14 December 2012

Zambia: Quench MMD Turmoil or Sink


IT is time the MMD leadership came out of denial and confronted the deepening political turmoil within its ranks before the former ruling party is consigned to the archives.

Members of Parliament (MPs), founder and senior members must gather enough courage and convene an indaba at which they should craft a survival plan, or the once-vibrant organisation is headed for the doldrums.

Fear, uncertainty, desperation, anger, frustration, and anxiety are among the negative attributes that have afflicted the general membership of this party, now teetering on knife edge.

It will be foolish for anyone to believe or pretend that the MMD is on course and that it is being administered on the basis of democratic values as espoused in the party constitution.

A crisis of the magnitude obtaining in the former ruling party requires firstly that leaders and the general membership alike admit that there is grave danger which if not handled carefully, can send the organisation into the trash can.

Secondly, members and indeed the leadership at various levels must identify the problems and the causes of such challenges.

They should then come up with effective solutions and implement them collectively. Assessment should be done at every turn.

However, this is what is lacking among men and women in MMD, some of whom have arrogantly insisted that the happenings within the ranks are part of the cleansing process. What myopia!

One wonders why senior members like Felix Mutati, who is Lunte MP, Situmbeko Musokotwane of Liuwa constituency, Mafinga's Catherine Namugala, Eustarkio Kazonga from Vubwi, and many other intellectuals have kept quiet.

Certainly the problem is not far but centres around their president Nevers Mumba whose leadership style has been brought into question.

Gabriel Namulambe, the former elections chairperson and Mpongwe lawmaker brought out critical points which must not be glossed over.

The leadership style of the Pastor-turned politician is alien in the political arena.

Dr Mumba seems to be moving at breakneck speed as he has prematurely set his eyes on State House instead of resolving in-house challenges.

The re-branding process he pretended to have started was a cosmetic strategy aimed at asserting his authority on the party whose grassroots and other vital structures have not accepted him. His strategy is upside-down.

The man is blindly touring markets when he should have targeted the grassroots in the countryside where he is not known.

Yes, without taking away anything from the man, he was an articulate televangelist and his messages from the pulpit were appealing in every sense. He had a place, he had an audience, he had the charisma, he had the eloquence.

But does he command the same attributes as a politician?

He should evaluate his performance through simple sampling in all the 10 provinces.

Zambians cannot buy rhetoric, but they need plausible ideas and alternative ideas on how they could come out of challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and disease.

Politics of development must take centre-stage among politicians who should at all times check themselves against personal aggrandisement.

If indeed, the MMD national executive committee has 64 members, do all the distinguished personalities subscribe to Dr Mumba's leadership style? The answer is certainly not yes!

The country needs a credible opposition and selfless leaders who can offer checks and balances without fear, opportunism, and selfishness.

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