a passionate women’s rights advocate she volunteered her time on various boards. In 1996 she was elected national chairperson for the NGOCC, an alliance of civil society organisations. Her active political involvement started with the United Liberal Party in 2006. After winning the Nalolo seat in 2011, she was appointed to cabinet in the new government.

In making that announcement in Kabwe, Wina brought to culmination a whole month of speculation and crisis within PF. She had made it very clear, that as Chairperson of the Patriotic Front, she was not going to be intimidated in the discharge of her duties by Guy Scott or anyone acting on his behalf. By standing up to power, Mrs. Wina had drawn upon the inspiration garnered from her own lifetime. Born in 1941 at Suibumbu Village in Senanga, she had served in civil society promoting gender equality and advocating for women’s rights. For her, resolving the crises in the Patriotic Front was just one of those duties in her life.

Ifintu ni Inonge

Ifintu ni Inonge

At first, she appeared to have been a neutral arbiter of conflicts beginning to surface just after the passing of President Sata. The main players in the conflict were Guy Scott on one side and Edgar Lungu on the other. She appears to have been quietly trying to have these two camps iron-out their own differences outside the glare of the public. But Scott’s infamous act to fire Lungu as Secretary General before President Sata was even laid to rest, rubbed many PF stalwarts the wrong way. As a peacemaker, that she is, she joined several PF leaders to have Scott rescind his decision to fire Edgar. To his credit Scott reversed his decision. Relations in the PF then went from bad to worse. It seemed that most of the MCCs had picked their side. They wanted Lungu. Most of PF MPs as well had decided to back Lungu for the presidency. On the other hand, Scott visibly did not seem to like Lungu. But in spite of Scott’s clear contempt for Lungu, it appears like there was consensus in the central committee, in cabinet and among PF parliamentary caucus that Edgar was going to be the PF candidate.

Inonge Wina

Inonge Wina

With the worsening relations within the PF, it was clear that resolving the conflict required some courageous leadership. It was at this juncture that Inonge’s guidance was going to be evident. She determined that the best way to resolve these problems was to give people what they wanted. She was not going to play neutral anymore. She had taken time to listen to the MCCs, to the MPs, and to the cabinet members. Consensus seems to have gone towards Edgar Lungu and she seems to have decided to make that happen. In many ways, therefore, she chose Edgar Lungu and she was going to do all that she could do to have the PF pick the candidate that consensus seems to have settled for. It also seemed clear that in spite of the emerging consensus, it was only Guy Scott and a few of his colleagues that did not want Lungu. Scott was going to do everything in his power to block Lungu. But doing so would not come without cost to the Patriotic Front. It is this cost, that Inonge wanted to avoid. And so the battleground was marked and the swords were drawn, Inonge Wina had picked a side and she was going to fight to the finish.

Consistent with Guy Scott’s reactionary and clueless leadership, when he noticed that Inonge had taken sides, he decided to drop her from PF. She responded with the bulk of MCCs to suspend Scott. Until that time, the pro-Lungu MCCs had lacked a credible spokesperson. All that changed when she emerged as the spokesperson for them. She brought credibility and integrity. The more Scott reacted against her, the more unreasonable he appeared. When on 30 November 2014, she stood at that platform to call the conference to order, it was all clear that Lungu was going to be elected. If PF stalwarts had picked Edgar, it was just natural for her to be the facilitator of that process rather than being the hindrance to it.

When later, in December she was asked about what had actually transpired at Kabwe, her answer was to the effect that she decided to go on with the meeting because she was concerned about the ruling party supporters who had travelled long distances to come and attend the meeting. She did not want to disappoint them. She wanted to have them go back having elected their leader. And so it was her pragmatism that finally won the day. Zambia needs pragmatic leaders like her.

