Desai says Rupiah Banda nodded MMD workshop

The Convener of the recently held controversial MMD strategic planning workshop at Andrews Motel, Suresh Desai says both president Rupiah Banda and party National secretary Katele Kalumba gave a go ahead to the workshop contrary to suggestions that it was held behind the back of the party.
In a statement released to QFM today, Mr Desai who is also MMD Treasurer says contrary to some media reports that Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika convened the workshop, it was him who convened the said meeting.

Mr Desai says he first discussed the idea of holding such a workshop with Dr Kalumba who concerted to the idea, and later discussed it with president Banda who also gave a go ahead.

He says he also shared the idea with MMD National Chairman Michael Mabenga and Deputy National secretary Jeff Kande on two occasions each and that they did not object to the idea or insist on him getting formal approval from the office of the National Secretary before proceeding to hold the workshop.

He adds that both Dr Kalumba and Mr Kande were listed among the participants but that their participation could not be secured because they were away assisting with the by-election campaigns for Solwezi Central and the ward in Chiengi district.

Mr Desai says it therefore unfortunate that both Dr Kalumba and Mr Kande have denied having any knowledge of the workshop and that it was held behind the back of the party and stands disowned by them.

He further says that it is also unfortunate that both Dr Kalumba and Mr Kande rushed to denounce the workshop without asking for an explanation from him.

He says this constitutes a lack of common courtesy for a fellow senior leader and exemplifies a poor management practice which can set a bad example for lower party organs to emulate.

Mr Desai adds that there is nothing wrong or sinister for party members to hold internal consultations, AND that the MMD should welcome any such initiatives aimed at strengthening and rejuvenating the party.

He has further dismissed media reports that the workshop made any reference to the Barotse Royal Establishment and the Litungu,Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, former Finance minister Ngandu Magande and State House special assistant for press and public relations Dickson Jere.

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