MONICA KAYOMBO, Ndola
SUSPENDED MMD president Nevers Mumba has vowed to fight his opponents within the party until his â€œlast drop of bloodâ€ to ensure that the partyâ€™s constitution is followed to the letter.
And Dr Mumba says the MMD and the United Party for National Development (UPND) have reached an advanced stage towards finding a common ground with a possibility of forming a coalition.
Meanwhile, MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu says he regrets not having been firm against Dr Mumba on party regulations, reports STEVEN MVULA.
Speaking when he addressed pastoral students at Kaniki Bible College in Ndola yesterday, Dr Mumba said there is no legal basis for the decision by his partyâ€™s National Executive Committee (NEC) to suspend him for alleged misconduct when he had a right not to endorse former President Rupiah Banda as MMD president.
â€œOut of conflict comes victory. I have joined the political process to change politics and not to do politics. There is no legal basis for what has happened,â€ he said.
Dr Mumba likened himself to the biblical David who conquered Goliath during the war between the Israelites and the Philistines even though David was smaller in stature.
He said he is the appointed person to drive Zambia out of its current crisis.
Dr Mumba called for support during â€œthis trying momentâ€.
â€œThere is no provision in the MMD constitution for anyone to stand except for the sitting president. My appeal to every Zambian is to follow the constitution to the core or we will become a banana country,â€ Dr Mumba said amidst cheers from the students.
And Kaniki Bible College vice-chancellor Kaluba Kapapula said he does not support Mr Bandaâ€™s return to active politics.
â€œIt is sad to see former President Rupiah Banda getting back in the ring. I do not support that,â€ Dr Kapapula said.
And speaking in an interview, Dr Mumba said the MMD is in talks with various political parties on possibilities of forming a coalition by 2016 but no conclusion has been made yet.
He said the major task of the coalition would be to ensure that the new constitution is adopted before the elections in 2016.
Asked on whether it is true that he would accept a position of Vice-President in the coalition with UPND, Dr Mumba said the agreement has not yet been reached on the matter.
He said what the political leaders are discussing now are working possibilities and not positions.
Dr Mumba said MMD has a campaign strategy and has kicked off the campaigns across the country.
After addressing the pastoral students at Kaniki Bible College in the morning, Dr Mumba went to Radio Ichengelo, where he featured on a live programme.
Dr Mumba said he was on the Copperbelt to watch the Africa Cup soccer qualifying match between Cape Verde and Zambia but circumstances compelled him to launch the campaigns.
He said Mr Bandaâ€™s return is not in the interest of the party and the nation.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu says he regrets not having been firm against Dr Mumbaâ€™s alleged flouting of party regulations.
â€œI was trying to be nice to Dr Mumba. I take the blame. I should have been firm,â€ he said.
The MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) suspended Dr Mumba two days ago and announced that Mr Banda was the party candidate for the January 20 presidential poll.
But Dr Mumba said in a separate interview that he will seek judicial review to interpret the party constitution.
MONICA KAYOMBO, Ndola