Guy Lindsay Scott of Zambia

Guy Lindsay Scott of Zambia

After the election of Edgar Lungu, Scott proved that he still had some fight in him. He went ahead and conducted a fresh accreditation process and held another conference on Monday, December 1. But as far as Wina was concerned, the PF conference had already elected Lungu. What Scott was doing according to her, was illegal. She decided to go to court to compel Scott to not go ahead with his conference. Having obtained the injunction against the Monday meeting, Inonge Wina addressed the press with new PF president Edgar Lungu and presented to him the party’s adoption certificate. The work she had started was going to be brought to completion. At that same meeting, Lungu fired Bridget Attanga as Secretary General of the Party and replaced her with Davies Chama. This is perhaps one of the most significant tactical decisions that would prove decisive in giving Lungu the PF presidency.

Edgar’s route to the PF presidency has been fraught with great difficulties. Without the resolute leadership of one Inonge Wina, it could have been even more challenging. Lungu won because Wina did all she could to have him become the candidate. A president Edgar Lungu should look no further than Inonge for the choice of our country’s vice-president should he win in January. Inonge Wina has really earned her stripes. Vice-President Inonge Wina has a good ring to it. Ifintu ni Inonge.

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Suggested citation:

Munshya, E. (2014). After Sata: Inonge Wina and the making of the Edgar Lungu candidacy. Elias Munshya Blog. http://www.eliasmunshya.org, 30 December 2014

A Great Man Who Died “Empty”: Tribute to Dr. Myles Munroe (1954-2014)

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

The news came as a shock to me. Like most deaths, the passing of Dr. Myles Munroe was completely unexpected. He was flying to a meeting he was hosting in The Bahamas when his private plane hit a crane and disintegrated. All the nine passengers including Dr. Munroe’s wife Ruth died on the spot on November 9 2014. The Prime Minister of Bahamas, Perry Christie, remarked that the passing of Dr. Munroe was a huge loss to the island. Indisputably, Dr. Munroe had risen to be the most internationally influential preacher the commonwealth of Bahamas has ever produced. On many levels, the passing of Dr. Munroe has been a loss to his family, his church, his international followers and indeed to his native country. Munroe held three bachelor’s degrees, a Master of Arts degree and an honorary doctorate degree. He was a lecturer, advisor, pastor, and best-selling author.

I had the privilege of being introduced to the books and tapes of Dr. Munroe very young in my life. I started listening to Dr. Myles Munroe in my teenage years. My friends and I found the teachings from Dr. Munroe to be quite spiritually stimulating, emotionally vigorous and intellectually challenging. In the early nineties, a deacon in my home church in Chingola, the Grace Fellowship Family Church, lent me a book by Dr. Myles Munroe. I was only sixteen. But the book “In Pursuit of Purpose” changed my life. Henry Charles Sichone was a very dedicated church leader in Bishop Mumba Kalusenga’s congregation. He now provides leadership to a ministry called “Praise Ministries”. He had a home library where we could borrow books. It so happened that while he was sorting his books, I saw him tack away the book “In Pursuit of Purpose”. When I asked if he could lend it to me, he cautiously gave it to me with strict instructions that I return it in good condition. I had no idea just how much of an impact that book would have on my life. I am really glad that I came across that material. Dr. Myles Munroe helped shape my life through that book.

The Word of Faith Movement has received a lot of criticism. However, I find that some criticism to be quite unfair. While it is true that some within the faith movement only taught the idea that in order to make it in life you have to just “claim it”, there were other teachers who taught hard work, self-discipline and perseverance. Dr. Munroe belonged to the latter. There are several principles I learnt through the life and ministry of Dr. Myles Munroe.

First, Munroe taught about personal purpose. He taught that one’s fulfillment in life depends on them doing and becoming what they were born to be and do. This statement is quite liberating. I remember as a teenager reading through this statement and determining from then on that my fulfillment was not dependent on what my parents told me but on what I felt was God’s purpose for my life. It was this sense of personal purpose that led me to enroll in a theological college immediately after High School in Chingola. I have tried to pursue my personal purpose since then.

