I HAVE convinced myself that I cannot work with Chishimba Kambwili, says Mwenya Musenge.
He accuses Kambwili of scheming “here and there and this thing is not helping.”
“Now, we have reached the dead end. I am trying to see how we can serve the NDC [but] they are busy trying to destroy it. And then turn around and create an impression that it is actually me who is trying to destroy the party,” Musenge says.
He says he knows a lot about Kambwili and if he meant to open up, he could say a lot.
In an interview, Musenge said what Kambwili said of him about deregistering NDC and forming a new party was false.
He said Kambwili and his lawyers had caused the mess the National Democratic Congress party was going through.
On Monday, Kambwili told the media in Luanshya, that the PF government had been planning to deregister NDC while at the same time registering Musenge’s party called Zambia Our Own Motherland (ZOOM).
Kambwili claimed the PF has been using Musenge to have the NDC deregistered.
But Musenge said it was not disputable that Kambwili was not and has never been a member of the NDC.
“The best that probably needs to be done is that for our colleagues Kambwili to form his own political party. He is not a member of NDC, that I have made very clear. And because we have had this arrogance from the few office bearers who have really complicated this issue, we have to seriously look at these issues and see how we can resolve them,” he said.
“For now, my prayer is with the Registrar of Society to see how they can really be able to save our political party from being deregistered or for our certificate to be cancelled. That is my plea and my cry because we have spent a lot of energy to organise this party and this is a party that has a huge following across the country.”
Musenge said he was honest in his dealings with the party.
He said he brought Kambwili too close to him so that they could work together but what he had encountered was sad.
“My dear colleague has never been genuine in everything that he has been doing. I have tried my level best to restrain myself from commenting on the issue despite him trying to disparage me, trying to destroy my integrity. I have always restrained myself to comment. But it seems he has continued. One thing I can state clearly is that I know a lot about him. If I meant to speak, I can say a lot but what will it benefit me?” Musenge asked.
“Whatever he has said is purely false. The mess that we are going through as NDC has been cause by him through his lawyers. It is not disputable that my dear colleague Chishimba Kambwili is not a member and he has never been a member of NDC. I have made that position very clear. And whatever he has been doing is to try and hijack the party without following the laid down procedures or channels of joining a party.”
He said when the matter was thrown out of court, it did not imply that he lost the case but the status quo remained unchanged as registered by the Registrar of Societies.
“There was a ruling that was attached to it and that ruling was very clear. When this matter was taken to court, I took the matter to court for one simple reason; so that the position that was highlighted, the position that was put across by the Registrar of Societies that the meeting that they held where Kambwili was imposed as president was null and void. The Registrar of Society guided us that that was an illegal meeting and the status quo remains. But despite that, because of his arrogance and disregard of law, he forced matters to continue masquerading as president [of NDC] and all those office bearers also continue operating from the illegal position that he had given them. Being the respecter of law, I decided to take the matter to the court to reaffirm the position as guided by the Registrar of Society,” said Musenge.
“When we went to court, they raised a lot of preliminary issues simply because they knew if the actual matter went ahead, they were not going to succeed. They raised preliminary issue on article 134 of our constitution which to me I still believe it was a right clause because our intention is to mobilise the party.”
He said the party’s intention was to mobilise the party from the branches to building up the electoral college that would usher in legitimate leadership that would adopt the constitution.
Musenge said Kambwili and his lawyers raised preliminary issues that the constitution at hand was non-operational, which resulted in the registered people remaining as true owners.
“Kambwili and his lawyers went to court and raised preliminary issues that this constitution was non-operative. And when the High Court looked at that, it decided to throw it out basing on that issue that ‘you are the ones that are actually praying for this relief; that this constitution is not operative. I totally agree with you, going by this clause. So if it is non-operative, then on this matter, both of you have no…to originate the matter’,” he said.
“It is not me who brought this thing out. It was Kambwili’s lawyers who brought out this issue. Our lawyers attempted to defend by simply saying ‘no court, bear with us, this clause can be plucked out and allow the constitution to continue’. But the judge made her own discretion by refusing our proposal and accepted what our colleagues had proposed. Where we stand right now, it clearly means that this party, NDC, is non-existent because how can a party exist without a constitution? And without consensus, they privately made an amendment to the constitution which they wanted to deposit at the secretariat without my knowledge. Again, how do you do that because that was not the document which was used to register the party? So there has been a lot of scheming here and there by our colleagues and this thing is not helping. Now, we have reached the dead end. I am trying to see how we can save the NDC [but] they are busy trying to destroy it. And then turn around and create an impression that it is actually me who is trying to destroy the party.”
On ZOOM, Musenge said registration of a party was not a simple process and could not be done in secrecy.
He said if he decided to form a political party, he would first publicly withdraw his NDC membership.
“Those things cannot be done in secrecy. It can never be done in secrecy. I am sure by now you would have heard about it. And if I had intention to register a party, it is not an offence, it is not a crime,” Musenge said. “If I decide to form a political party then it means I have to leave the other political party – which is NDC – to start another party. Why can’t I simply come out in the open and issue a statement that ‘because of all these confusions, I have decided from today to stop being a member of NDC, I am starting my own party?’ Why can’t I do that? The bottom line here, my brother, there is no ZOOM party. You can see how difficult it is to believe whatever comes from Kambwili’s mouth. It becomes very difficult.”
He said Kambwili was excited to attack his opponents with unverified information.
Musenge said Zambia was looking for a leader with a high level of integrity.
“What this country is looking for is a leader of high level of humility, somebody that will be able to take us to another level. Inasmuch as we are talking about high levels of corruption, as much as we are saying the resources of the country are being mismanaged, there are better ways of how we can bring out issues,” he said. “It is not about being so vulgar, it is not about portraying as if you are a junior Sata, no! Each person has got his own identity and we want to see that identity. Let the people appreciate you the way you are.”
Asked whether he had engaged NDC vice-president Josephs Akafumba on ironing out the differences in the party, Musenge said, “I have enjoyed a cordial relationship with the vice-president, but he is an individual who makes a personal decision on which side of the bread is buttered,” he said. “And there is nothing I can say about that. Attempts have been made on several occasions that probably we can sit down and iron out this issue, but of course, our colleague who is so knowledgeable made it practically impossible to sit and resolve these matters.”
Musenge said him and Kambwili have crossed the bridge and could not sit and resolve their differences.
“I want to put it very clear, I have convinced myself that I cannot work with Kambwili. The best that probably needs to be done is that for our colleague, ba Kambwili, to form his own political party. He is not a member of NDC. That I have made very clear and because we have had this arrogance from the few office bearers who have really complicated this issue,” said Musenge.