Communications Director for MMD President Raphael Nakacinda says the purported suspension of party president Nevers Mumba ‘is illegal and complete madness for a party that is the mother of democracy anchored on the rule of law.’
Meanwhile government says it will withdraw retirement befitis for former president Ruopiah Banda now that he is active in politics.
The MMD NEC suspended Mumba Tuesday evening and declared former President Rupiah Banda as the presisential candidate.
But Nakacinda said ‘it is clear that we have been invaded with a UNIPist tactic of doing politics based on personal political expediency’.
He said the undertakers who ushered UNIP into the mortuary have ganged up to take MMD in the same direction.
He said unlike UNIP, MMD is strong on rule of law and Dr Mumba as president of the party firmly, standing on the constitution and the support of the many well meaning members of the party across the country will fight to defend and preserve the MMD.
He said “those that are attempting to stage a coup d’état and pave the way for Mr Rupiah Banda are destroying his name and rubbishing any little remaining dignity.’
Nakacinda urge all MMD members to ‘stand with our duly elected president and resist efforts by compromised MMD officials to hijack the party. These short-sighted officials have sold their souls to satisfy personal temporary gratification.
‘We shall not bow down nor be intimidated by compromised individuals bent on causing havoc in our party.’
Meanwhile, the government says it suspend disbursement of retirement benefits including construction of a house for Rupiah Banda if the former president re-joins active politics.
Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga has said
Banda has declared intentions to be the MMD candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
“The Benefits of Former Presidents Act, Chapter 15 is very clear on participation in active politics,” the minister said.
Mr Mukanga said Government held Mr Banda in high esteem and would want him to continue enjoying his pension and respect accorded to his persona.
“We don’t want the former president to join the political arena and be exposed to ridicule associated with campaigns.
“Already, we are looking into logistics of starting construction of his house,” he said.
“His comeback for now is speculation as far as Government is concerned but once he is adopted, statutory obligations will apply and we shall not hesitate to suspend his pensions since he will be an active player and not a retiree.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Banda proved futile as his deputy administrative assistant Kennedy Limwanya said he was in a meeting.
Excerpts of Chapter 15 of the constitution on benefits offered to Zambia’s former republican Presidents include a tax-free monthly pension at 80 percent of the incumbent President’s emoluments; a furnished executive house built or bought in Zambia by the State at a place of his choice; office accommodation, three drivers, three motor vehicles with free maintenance and fuel entitlement to the extent determined by Cabinet.
Other benefits include one personal secretary, three security persons, one administrative assistant at the level of deputy permanent secretary, three house employees, a diplomatic passport and medical insurance for the former president and his spouse.
They also include, in each year, one return air ticket for the former president and one for his spouse and funeral expenses on his death.