18 August 2012

Zambia: MMD Changes Name - Party Apologises and Adopts New Name As Part of Re-Branding

IN a move to endear itself to the electorate, the MMD has tendered a profuse apology to the nation for its past misdeeds and has also discarded its tainted name.

And MMD president, Nevers Mumba has charged that he will not work with people who have been labelled as corrupt or any of those who have been convicted by the courts of law for various transgressions.

Sources within the MMD yesterday confirmed to the Times of Zambia that the former ruling party has resolved to discard the name Movement for Multi-party Democracy and replaced this with Mother of Multi-party Democracy.

The sources said senior party members felt the 20-year-old political party was no longer a movement but one which ruled the country and was key to bringing about democracy in Zambia.

The decision is said to have been made at the just-ended three-day retreat that the MMD had been having in the outskirts of Lusaka Province.

"A lot of issues were discussed during the retreat and one of them was the changing of the name to Mother of Multi-party Democracy," the source said.

The source further said that it was also agreed that the party's slogan, 'The Hour Has Come', which was equally outdated, should be redone.

The new slogan according to the source would be based on creating hope in the minds of the people.

The source said of paramount importance at the retreat was the issue of funding.

They said one of the MMD founder members, Vernon Mwaanga, gave an inspirational talk on the need for all members to work hard and contribute to the well-being of the former ruling party.

Mr Mwaanga is said to have told the gathering that at the time MMD started in the 1990â-'s, the party had no funds and wondered why issues of finance should be a problem today.

"VJ told us that the MMD started without money and that at that time all people in it worked together to ensure that it took over from UNIP. This is the kind of spirit he says should be exhibited now.

"All of us should contribute to the party in one way or the other. There is need for a fighting spirit and this should not only be left to the party president."

The source added that the MMD would in the next two weeks unveil the re-branded MMD to the public.

On the shadow cabinet to counter the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), the source said the matter was being discussed and members of the shadow cabinet would be known by today.

Meanwhile, the MMD president has said he would not work with people who had a corruption tag attached to them.

Dr Mumba said he was determined to distance the new MMD from the old perception of being a corrupt party.

He said he had proposed the formation of the Anti-Corruption Committee to monitor any activities that could perpetuate the perception.

"I have further proposed to the next sitting of NEC that any leader in our party who has been convicted by the courts of law should step aside and allow for the process to take place," he said.

He, however, claimed that the party was aware that there was a scheme to persecute its members by using investigative wings in the country.

Dr Mumba said the MMD had also appointed an ad-hoc re-branding committee which would work on the recommendations in preparation for the event at which the party would unveil the new MMD to the Zambian people.

Dr Mumba told a media briefing at the MMD secretariat yesterday that the party at the just-ended retreat had resolved that corrupt elements should not be allowed to creep into the party.

On the retreat, Dr Mumba said the idea was born out of his campaign promise to take the party through a process of reflection, repentance and re-branding.

"We reflected on our history, we repented of our wrongs and we committed ourselves to a process of re-branding.

"MMD back in government will ensure that the new approach of honesty and contrition guides our re-engagement with the women, the youth, the disabled and all Zambians in general," he said.

He said the fact that MMD was now under new management allowed for a change of direction in the manner that it re-engaged the nation.

"It was a brutal 72 hours of introspection. It was a necessary time out for our party. Our goal was to face ourselves and answer some difficult questions about ourselves as individuals, as a party and assess our relevance to the many daunting challenges facing our nation," he said.

Dr Mumba urged MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) members to exercise humility.

He said the MMD had presented itself before the people of Zambia and asked for forgiveness where as a party in government failed them.

"We acknowledge that along the way, having started on a very good journey in 1991, we appeared to have drifted off and lost touch with some of the needs of our people, particularly the youth, women and other vulnerable groups," he said.

Copyright © 2012 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.