SYLVIA Masebo has quit the MMD with effect from this Thursday.
In a letter dated June 27, 2011 to MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe, Masebo, who is also MMD national women's affairs chairperson and Chongwe member of parliament, stated that with effect from June 30, 2011, she will cease to be a member of the ruling party.
She stated that she had come to this conclusion following President Rupiah Banda's continued hatred and undemocratic tendencies against her.
Below is Masebo's letter to Maj. Kachingwe in full:
"I write to inform you that I have decided to resign from the MMD with effect from 30th June 2011.
Since the death of president Mwanawasa in 2008, there have been evil schemes and fabrications, which have been printed in the government-controlled Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail including ZNBC and the Internet.
All these schemes have been done with the full knowledge and direction of President Rupiah Banda. And all this is because I did not initially support his presidential bid as MMD presidential candidate during the MMD NEC meeting at which a decision was to be made.
I instead supported Mr Ng'andu Magande who was at the time Minister of Finance and National Planning.
That was my democratic right which was influenced by the knowledge that Honourable Magande was at the time of president Mwanawasa's death his preferred candidate.
All I did therefore was to try and honour what I believed to have been Mwanawasa's wish as told to me by the late president Mwanawasa.
I must state here that once the party adopted Mr Rupiah Banda as presidential candidate in 2008 I did not stop to support him.
I campaigned for his election as president in Chongwe constituency with the full support of Her Royal Highness and almost all the traditional leaders, MMD party members and many of the people of Chongwe to see to it that he wins.
You may wish to know that the party or Mr Banda did not give me any financial or material support during his public rally in Chongwe. I personally organised and financed that rally to his satisfaction. I spent K40 million on transport and K10 million on other logistics just to ensure that he wins that election in Chongwe.
After the election victory, there was the usual cheap talk that Masebo did not support Mr Banda from the likes of Catherine Namugala and Mike Mulongoti. What disappointed me was what followed afterwards.
There was a sustained abuse of the state machinery to try and show that Mr Magande and myself may have abused our offices as ministers hence the Zambian Airways saga and the importation of the 150 hearses. The stories were meant to prove that the late president Mwanawasa was fighting corruption selectively.
These stories from purportedly anonymous authors were posted on the internet just to be picked up by the state media in a very unprofessional manner. I have in the last three years kept quiet to all this with the hope that one day justice would prevail.
The defamatory stories against innocent citizens, political leaders, Church leaders particularly from the Catholic Church, civil society leaders, among others, by President Banda through Chanda Chimba's TV programme and Stand Up for Zambia newspaper will one day haunt President Banda and Chanda Chimba.
It is very sad that we elected a President who is today using taxpayers' money to destroy individual citizens and institutions all in the name of winning elections. The state media is today being used by President Banda to destroy citizens who have no space to defend themselves.
Since 2008, President Banda has shown corrosive hatred towards me simply because I supported Mr Magande.
In May 2011 at the MMD national convention in Kabwe, I decided to contest the position of women affairs chairperson.
I was shocked and disappointed that a President of a perceived democratic party could call me requesting that I should not contest any party position but wait to get a party nomination by the party president without any valid reason.
Obviously, it was clear to me that it was in bad faith since he had never spoken to me since 2008 and was only trying to block me from participating because of the hatred he had for me.
I decided to defy his wish because I knew it was in bad faith. And thanks to all the genuine MMD members who voted in a fair and honest manner even after the President had pushed in so much state funds just to ensure that I lose the elections.
You are aware of the events that followed the convention. Anybody who is known to have supported me at the convention has today become President Banda's enemy. This includes ministers whom I shall not name for obvious reasons that are being sidelined because it is believed that they campaigned for me at the convention.
How much more can a head of state express so much hate for a simple innocent woman like myself who simply wanted to participate in the affairs of my country? I have in the past diligently and honestly served my country in different political and government portfolios.
Therefore, I do not appreciate why the entire President and state machinery should be waged against me. As a result of this hate against their MP, the people of Chongwe have suffered underdevelopment.
Only lip service have been done in Chongwe and when the area chief tries to cry for development on behalf of her people, the whole government media is set against her through the use of divide and rule tactics by the very President, forgetting that it was this same chief and her people who helped put him in office to serve them.
National Secretary, as chief executive officer of the party you will agree with me that it was scandalous for the President to have appointed Mrs Anne Chungu and Mrs Musonda into the NEC after the convention had rejected them.
It is not a secret that his preferred candidate Anne Chungu was decisively rejected by the delegates. So how can the President appoint her back? Again, it was an appointment in bad faith to show me that he has all the powers. Clearly, that decision was done more out of hatred for me than anything else.
You will recall that soon after the convention I had a meeting with you as national secretary of our party on my immediate plans to meet with the provincial women's committees and do a mobilisation programme which was to be proceeded with a women's rally at which we could invite the President to come and address the women. You agreed with me that it was a good idea and promised to talk to the President and get back to me.
You have not come back to me and instead all I hear from other party leaders is that the President has vowed that he will not work with me but instead make my job difficult. Why should a President frustrate the will of the ordinary members of the party?
Why should the President continue harassing me?
After all this, the next thing I get is a letter from you as national secretary suspending me from the party for no valid reason, which letter you decided to give to the press even before handing it over to me, just to destroy my reputation in the eyes of the public as a member of the party in bad standing.
Surely, is this fair and is this how you as national secretary is going to administer the party? I am aware that you were just directed by the President to suspend me but please help the party by advising the President on democratic tenets and good governance. This is MMD and not UNIP.
You cannot suspend me on flimsy grounds just to please one party individual. Yes, he is the party president but he is not the party. Let's learn to treat other weak people fairly and honestly.
I have decided to quit the party because clearly I shall never get any fair judgment for as long as I am hated by the President because the MMD today is about individuals, not party rules and guidelines. It is not the MMD we all fought for in 1990. It is just UNIP and so it is better for some of us to leave UNIP to President Banda who does not understand or appreciate democracy.
I am aware that there is a scheme to remove me and give my position to the preferred losing candidate. Am also aware that there are schemes to frame fake charges against me to pave way for a vacancy so that the preferred candidate takes over. I know about all these schemes meant to destroy and scandalise me in the public eyes.
I have therefore decided to quit to make your work easy by giving you advance notice of my termination of my membership so that I help you reduce unnecessary costs of stage-managed attacks on my integrity in your government-controlled TV and newspapers.
Maybe the abuse of public resources and government media can be reduced since I will no longer be a factor. And maybe you can channel the resources to needy social areas instead of paying cadres to insult me.
Please advise the President against bringing innocent institutional officers in politics.
I note with great sadness that for the second time now there has been attempts to link me, Mutembo Nchito and the Auditor General Ms Anna Chifungula in some compromising manner. These attempts are malicious with the aim of politicising and weakening the office of the Auditor General so as to prevent her from performing her duties professionally and effectively. Why spread lies through the Times of Zambia, Friday edition 24th June 2011 about innocent people?
I have never been in any meeting with the Auditor General or Mutembo Nchito. Why fabricate stories and use the state media without verifying the stories? Why is the President using discredited individuals like Edwin Lifwekelo to scandalise innocent people? How can a whole head of state get himself involved with young political mercenaries to destroy innocent people?
I am aware that these people are being paid to insult, malign and destroy the standing of President Banda's perceived enemies and political opponents. This is not good for the country; that the whole government machinery can be abused just to destroy innocent citizens.
The issue of Humphrey Siulapwa standing in Chongwe constituency as MP on his party ticket but supporting and campaigning for President Banda in Chongwe in the 2011 elections was just another scheme sponsored by President Banda against me. It's an open secret in Chongwe that Siulapwa was sponsored to fight me.
Now that Siulapwa has failed to make the anticipated impact, President Banda has now turned to using the former Chongwe district commissioner Mwakalombe whom everybody knows was sent to Chongwe to undermine my work as MP. Even Mwakalombe himself once confirmed this to me.
Just like Siulapwa, Mwakalombe is no match to me in Chongwe. I am aware, though, that a lot of public resources will be pumped in Chongwe to ensure that I lose. But that I will leave it to the people of Chongwe to decide who should be their MP after these elections. How can the President be that petty and vindictive?
The other day again in the Times of Zambia, a story was carried that I met with Mr Jack Kalala and others to scheme against a dead person. How cheap can a country come to? Surely, is this the kind of leadership this country should continue with, who allow such evil schemes in a so-called Christian nation? Surely, Zambia deserves better leadership.
We cannot continue with this kind of petty, cheap and evil schemes to run a country. Personally, I am sick and tired and I refuse to be part of the circus at my age. I hope and wish we can save the public from this circus and spend public resources and our time on productive things.
I have been provoked so many times for the past three years. I have kept quiet not because I have nothing to say or I am weak or guilty. I have been a member of parliament for Chongwe in the last ten years, I was a cabinet minister under the late Mwanawasa for seven solid years, and I have been under oath.
I have also been on the MMD NEC for many years. I have a solid political and civic background and do not want to continue with this ranker. But I am ready to defend myself if provoked any further. I will not die lying on my back. Enough is enough."
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