(By Charles Tembo in Kitwe)
MWENYA Musenge says everything he is doing is for the good of the party.
Musenge, who was last week demoted by NDC president Chishimba Kambwili from party secretary general to chiefs affairs chairman, has purported to pull the party from the alliance of 12 opposition parties and to lift all the suspensions slapped on all party members.
Musenge said he would meet Kambwili and vice-president Josephs Akafumba today to resolve issues affecting the party.
Addressing the press on Monday evening at Chillers Corner bar, Musenge said the NDC was going through turbulence that would soon end.
“I called this briefing to clear some of the issues in the public. I want to categorically state that after the guidance from the Registrar of Society, the party status quo remains, which means that each and every person retains his former position. So all those changes and appointments do not apply. As a party, we are passing through a turbulent period, but I’m very sure that very soon NDC shall be able to win and be strong,” Musenge said.
“The misconception that has been going round that I’m going to bed with PF, that I have been bought, that I have been paid, that should be condemned and I clearly state here that there has never been such a thing. As an architect of the party, there are core values and principles which this party was founded on, which I have tasked myself to defend. Therefore, there is nothing sinister by insisting that we follow the right procedures in doing everything within the party.”
Musenge said the NDC was bound by its constitution and that everything would be done in accordance with that the party laws.
“And more especially, we are bound by the constitution which we formed for ourselves. I wish to mention here that I have engaged Honourable Chishimba Kambwili, we have spoken over the phone for the past two days and I have discussed with vice-president Josephs Akafumba and we are looking at having a roundtable meeting on Wednesday this week to try and resolve the impasse within the party,” Musenge disclosed. “And I want to believe this will be done once and for all. In that vein, I wish to appeal to all members of the party and of course our sympathisers out there to remain calm as we work hard to find a common ground and end this problem we have encountered. In this regard, I wish to give a directive that our members should desist from making comments that work against NDC. I pray that after the discussion, we will come out strong and a prosperous NDC. I will clearly state that it is with the interest of the party that I have taken certain decisions, not being bought or paid money, for what? I want to appeal to our colleagues to follow the issues before us.”
Musenge announced that suspensions slapped on all NDC members had been lifted.
“If we had any suspensions within the party, all are lifted with immediate effect. So Mr Chewe Steven (Kitwe NDC chairman) resumes work. Our young man in Northern Province region Sinkonde also resumes his functions. I have noted also that from the Registrar of Society, some party members have made unwarranted comments, that should come to an end, especially those in the National Governing Committee. We don’t have the Central Committee, these are senior members of the party,” he said.
Musenge said the NDC has pulled out of the opposition alliance.
“I want to appreciate the alliance. However, we have decided that we suspend our link to the alliance until at a time when the national governing committee deliberates on it and makes a party decision. We need to make a collective agreement and not a single individual saying we are a party. This is the reason why one party went to congratulate an individual as president,” Musenge said
He also said the NDC would participate in the National Dialogue Forum.
“It is also NDC position that we participate in the National Dialogue. It is law and we are all alive that it has passed in Parliament and UPND participated and it is law. It has to be respected. We are concerned that our colleagues in government may not mean well but that cannot be the reason to stay away. It is important that we engage them and if we are not comfortable, we raise it there. We have appointed Mr Steven Chewe, one of our 10 office-bearers, to represent the party at the national dialogue meeting in Lusaka,” said Musenge.