24 January 2013

Zambia: MMD Is in Comatose!


THE MMD will soon be consigned to the political archives if leaders and the general membership do not settle down and give credence to the party's important oversight role.

It is clear that leaders and their sponsored violent cadres have placed priority on expending more of their energies on fighting for leadership and character assassination at the expense of offering checks and balances.

They have abandoned their oversight role.

More than a year after the crushing defeat, the former ruling party is still shrouded in the September 20, 2011 dust that ushered out the once vibrant party from power.

They are embroiled in squabbles, which have drifted to the Courts. Now there are two secretariats. What drama!

Leaders and members alike will not recover from the hangover if they do not accept and appreciate the challenges that the opposition parties have to grapple with.

One of the most painful realities the MMD will have to live with is the hassle it has to go through in order to raise money for operations because while in power leaders dug into State coffers to finance party functions.

It was easy to finance administrative and operations such as transport and other logistics.

The party failed to invest money in infrastructure and enjoyed free accommodation in State-run institutions such as the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA).

Party cadres were transported to and from airports as well as to far-flung areas in time of campaigns using vehicles from Zesco and other state enterprises.

Leaders must be gnashing their teeth for being so myopic.

The party leadership cultivated a culture of appeasing the cadres by giving them 'brown envelopes.'

The youth in the party are now faced with hopelessness, the reason why they mostly engage in invectives at every turn in frustration. They are willing to destabilise rival camps to get the last penny from the party which is now in comatose.

On Tuesday, another secretariat was born in Rhodes Park spearheaded by expelled party stalwarts Richard Kachingwe and Catherine Namugala.

Interestingly, both camps are preparing to sponsor candidates in the forthcoming Mpongwe and Livingstone by-elections.

It was a relief for the United Party for National Development (UPND) that the loose alliance collapsed otherwise the Hakainde Hichilema-led organisation could have been soiled had the marriage continued.

The other omission is that the former ruling party had left the grassroot and structures in the countryside impotent.

Sadly, the party is now being run from the plush and elitist Kabulonga and Rhodes Park areas in the capital city.

Surely, Dr Nevers Mumba and his cohorts ought to know that the strength of any party is anchored around the grassroots. They must realise, too, that MMD enjoyed support from the rural populous. Why can't they go there? Why are they still clamouring in Lusaka?

MMD must spread out using the little resources instead of spending valuable time on squabbles.

The leadership must hold fast the dwindling popularity and gather sufficient courage to accept reality publicly.

They should depart from the old-fashioned tactic of parading party spokesperson Dora Siliya to 'defend' the image of the party. The image is too contorted to be defended.

MMD should go for a convention. It is in comatose!

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