YOTAM Mtayachalo has rallied FDD members to liberate the opposition party from its new authoritarian type of leadership.
A suspension letter dated September 16, 2020 was addressed to Mtayachalo, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) chairman for labour and employment.
Mtayachalo is a Chama North Constituency 2021 parliamentary aspirant.
According to the letter undersigned by FDD national secretary Nathan Kabwita Mulonga, Mtayachalo is accused of mobilising party leaders to hold unauthorised meetings: “in which you intend to expel Ms Edith Nawakwi as party president.”
“…You are hereby suspended from all party activities. Your matter will be reported to the National Policy Committee for ratification and further directives,” stated Mulonga. “You are therefore given 14 days to exculpate yourself of the allegations leveled against you.”
The letter was also copied to the FDD president, vice-president, national chairman and vice national chairman.
Asked to react to the suspension, Mtayachalo said he would give a comprehensive and detailed response to the “purported letter of suspension” in due course, after consultation with his lawyers and the party leadership countrywide.
“In fact, we have several options on our table,” Mtayachalo said. “No amount of intimidation or whatsoever shall deter myself and the members from demanding for what is enshrined in the party constitution.”
He said he was happy with the support he is getting from nine out of 10 provinces.
“[It] is extremely overwhelming and encouraging because whatever members are demanding for, such as the holding of the long-awaited party convention, party mobilisation activities and holding of regular National Policy Committee meetings to plan and review party activities, is constitutional,” he explained. “Therefore, one wonders where they are drawing these powers from to suspend members who are exercising their democratic and constitutional rights, which in itself is a gross violation of Article 8(5) of the party constitution…”
Mtayachalo appealed to the general FDD membership and the party leadership countrywide: “to remain calm and be united.”
“[They must] never allow themselves to be intimidated as the battle to liberate FDD from authoritarian type of leadership has just been born,” said Mtayachalo. “I want to assure them that victory is coming on our way because our struggle is not a selfish one but a genuine cause which is meant to protect the ideals and values the party was founded [on].”