BY SILUMESI MALUMO
…president rejects expulsion
EXPELLED National Restoration Party(NAREP) President has refused to step down insisting that he was still in control because no constitutional due process was observed in arriving at his expulsion.
Mr Steven Nyirenda said he was shocked to learn of the fake expulsion because he had not been charged and that provisions for the removal of president from office were clear.
He was reacting to claims by a party faction that he had been expelled as president from the party.
There was leadership drama in NAREP yesterday when the members of NEC announced that they had expelled Mr. Nirenda as President.
Soon after Mr. Nyirenda called a press briefing denying that he had been expelled because no formal process had been undetaken to arrive at the decision.
He also said there was no national executive meeting held contrary to earlier reports from a faction within the party.
He explained that party members had gathered at one of his premises in Roma but started arguing and fighting. In the process of trying to stop the fights, one faction reportedly left and went to hold a press briefing where they announced the purported expulsion.
Mr Nyirenda rubbished reports of financial indiscipline saying the party had nothing when he joined, and it was only now that it had some- thing worth talking about.
Mr Nyirenda’s refusal to down has however thrown the party into a crisis as the Ezra Ngulube faction have insisted that he was expelled.
Mr Nyirenda also said the bone of contention was his refusal to back an opposition alliance led by UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema.
He said he was initially forced to join the alliance but left because the two parties had different political ideologies.
He said he remained the party president and the decision by the party hierarchy was null and void.
“They are saying this was done through a NEC meeting held today (yesterday) August 15.
Yes we had slated this date for a NEC meeting to resolve certain issues brought about by some members. But unfortunately this meeting did not take place due to behaviors I can only classify as cadreism and holiganism brought about by some members.
“Let me clarify that the dis- gruntled members who have allegedly kicked me out of the party have been pushing for an alliance with the opposi- tion UPND led by Hakainde Hichilema which I have been against because we have different ideologies,” he said.
“I want to remind members of the public that, he said, NAREP is a peaceful party whose ideologies are based on principles such dialogue and not confrontational and what we witnessed has no blessings of the party and we condemn it in the strongest terms,” Mr Nyirenda said.
Mr Nyirenda said that the party was intact and advised any member who feels aggrieved to follow party structures and laid down procedures to maturely resolve issues.
Early yesterday, Secretary General Ezra Ngulube announced that a party NEC meeting had resolved to expel Mr Nyirenda.
Mr Ngulube told Journalists yesterday that the party arrived at expelling Mr Nyirenda after passing a vote of no confidence.
He said since Mr Nyirenda was ushered in as party president he had brought confusion among the members which could not be condoned.
The Secretary General said Mr Nyirenda had created factions in the party which brought confusion among members.
He said Mr Nyirenda also refused to recognize elected NEC members which was against the party constitution, therefore, the party cannot hold onto a person who wanted to destroy it.
“Mr Nyirenda has not only brought confusion in the party, he has been doing things without following party procedures, has financial indiscipline. We cannot allow an individual to destroy this party.
So we are directing him to bring back all the NAREP property. And we want to inform the nation that all the appointments which were made by Mr Nyirenda have been nullified. We are also urging the banks never to conduct any business that involves the party with Mr Nyirenda as doing so will be criminal,” he said.
Mr Ngulube said party vice president Charles Maboshe would act as party president until the party held a convention in November next year.
Mr Ngulube also disclosed that the party had suspended its national chairperson Jimmy Mubambwe for gross indiscipline.
And party spokesperson Frank Sichone said the party would consider to recall former president Elias Chipimo because he had a zeal to grow the party.
Mr Sichone said Mr Chipimo was still a party member and he can be recalled when the party needed his services.