What Nevers Mumba said at end of MMD retreat


Yesterday, the leadership of the MMD and other Stakeholders ended a three day retreat.
The retreat was born out of my campaign promise to take our party through a process of reflection, repentance and rebranding.  We reflected on our history, we repented of our wrongs and we committed ourselves to a process of rebranding.  MMD back in government will ensure that the new approach of honesty and contrition guides our re-engagement with the women, the youth the disabled and all Zambians in general.  The fact that MMD is now under new management allows for a change of direction in the manner that we re-engage the nation.
It was a brutal 72 hours of introspection.  It was a necessary time out for our party.  Our goal was to face ourselves and answer some difficult questions about ourselves as individuals, as a party and assess our relevance to the many daunting challenges facing our nation.
We looked at our twenty year history with an honest view.  We did not appease ourselves or protect each other from confronting our failures and weaknesses.  The key word was REPENTANCE which means to change direction.  To turn around with remorse and contrition.
My submission to my colleagues in NEC is HUMILITY – our team and leadership must lead from a place of humility in order to present ourselves anew before the Zambian people.
Ladies and gentlemen, as MMD we present ourselves before the people of Zambia and ask for your forgiveness and forbearance where we as a party in government failed you.  We acknowledge that along the way, having started on a very good journey in 1991, we appeared to have drifted off and lost touch with some of the needs of our people, particularly the youth, women and other vulnerable groups.
On the perception of corruption, as I had announced during my inauguration, I am determined with my colleagues to distance the new MMD from the old perception of being a corrupt party.  In this regard, I have proposed the formation of the Anti Corruption Committee to monitor any activities that could perpetuate the perception.
This committee shall also work with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to expose the many corrupt practices that have now engulfed the PF government.  We are further installing “whistle blowers” telephone lines at our center to receive tips on the corruption going on in government departments.
I have further proposed to the next sitting of NEC that any leader in our party who has been convicted by the courts of law should step aside and allow for the process to take place.  I am aware however, that there is a scheme to persecute and harass our leaders using the investigative and security wings of the state.  In view of this, we shall ensure to distinguish between political harassment and a case based in justice.
As a result of the retreat, decisions have been made on several fronts that will characterize our new approach of doing politics.  It is important to note that at the retreat, we did not only talk to ourselves, but we subjected ourselves to a team of outside resource persons who gave us their perception of the MMD.
As a result of this exercise, we have made several changes which shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee for final adoption.  We have also appointed an adhoc rebranding committee which shall work on our recommendations in preparations for the event at which we shall unveil the new MMD to the Zambian people.
I am glad that a true process of reform has began and I am encouraged by the resolve to ensure that our party continues to be the leader and mother of multiparty politics in our nation.

As the new President of MMD, I remain determined to ensure that it will no longer be “Business as usual.”  We have collectively identified areas that must be changed.  The decision to change is not an option.  The process has started and we have come out of retreat more united than we could have ever imagined.  United in the resolve to give Zambia a new MMD.   A resolve to directly re-connect with the aspirations of the ordinary Zambian. A resolve to actively deal with any trace of arrogance, elitism and indifference.  Change is the new in-word for the new MMD.
After the rebranding committee has completed its assignment and the National Executive Committee has adopted the new proposals, an event shall be held in the next few weeks to unveil the new MMD.
This retreat is not the end of our reform process, but the beginning.  May God bless you and may God bless Zambia, I thank you.

August 17, 2012

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