President Banda Tuesday said Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers are free to contest for positions of their choice at the National Convention next year but not at Provincial level.
The President said he issued a directive to stop those holdings positions of Minister or Deputy Minister from taking part in Provincial elections in order for them to concentrate on serving the people at national level as opposed to engaging in politics at the lower organ of the party. He said Ministers and Deputy Ministers, if elected at provincial level, will not have time to organise the party because most of them reside in the Capital, Lusaka and have huge responsibilities to serve the nation in all Provinces.
President Banda said he would like to see provincial chairpersons for the MMD who will reside in their respective provinces and have no additional responsibilities of governing the country like Ministers and Deputy Ministers. He said provincial chairpersons should be people who will concentrate on organising and mobilising the party in their respective areas.
The President said Ministers and Deputy Ministers should allow local officials to hold party positions at the lower organs of the party as they concentrate on running the country at national level. He said, however, that Ministers and Deputy Ministers who would like to contest for various positions in the National Executive Committee (NEC) will be allowed to do so at the National Convention. He said Ministers and Deputy Ministers should aspire for NEC positions as it is the body responsible for running party affairs at national level and not provincial positions.
President Banda issued the directive ahead of the provincial elections, which begin this week.