WE ARE not dissolving MMD but we shall change its outlook completely to meet the expectations of the ordinary Zambians, says Nevers Mumba.
Addressing the media after he received the report of the party’s self-assessment committee, Mumba noted that there was heightened interest in New Hope MMD by both supporters and opponents.
He dismissed social media reports that MMD was being dissolved.
“These are fantasies from individuals with nowhere to go after the impact of the change of government. Members should focus on the outcome of this process as the official way forward,” Mumba said.
He said two weeks ago he made a statement on the true status of MMD following the August 12 elections, that in its current form the party could not function to produce the success they seek.
“We all have to accept this. It’s the only way we can fix what has been broken,” Mumba said.
He said the success of the exercise depended on members’ honesty.
He cautioned that if they fail to go far enough with the required changes to the party, they would be repeating the same exercise and shall be getting the same results.
“We should have done this exercise in 2015. I have been thinking about these matters, the first day our party ended up in court in 2014. I have studied the retrogressive journey of UNIP. In their case, they misdiagnosed their problem to be the successors of Dr Kenneth Kaunda,” he said. “So they kept changing presidents until they lost all their political fortunes. For us, our legal battles have covered the last eight years, making it impossible to find room to reorganise the party and give hope to Zambians.”
He noted that the common denominator of both the MMD and UNIP was the instability caused by the leadership struggle.
Mumba further said if MMD was to survive, it must insist on rebuilding confidence that the old MMD of 2011, which the Zambians rejected, was now renewed.
“This is what this exercise is all about. In both cases, the leadership struggle was between the former presidents and the new leaders. This brought about divided loyalty to the party and paralysed the progress of both organisations. This is what our party must fix through this exercise. We see our colleagues in the PF taking the same route unless their former president’s resignation is final and he undertakes to publicly support their new leader,” he said. “Zambians hate divisions and disunity as it takes away hope for rebuilding the organisation. MMD inserted into the national constitution a clause, which was meant to bar former presidents from participating in active politics. If a former president continues in active politics, then he forfeits his benefits. It has not worked as well as was anticipated.”
Mumba said both UPND and PF were able to move forward because they only had one leader guiding the party.
He said his leadership’s goal was to provide hope to the nation and begin to rise again as a trusted and united organisation.
“This is the time for all those who consider themselves members of MMD to rally together and not spend time attacking the party they claim to call their own. United we stand but divided we fall. Today, we have decided to stand together and begin afresh…I shall study these submissions and add my recommendations before submitting it to the NEC in the next few days,” he said. “Shortly after that, we shall address the nation to give an indication of the way forward.”
He added that this is the right time for anyone considering building a new political future to rejoin and join the MMD.
Mumba said he was resolved to renew MMD’s fortunes.
“All I can say is, the damage to our brand over the last 20 years has been deep. To reverse this we shall need brute courage to change what needs to be changed and we are equal to the task,” he said.
And Mumba said having heard the initial pronouncements from President Hakainde Hichilema, he believes the new government need to be given time to act on their pronouncements.
He said the MMD shall support the values of national unity and the rebuilding of the economy.
“I look forward to addressing the nation substantially after the completion of this important undertaking. We shall find a path to unity and victory for both the party and the Zambian people,” said Mumba.