Second, Munroe taught about excellence. It was not enough to just know one’s purpose. Each person must work on excellence. The whole reason why we have a purpose to fulfill in life is because purpose brings something we can excel at. This is perhaps one of the most fundamental principles. The purpose of life is not to be rich or to be powerful, but rather to satisfy the primary reason why you exist. It is not about trying to be someone else, but it is about being an original. For some personal excellence might mean having to integrate several facets of life. Munroe was a preacher, lecturer and leadership consultant. It took excellence to integrate all these roles.

Dr. Myles Munroe

Dr. Myles Munroe

Third, Dr. Munroe taught about death. According to him, the grave is the richest place on earth because in it is buried great dreams that were never fulfilled. To motivate people, Dr. Munroe came up with a plan. The plan was about disappointing the grave. Instead of dying with a lot of potential, Munroe encouraged people to die “empty”. For him, a good death meant dying after you have fulfilled your purpose and emptied each and every piece of ideas or thoughts for the good humanity. Two weeks before his death, Munroe encouraged a TV audience to die like he was planning to die “empty”. The thought of human mortality does besiege each one of us. Existential questions abound in our minds. However, we should concentrate on ensuring that each day we live is spent emptying ourselves for the good of humanity. Indeed, after many lessons from Munroe, I am determined now more than ever to not only live purposefully, but also aspire to die “empty.”

Like many of us, Dr. Myles Munroe did have critics and detractors. He too had some debatable teachings. I am familiar with some of the controversial teachings later in his ministry. However, these controversies were never grave enough to warrant the criticism he received from some quarters. As a dispenser of concepts and ideas, Dr. Munroe did get into trouble. One of the most controversial aspects of his teachings has to do with his “Kingdom Theology”, which did seem to justify colonialism. Additionally, his teaching that “Christ” could be distinguished from “Jesus” was also quite controversial. For sure, the orthodox view is that, the man Jesus is actually the Christ. The humanity of Christ cannot be separated from the divinity of Christ. The human Jesus is the divine Christ. Weaknesses sometimes do show that we are all just human after all. Even the unimpeachable life of a great man like Myles Munroe could have some blemishes here and there. That is the hallmark of our own fallible humanity.

"A great man who died empty"

“A great man who died empty”

Years after I first encountered the teachings of Dr. Myles Munroe, I got to listen to him personally at a leadership conference in Swaziland. It was around the year 2000. The first meeting was at Lugogo Sun Hotel where he taught about leadership. The second meeting took place in Manzini where he spoke about the principles of purpose. It is these same principles that I had read about in his book “In Pursuit of Purpose.” I was just so glad that I could listen to him live. He appeared to be a very courteous fellow. After the Manzini meeting, I rushed to the stage, handed him a paper and he autographed it for me and for a hundred others that had jostled for the front. I have always had in my mind a desire to visit his home base in the Bahamas. But he died before I could travel to listen to him there. For sure, he died a great man. But he also died empty. He fulfilled his purpose and I just hope that each one of us will live to fulfill our own purpose and then die “empty”.

Rupiah Banda should form his own party and stop “ubuloshi”

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Nevers Sekwila Mumba

Nevers Sekwila Mumba

If RB wants to stand, it would be great for the likes of Mulusa and RB to form the Movement for Bwezani and Mulusa (MBM) so that they can field RB. They should leave the MMD so that the party functions under the leadership of its elected president. What RB is doing to MMD, is not leadership but treachery. This is not how an elder statesman behaves, this is the way a spoiled child behaves. In other words and indeed for a lack of a better term what Rupiah Banda is doing can be called “Ubuloshi.”

No one should ever defile Rupiah Banda’s right to aspire for the presidency. He is a very old man, but he is a citizen nevertheless with full constitutional rights to stand for the presidency. Our constitution gives rights to babies as well as very old men and women. However, what is really offensive and unacceptable is corruption, theft, treachery, nepotism, and “ubu loshi”. You might ask me what is “ubuloshi”? I do not mean that RB ni ndoshi, here is my definition of political “ubuloshi”. Going behind the back of an elected leader and engineering a “political comeback” by poisoning the minds and hearts of the very people that were responsible for the failure of the MMD in the first place.

