NATIONAL Democratic Congress vice-president Josephs Akafumba says former party secretary general Mwenya Musenge has no authority to represent the party because he was suspended for 6 months following the expiry of the 21 days forced leave that was earlier slapped on him. In an interview yesterday, Akafumba explained that the Central Committee, at a meeting held on 25 March 2019, decided to upgrade Musenge’s forced leave to suspension after he violated the terms of his leave by issuing statements on behalf of the party.
He was responding to a statement from Ministry of Home Affairs public relations officer Nephas Chifuta, who quoted Musenge, who, in a letter to the Registrar of Societies, dismissed as illegal the meeting that chose Kambwili as NDC president.
“You will recall that I gave an interview to the media on 22 February 2019 in which I indicated that the party would decide Musenge’s fate after the expiry of the 21 days forced leave that the party meted on him. On 25 March 2019, the Central Committee met to, among other things, consider Musenge’s position given his repeated appearances in the media, where he was issuing statements for and on behalf of the NDC, when he was on forced leave. At that meeting, the Central Committee decided to upgrade Musenge’s forced leave to a 6 months suspension,” Akafumba said.
He further explained that in the absence of the secretary general, deputy-secretary general Bridget Atanga exercised the functions of the former.
“After the 25 March 2019 meeting, the next Central Committee meeting took place on 18th April 2019. At this meeting, the Committee made a number of resolutions, which included the appointment of Chishimba Kambwili as the interim president of NDC. After his appointment, President Kambwili used his discretion to lift the suspension of Musenge and immediately reassigned him to a new position, that of party chairperson for chiefs and traditional affairs. The president also appointed Mrs Atanga as the new NDC secretary general, leaving the position of deputy secretary general vacant. The minutes of both the 25 March and 18 April Central Committee meetings are available,” Akafumba explained.
He also revealed that the NDC would hold its party convention in late 2020 to elect substantive office bearers.
“As you know, all those in the current Central Committee, from the President to the committee members, are serving on an interim basis. I was surprised that the statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that the National Party Congress is the only party organ with the mandate to elect the party president. But the same principle also applies to the position of Secretary General and all other positions. They can only be elected on a substantive basis at the National Party Congress. All the current office bearers, including the president, the secretary general and myself are serving on an interim basis. To this effect, and to live up to our name as a truly democratic political party, the NDC plans to hold its first-ever national party congress towards the end of next year. We would soon be announcing to the nation the exact dates for this important elective meeting, at which all positions would be contested.”