MWENYA Musenge says there is no PF interference in the NDC wrangles between him and party leader Chishimba Kambwili and has dismissed assertions that he has been bought off.
Musenge says from the onset, he has been the architect and vision carrier of the NDC.
He was reacting to The Mast editorial of Tuesday, May 21, 2019 titled, Let’s all defend Kambwili’s human rights.
Musenge was particularly not happy with the line “The wrangles they [PF] have sponsored in NDC cannot be used to deny Kambwili his human rights.”
He maintained that there was no truth in assertions that he had been paid to desturbilise the NDC.
He said what happening in the opposition party were in-house issues that needed to be resolved.
He said his deeds were meant to harmonise the party differences in the spirit of reconciliation.
“I want to clearly put it to you that there is nothing at all in terms of interference from the PF…because people have been saying I have been bought, I have been paid, I have been done this and that, there is literally nothing and it’s not true. There are issues within the party that need to be resolved and they boarder on nothing else but the rule of law and abiding to the party constitution, the constitution that we have made for ourselves and today the constitution that my colleagues are now saying is non-existent as they are trying to defend the court case,” Musenge said.
“The Registrar of Societies had given guidance that the meeting that was held some time back, I think it’s the meeting of the 18th was an illegal meeting. It was an illegal meeting and whatever resolutions were passed, the imposing of Kambwili, as President of NDC, was null and void. In the spirit of trying to harmonise, spirit of trying to reconcile, I came out and issued a statement that let each one of us go back to their own positions and let Kambwili take up his consultancy role as before so that we sit and see how we can resolve these matters. He [Kambwili] refused and they became adamant and continued with the illegality that was done.”
Musenge said he decided again to take the matter to court because the Kambwili camp wanted to use force to bully and hijack the party.
He said the National Democratic Congress was his brainchild but indicated that the fight between him and Kambwili was not about who owned the party.
“This is an institution that has grown, and we have made it very clear…. Nobody can deny it, whether they want to say no, or want to pretend, I started this thing, the NDC and nobody doesn’t know that but of course it doesn’t mean it’s personal and the fight between me and him is not about who owns the party, no! I am the architect, I am the vision carrier. From the onset, I would have put myself president but the vision that I wanted, that I have been praying for and pushing for is a situation where we bring in everybody who agrees with what we stand for on board,” he explained.
Musenge further said the formation of the NDC begun way before the PF expelled him and Kambwili.
Reminded of reports indicating that Kambwili sponsored the registration of NDC, Musenge said it was not true and demanded proof.
“It’s not true, are they able to produce proof that every little Ngwee came from Kambwili? We ought to understand Kambwili very well, he is somebody who would want to create an impression that he is the one who has been sponsoring the party, that is not true,” he said.
Musenge said he has never been fronted by anybody and that he started NDC from his business place, ‘Chillers Corner’ in Kitwe.
He said before he was expelled, some of his colleagues, Christopher Mulenga, Mwango and former MP for Nakonde, visited him on the Copperbelt encouraging him to form a party and suggested for them to go and see Kambwili.
“We drove to Kambwili’s residence but he categorically refused that, ‘me I am not interested in forming a party, I want to fight this thing inside’ but I want to restate that it’s not about the ownership of the party because what I would want is not an individual to own the party,” Musenge explained.
Musenge explained that his vision had been that the party should be owned by the members.
He however noted that Kambwili was a very popular man but maintained that if he could not accept the ideals and ideologies of NDC, he should form his own party.
“That’s another battle because where we are coming from, we have seen how political parties have been personalised, where individuals have become a ka semi-god of a political party and that we would not want to happen in NDC, that’s where the problem is coming in,” Musenge said. “We are now saying to our members that all those that want to follow Kambwili can follow him but if you want to follow NDC, come to NDC and appreciate the party and not an individual. Kambwili has the following, he is very popular, that we can’t question, but if he cannot accept the ideals and ideologies of the party on which we want to be governed, it’s every simple – to register a new political party which he can run and all the people that follow him can go to that party.”
Musenge complained that Kambwili had created small teams within NDC who had continuously insulted, belittled and disparaged him.
He further complained that although he had not uttered a word following the disparaging remarks from selected groups within the NDC, Kambwili was on record joining in calling him foolish and mad.
“If we remain with two or three people, we will still continue building on the ideals and ideologies on which NDC has been founded,” he said.
Musenge further warned that he would not tolerate Kambwili’s continued depiction of himself as party president.
He added that the few times that meetings of reconciliation have been called, Kambwili would either not pitch up or walk out.
“So the issue in Eastern Province is very clear, if he [Kambwili] wants to go and call a meeting anywhere not under the title of president of NDC, he is free to do that but for as long as he wants to call himself president, calls a meeting saying he is going to chair NDC in Eastern Province as president, I think I am not going to allow that. That’s why we are saying the matter is in court and I have opted to remain quiet over some time now.”
He said although Kambwili might have contributed funds to the party, it did not make him its owner.
“The NDC is not him, and he knows deep down in his heart that it shall never be him. I stood up openly that I am going to form a political party, so why can’t you people believe that I formed a party? I don’t have the capacity? Is it because him is able to go to London, drink tea in London and come back Ichungulo so you believe him that he has got all the resources? I am not mad, if I was used as a front, I would have simply come out in the open and said ‘yes, I was used as a front’,” he said.
Musenge said NDC youth chairperson Cahrles Kabwita was his “chola boy”.
He said he single-handedly wrote the party constitution.
He complained that Kambwili had taken a different approach to create a false impression that “I am the black one out who is creating all these problems, which is not true.”
Musenge explained that when he asked Kambwili to formally apply to join the NDC, he did so believing for an opportunity to sit him down and look at a number of areas where they were feeling uncomfortable.
He further stated that most of his decisions regarding his stance on Kambwili were backed by party members, including vice-president Akafumba.
Asked how Akafumba was appointed vice-president, Musenge said, “We appointed him, in fact, what happened was that we met as a committee in Luanshya and again it was because of differences we had. Then there was an emergency meeting that was called and during that meeting we thought…because there was…professor Atanga brought up an issue that within here we have two camps, there is a Mwenya Musenge camp and there is a Chishimba Kambwili camp then I said because of that then let’s have a vice-president who should be in the middle to try and see if there is such a thing. So that’s how we elected in that committee Akafumba to be vice-president and he has been vice-president all along. We felt that let us fill in vice-president first, then there was no president and what we can say is that there were aspirations all the time that probably our colleague Kambwili, with time, we can bring him in as President,” explained Musenge.