STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
MMD national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima has suspended his deputy Winnie Zaloumis for allegedly undermining his authority by allegedly illegally suspending senior party officials.
In a letter addressed to Ms Zaloumis dated March 7, 2016 and made available to the Zambia Daily Mail, Mr Mbulakuima said: â€œWe have noticed with great sadness your conduct which has been fraudulent and dishonest. We also note that you have by your conduct brought the name of our great party into disrepute and ridicule. Owing to this, I have decided by powers vested in me to charge you and suspend you from the party with immediate effect.â€
Efforts to get a comment from Ms Zaloumis proved futile by press time as her phone went unanswered.
Ms Zaloumis is accused of writing in the name of the national secretary when she is not the national secretary and when no such authority had been delegated to her.
â€œBy copy of this letter, be informed that you are hereby suspended with immediate effect pending a hearing on the charges levelled against you,â€ Mr Mbulakulima said.
She has since been given 10 days to exculpate herself as per provisions of the MMD constitution.
MMD president Nevers Mumba has levelled charges against Mr Mbulakulima, accusing him of abrogating the disciplinary code. In Mr Mbulakulimaâ€™s place, Dr Mumba has appointed Ms Zaloumis.
The former ruling party has been embroiled in wrangles following a call by some members to hold elections.
Chairperson for elections Felix Mutati has since been banned from the party but he has taken the matter to court.
Meanwhile, Northmead Assemblies of God overseer Joshua Banda yesterday separately met Dr Mumba and former President Rupiah Banda in a bid to broker reconciliation in the former ruling party.
Bishop Banda confirmed in an interview that he and Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Pukuta Mwanza yesterday met Dr Mumba and Mr Banda at separate times.
â€œWe met President Banda and his team earlier on in the day and now [yesterday afternoon] we are just coming from a meeting with Nevers Mumba and his team. We have begun the mediation process,â€ Bishop Banda said.
He expressed optimism that the talks will yield positive results.
â€œMMD is a major player in the democratic dispensation of the country and, therefore, squabbles cannot be allowed to continue in the former ruling party,â€ Bishop Banda said.
He said the Church has been compelled to broker peace between the rival groups in the MMD to prevent squabbles spilling over to the rest of the nation.
â€œAs spiritual leaders of this country, we cannot sit idly by and watch a once vibrant player in our democracy crumble due to differences. We want to mediate a solution,â€ Bishop Banda said.
STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka