PRESS STATEMENT – NAREP’S position over the resignation of three members
Good morning members of the press and party members present. I want to thank you sincerely for attending this media briefing which gives us an opportunity as a Party to inform the nation about why our former Acting National Secretary Mr. Mike Muyawala, former media liaison Mr. Chilufya Luchembe and former mobilization chairman Mr. Probby Chama have resigned from our Party. We will also give a position that we are taking as a party and our next course of action concerning this matter.
We have nothing against the resignation of Mr. Muyawala and his team and we wish them well as they join the opposition UPND. We understand that they have a right to belong to a political party of their choice at whatever time they see it fit. We do find it strange, however, that in Zambia there seems to be a belief that you can only communicate a resignation through the Press and not to the organisation that you actually owe the explanation to.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Muyawala has repeatedly reported to the media that NAREP has not paid him a lot of money and vowed to make our party suffer for reasons best known to himself.
Mr. Muyawala and the team did not really explain the reason why they resigned from the Party. We wish to take this opportunity to inform the nation and our Party membership of what we believe are the real reasons behind their resignations.
Mr. Muyawala and Mr. Luchembe were entrusted with millions of party funds to conduct the campaigns in the Mpongwe by election that was held on the 28th February 2013. Resulting from several complaints from Mpongwe and the copperbelt leadership concerning how the funds were spent, the party requested for a specific report from Mr. Muyawala showing clearly how the funds were spent but they could not account for it. Our leadership held meetings with him together with Mr. Chilufya to try and encourage them to produce the report in order to clear their names but could not get anything from them, all efforts in made in trying to get in touch with them proved futile as they started ignoring calls from our secretariat and shunned coming to the party secretariat. They further started having dark corner meetings with other opposition political parties, an action that is against our ethics as a party.
- Mr. Muyawala and the team damaged the car that our party hired to conduct campaigns in Mpongwe and failed to account for the damages that cost the party millions of kwacha that could have been spent on other important party activities. While in Mpongwe, Mr. Chilufya and Mr. Luchembe exhibited the kind of behaviour that was not in line with our party principles which are; excellence, integrity, responsibility, service, equity, humility, commitment and sense of community . The party asked them to exculpate themselves but they failed to do so.
- Mr. Muyawala received funds from well wishers using the name of the party but did not submit the funds to the party secretariat which is an offence according to our party code of conduct. This was brought to his attention and he acknowledged receiving some of the funds in question but could not account for them. He also received funds meant to pay one of the staff at the secretariat but these funds did not reach the rightful individual.
- In order to make their departure appear more dramatic than it was, this unusual trio spent inordinate sums of money rushing from one corner of Lusaka to another peddling lies about how many people had joined them in a bid to create the impression that many members were leaving the Party with them. Mr. Muyawala was even recorded promising to “look after” existing members if they either remained in NAREP to act as spies or joined the UPND. We shall release this information in due course and members of the press can then judge for themselves as to the integrity Mr. Muyawala is trying to portray.
- While expecting the course of action from Mr. Muyawala and Mr. Luchembe, we were completely surprised by the involvement of Mr. Probby Chama, a generally dignified and respectable gentleman. That he was involved in the peddling of lies about NAREP is something we would have wished he was not a part of. We can only wish that as he examines his conscience, he will come to his senses and demonstrate to his family and friends that he is still the man we believed in when he first joined NAREP.
With the issues highlighted above, we find it very unfortunate that Mr. Muyawala together with his team can accuse the party of owing to them any funds when they are clearly the ones with cases to answer.
As a party founded on values and principles, we remain committed to upholding these principles. We shall be instituting legal action to ensure that there an account is rendered for the funds in question. We know and understand that integrity is in short supply among this group but there must be minimum standards of decency when it comes to such matters.
To the UPND and Mr. Hichilema in particular, we are aware of the various meetings you had with Mr. Muyawala and Chilufya prior to their resignations. We knew about these meetings as soon as they had occurred and the careful planning of Mr. Muyawala’s stage-managed entry into your ranks. He joins the likes of Mr. William Banda but will not provide you with any real clout. Be aware, however, that no amount of money can get a person into power that the people have continually rejected. We know our opponents are fearful of NAREP and our brand of politics but we will not engage in the style of politics that takes us back to where we need to move from. We represent a fresh start. We are the Party that Zambia needs going into 2016.
We want to assure the party membership, our supporters and the general public that NAREP is not moved by the resignation of Mr. Muyawala, Mr. Chilufya or even Mr. Chama. We will remain intact and very strong.
Thank you all for coming and God bless you.
16th March 2013