Handing the torch of leadership to the young is not easy. It requires great discipline from the old. It is remarkable that Mandela did it. Banda has the right to contest on his party which he and Mulusa will form, but he should not bring this confusion and tumult to the MMD. Why should these UNIPIsts be allowed to kill the MMD just like they killed UNIP? Nevers Mumba could not have come up with any magic to change the declining fortunes of the MMD within 3 or 5 years. It would take time and sacrifice and discipline. Evidence is there to prove that parties usually decline when they have a transition in the presidency. The same happened to UPND, but UPND is on the upswing, do you know why? It is because, they kept the young HH even when everything was showing that he was losing it, and now the UPND is being rewarded.

The same should happen to the MMD. Give Mumba a chance. A chance to make mistakes. A chance to be himself. A chance to reinvent the MMD. A chance to work on himself as a leader. A chance to be a true political candidate. But even before he could even cough, Rupiah the poisoner Banda wants to come back through the back door.

So what happened then to the speech RB gave in 2011. What happened to all those lectures he gave at Boston University ? This is the problem when a leader hires speech writers to do speeches for him. RB is not committed to any thing he read because the speech was just written for him. My advise to RB is to go back to his lectures at Boston and to reread the speech his consultants wrote for him in 2011.

As for Mulusa and all the young like him, it is disappointing, very disappointing to say the least. For now, we await the formation of a party of Mulusa, Muhabi Lungu and RB because Nevers Mumba is likely to win the court case.

If the MMD is not happy with Nevers, wait for the general conference and vote him out fairly. Not this game. If Nevers is being disrespected because he is a former pastor, then we all who are connected to churches should be very concerned. You killed MMD. You stole using MMD. You did all sorts of wrong using the name of the party, and now that you wanted someone to lead you you went begging to Nevers and you elected him overwhelmingly. It is shocking that you want to kick him out and bring back the very guy who made MMD to lose in 2011. Ninshi? Sata afwa and Rupiah Banda feels like he can bounce back?

I do love Rupiah Banda. He is a very kind old man. He looks to be very humorous. He is a statesman. He has respect all over the world. But this treachery is unacceptable. My advice to him is ” Bo Bwezani, form your own party and leave MMD alone.”

An Open Letter to Dr. Christine Mwelwa Kaseba

 

Kuli ba Mama Kaseba:

Intanshi mutende!

Before I proceed any further, let me state out-rightly what this letter is not about. As a person who strongly believes in women’s rights, I must commend your decision to stand as presidential candidate within days of burying your spouse. Indeed, every woman must aspire to provide leadership to this great country. Your ambition therefore should be encouraged. I also should assure you that your decision to stand has somehow provided that needed courage for all women all over Zambia. Indeed, there is no minimum time required for mourning. There is no one-way of mourning our beloved ones. Usually, traditions have been used to shackle good women, especially after the death of their spouses. Your bravery to provide your candidacy for consideration, therefore, should be commended. I therefore do not condemn you for taking this courageous step. You have done well. I want to live in a Zambia where women will indeed have the liberty to make decisions based on what they feel is right. The time should come when women should stand against traditions that have the potential to subjugate. As a spouse, you have a say in the way you want to mourn or not mourn the departed. While it is true that it has only been a week since your spouse was put to rest, we should commend you for wanting to carry on the legacy that he left behind. And in your own way you have chosen to continue the legacy. And that Ba Mfumu is where I find the problem.

Kanabesa, the reign of your late husband was controversial for our country.  Your spouse presided over a nation that has emerged more tribal and more nepotistic than any other president that has ruled our country. In three years we have accumulated more kaloba in billions of dollars. If this were the legacy you want to carry on, I would ask you to re-examine your heart and think again. Zambians are not naïve; we have seen how that the Zambian diplomatic corps now comprise your relatives and those of your late husband. Surprisingly, there are a number of diplomats whose only credential is that there were at one time very close personal friends of your spouse. I believe that part of the diplomatic corps should be scared now that you are aspiring to replace President Sata. But there is another cadre of diplomats that your candidacy will protect – your relatives and those of President Sata. If you say that this is the legacy you want to carry on, I should be the first one to state that please Ba Mfumu reexamine your decision.

