22 January 2013

Zambia: Namugala, Kachingwe Form Parallel MMD Structure

SQUABBLES in the MMD yesterday deepened when ousted national secretary Richard Kachingwe and Mafinga Member of Parliament (MP) Catherine Namugala formed a parallel structure with a new party headquarters.

Major Kachingwe declared that a new leadership will soon be ushered in.

Maj Kachingwe announced yesterday that a national convention would be held by May this year.

He was flanked by Ms Namugala, who is MMD chairperson for women's affairs, at a media briefing characterised by an exchange of punches among rival MMD youths.

Shortly before the speeches, a group of youths demanded money and started chanting slogans that Dr Nevers Mumba was still MMD president.

The group believed to have come from Mtendere went outside where they started hurling insults, banging the gate and threw objects over the boundary wall.

Maj Kachingwe and Ms Namugala abandoned the briefing to take cover in the new party secretariat as the youth continued to throw stones.

As the youth loyal to Maj Kachingwe chased away their rivals, heavy congestion on Bwinjimfumu Road formed.

Police officers in anti-riot gear arrived at the secretariat to maintain order.

Ms Namugala condemned the youth who she alleged were sent by Dr Mumba to destabilise the unveiling of the new MMD secretariat.

"Today, we have officially opened our new MMD secretariat. That old MMD secretariat is for Dr Mumba and his Reform Party since records at the Registrar of Societies show that he is not our party president.

"Those who want to join us should feel free to come here and leave that old secretariat for Dr Mumba," Ms Namugala said.

She said the opening of the new party secretariat would result in reorganisation of the 'New Deal' MMD and that the national convention would be convened in the next 90 days.

"We need genuine MMD members. This is our party and we need to protect it from imposters and hijackers," she said.

She appealed to MMD parliamentarians currently serving in the Patriotic Front Government not to be scared about criticising Dr Mumba because he was no longer the party leader.

Maj Kachingwe said he was still the valid MMD national secretary and that Dr Mumba was expelled as party leader a long time ago because he was still Reform Party president.

Efforts to get a comment from Dr Mumba, his deputy Michael Kaingu and national chairperson Kabinga Pande failed as all their mobile phones were off while deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu refused to comment.

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