6 March 2018

Zambia: Can the MMD Rise From Its Political Deathbed?

opinion

With the Zambian political scene a hive of activity, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) has also got in the action. MMD through its youthful general secretary Raphael Nakachinda has been touching base with the masses across the provinces.

For the record the MMD was at the helm of Zambian politics from 1991 to 2011 when they lost power. It has not helped that the party has been on a downward spiral since losing power, perhaps going down faster than UNIP in the post 1991 elections. But Nakachinda and his lieutenants have now hit the road working to revive the fortunes of the MMD.

The MMD has had its internal struggles with two factions quietly at each other's necks but there seems to be a new direction of an MMD that is treading a solo path. What chance does the MMD have of going it alone in the 2021 elections? Or rather who is the man to lead the MMD into the 2021 elections? Their other possible candidate and arguably their best bet Felix Mutati is stuck in a marriage of convenience with the ruling Patriotic Front where he has been relegated to Minister of Works and Supply.

Lest we forget there has also been that lingering possibility that Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala could weigh in on the race with an outside chance. For the record the MMD representation in parliament now lies in the following personalities Maxwell Kabanda (Serenje), Howard Kunda (Muchinga), Namugala (nominated), Peter Phiri (Mkaika) and Mutati.

If the MMD has to think about picking up the pieces they have to start from these heads that are fairly grounded to give the party some chance of revival.

What the party will do to get the support of their former strong members that crossed over to the Patriotic Front in an alliance of convenience in the 2016 elections. Notable names like Dora Siliya, Vincent Mwale, Bowman Lusambo, and Victoria Kalima among others.

And then there is that small awkward entitlement fight with UPND aligned Nevers Mumba who claims to lead the MMD albeit from the UPND bedroom.

While the MMD is lying prostrate perhaps for the sake of the history that it holds for this country something must be done to help it remain relevant to the political game in Zambia. However that responsibility lies squarely on the MMD.

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