Dr. Christine Mwelwa Kaseba

Dr. Christine Mwelwa Kaseba

From the civil service to the army, and parastatal organs, your relatives have greatly benefited from you being First Lady. Ba Mfumu your actions while First Lady in looking out only for the interest of your family creates reasonable suspicion in my heart that you do not mean well for the future of our country. Do not get me wrong. You do seem to be a great woman. You are educated. You do have a great experience as a medical doctor serving the needs of our poor at the University Teaching Hospital. But when we look at the government and see how many of your bululus are in office, it darkens our hearts and makes us wonder whether your reign will be any different from that of your late husband. As Laura Miti has rightly put it: “I just don’t want anyone from the Sata family. We need to dismantle the nepotistic edifice built in the state by the Sata presidency.”

Michael Chilufya Sata

Michael Chilufya Sata

When your husband was ill, we all saw that he had lost weight and that he was not alert at all. He was visibly sick, very sick. We meant well when we asked that your family consider withdrawing him from power so that he could concentrate on getting better. Who knows? May be he could have lived a little longer had he been away from the pressures of the State office. But our advice was met by repeated injury from yourself and those in his government. Even when he was addressing parliament, as frail as he was, the images of your beaming smile has despoiled our memory. We knew there was something wrong. But your smile tried to cover it all. You should not be blamed for the actions of your spouse, but it certainly creates questions in some of us to wonder what really was going on. As a spouse, were you complacent in keeping your husband going even when he had no capacity to provide leadership to our country? Now that you are aspiring to lead our country, it is in good conscience that we should ask these questions.

I am Ushi from Milenge, and as a people from the pedicle, we all know how widows become the first suspects after their spouses have died. That tradition is deplorable and we must condemn it. We should preside upon families to treat widows with all dignity and respect. As the Glorious Band sang in “Isambo Lya Mfwa”, it is unfair to heap the blame on the widows. That being the case, ba mfumu, we have a few questions that need answering considering that you are putting your name forward.

Obviously, we cannot insist on traditions now, when during illness our calls for humanity and Ubuntu were rebuffed. We cannot insist on a period of mourning now, when even at the time that Michael Chilufya Sata was visibly sick and incapacitated, all we saw was a cadre of people wanting to continue profiteering from the palms of a sick man.

I do not have confidence in your candidature. Your desire is to continue with the same legacy of corruption, nepotism and tribalism started by your spouse. You do not provide anything new and your time at State House as a spouse of President Sata inspires little confidence. You are a woman nevertheless and in a country that has been destroyed by men in power, it might be a source of relief to have a woman in power. But I really doubt if this woman should be you.

For now, I wish you well and hope that all goes well with you and yours. But please if you get elected to the presidency stop nepotism and tribalism and please help Zambia reduce on its appetite for “kaloba”.

Napwa Niine,

Munshya

MMD Adopts Nevers Mumba for upcoming presidential by-election

This is a statement issued by the MMD Secretariat and Media Team today, November 16 2014

Nevers Sekwila Mumba

Nevers Sekwila Mumba

The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) has unanimously adopted MMD President Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba as its candidate for the upcoming presidential by-election. After a lengthy meeting that started in the late afternoon on Sunday the 16th of November 2014 and ended almost at midnight, the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved that Dr Mumba was the duly elected MMD president and as such is the automatic candidate for any presidential election.

The NEC had met to consider this matter among other items that included the MMD’s participation in the upcoming by-election, resource mobilization and the possibility of making alliances with other opposition political parties. The NEC has given a full mandate to the president to investigate possible election alliances and to consider what role former president Rupiah Banda would be best suited for in the run up to the by-election.

The MMD constitution does not provide for another election during the time there is a sitting president, nor does it allow the NEC to overturn the decision of the MMD National Convention which was last held in May 2012 and saw Dr Mumba elected by 70% of the vote in the second round of an election that used the 50%+1 system.