THE opposition MMD has plunged into deeper trouble as its leadership in Muchinga Province has petitioned president Nevers Mumba to step aside and allow national chairperson Kabinga Pande lead the former ruling party until after a convention is held.
MMD Muchinga Province chairperson Janet Mulenga said in Mpika yesterday that due to the wrangles which have engulfed the party, members feared that it could go into oblivion if Dr Mumba continued at the helm.
At the weekend, MMD Luapula Province leadership, including Emmanuel Chungu who was the chairperson at the time, defected to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
Ms Mulenga said the party in Muchinga Province was petitioning the National Executive Committee (NEC) to relieve Dr Mumba of his party duties with immediate effect.
She was supported by provincial information and publicity secretary Listo Ng'onga and provincial youth information publicity secretary Geoffrey Kapengwe at Tazara Training School where the meeting was held.
The party leadership in Muchinga has also petitioned the NEC to call for an urgent convention to elect new office bearers because the current leadership was allegedly heading nowhere.
Ms Mulenga said in order to avoid further resignations of committed members from the party, it was important that new office bearers were allowed to lead the MMD
The MMD provincial leadership has since threatened to force Dr Mumba out of the party if the NEC fails to heed to their demands.
She said Dr Mumba was suspending and firing party members that have different views thereby making the MMD weak.
She claimed that the latest member to be suspended was national chairperson for women Catherine Namugala who is also Mafinga Member of Parliament.
Ms Namugala has, however, expressed ignorance about her reported suspension but said she would not be surprised if the rumours were true.
When contacted, Dr Mumba maintained that he would not step down and that he still had the mandate from the members.
He told ZANIS that the party would stick to the current leadership adding that there were no plans to hold an urgent convention.
On the reported suspension of Ms Namugala, Dr Mumba referred queries to acting national secretary, Kapembwa Simbao who could not be reached.