Zambia: Namulambe Joins PF

MMD Mpongwe Member of Parliament (MP) Gabriel Namulambe has ditched the trouble-torn opposition party to join the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), as more defections loom to throw the Nevers Mumba-led political party into irreversible political turmoil.

Mr Namulambe, who was chairperson for elections, cited deep-rooted divisions and undemocratic tendencies by Dr Mumba as the major reasons for his resignation.

On Wednesday, former Mines deputy minister Jazzman Chikwakwa resigned from MMD, two weeks after Donald Chilufya who was Lusaka District MMD chairperson resigned.

Mr Namulambe defected along with MMD Mpongwe District officials and former district commissioner during the MMD rule, Rasford Bulaya.

But MMD vice-president for political affairs Michael Kaingu said the party was still studying Mr Namulambe's resignation letter and would issue a statement at an appropriate time.

There are reports of more resignations from the former ruling party looming, following displeasure over Dr Mumba's style of leadership.

Mr Namulambe divulged details of Dr Mumba's failed leadership and the party's heavy indebtedness, saying the MMD should not contest the K4 billion debt to the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), but instead settle the matter amicably.

"I want to state that there is deep-rooted confusion in the MMD. The party has lost direction because of Dr Nevers Mumba who tramples on members, abrogates the party constitution and has continued to exhibit dictatorial tendencies.

"This has forced me to take this decision and I have resigned with immediate effect," Mr Namulambe said amidst cheering from PF members.

PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba, Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo, Community Development, Mother and Child Health Deputy Minister Dorothy Kazunga and senior party members attended the ceremony at the PF secretariat in Lusaka.

Mr Namulambe said the MMD leader had hijacked the party and promoted hooliganism.

He said the financially beleaguered MMD was now surviving on contributions from its 52 MPs, a situation he described as embarrassing for a party that governed the country for more than two decades.

He said it was difficult to comprehend how Dr Mumba was managing to pay rentals for his Kabulonga home.

"There has been serious concern over who is paying his rentals because he is not capable," he said.

He accused Dr Mumba of using youths to harass senior members such as the hounding of expelled national secretary, Richard Kachingwe, which he could not condone.

"Instead of waiting to be expelled, I want to state that I have left and I want to work with the ruling party to foster development in Mpongwe," said the former Works and Supply minister in the previous administration.

He said senior MMD members like vice-president Brian Chituwo, Liuwa MP Situmbeko Musokotwane, and his Lunte counterpart Felix Mutati were also concerned about Dr Mumba's leadership style.

Meanwhile, Mr Kabimba said the PF would not allow compromised loyalty from its members and that once detected, disciplinary action would be meted out.

"Like I always say, this country will only be developed by Zambians, so let us avoid and learn from what has happened in the MMD.

"It is not our wish for the opposition to die but if they want to kill themselves, let them go ahead," Mr Kabimba said.

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