The position of national secretary in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) is likely to revert back to Parliamentary Chief Whip Vernon Mwaanga at the party convention, well informed sources have revealed.
Mwaanga was once MMD National Secretary under former president Fredrick Chiluba and had wanted to take it back under late leader Levy Mwanawasa but was severely defeated by incumbent but ailing Katele Kalumba.
But now fortunes are in favour of Mwaanga, according to senior MMD officials. Sources say that president Banda prefers Mwaanga to take over as National Secretary.
“You know that Katele is sick and even if he wanted to, he can’t mount a campaign and even if he did, they will disqualify him on account of ill-health,” said a source.
One source added that president Banda has indicated to senior party officials that Mwaanga should take over as chief executive of the party.
The source alleged that people who are confidants of president Banda like acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu know what is coming and that is why Nyangu himself will not run for National Secretary.
Nyangu has already announced that he will defend his substantive position of deputy national secretary.
One of the sources close to Mwaaanga could not rule out the possibility of Mwaanga taking up the position of national secretary.
The source could only say “VJ has more lives than the proverbial nine lives. He retired in 2008 but bounced back as RBchief campaigner and later chief whip.
Mwannga also has the backing of former president Fredrick Chiluba.
Derrick Chitala, who nowadays calls himself Mbita, has also announced that he will run for the position of national secretary but sources say he has a big challenge as he is not being favoured by the powers that be.
Mwaanga is already a co-opted member of the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC).
When the party co-opted Mwaanga to the NEC, National Secretary Katele kalumba announced that the party also appointed a political mobilisation taskforce to rejuvenate the party and come up with a “winning formula” for the 2011 elections.
Katele Kalumba said the decisions to co-opt Mwaanga and appoint Task Force were made during a NEC meeting chaired by President Banda at State House.