Zambia: Kalombo Mwansas new Defence Minister

kalombomwansaPRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has appointed Home Affairs Minister Kalombo Mwansa as Defence Minister, replacing George Mpombo who resigned from Cabinet on Tuesday. (Pictured: Kalombo Mwansa)

Lusaka Province Minister Lameck Mangani has now moved to the Ministry of Home Affairs as Minister.

Mr Mpombo resigned from Cabinet and the MMD national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday citing personal reasons. The presidents special assistant for Press and public relations Dickson Jere said in a statement issued yesterday that Mr Banda had accepted Mr Mpombos resignation from both Cabinet and the NEC.

President Banda thanked Mr Mpombo for the service he rendered to the Government and the nation when he served as Minister of Defence. President Banda has also accepted the resignation of Mr Mpombo from the NEC of the ruling MMD and wished him well in his future endeavours, Mr Jere said. He said Mr Manganis replacement would be announced later.

Meanwhile, MMD national chairperson Michael Mabenga said in Lusaka yesterday that the MMD has not regretted Mr Mpombos resignation because it was of no consequence. I personally welcome Mr Mpombos resignation and I am sure this is the same stance taken by the party. His resignation has no bearing or impact whatsoever on the party, Mr Mabenga said.

He said the MMD was intact and was not shaken by Mr Mpombos resignation and that the party would look for a suitable person to replace him. He said the partys general membership was not moved by Mr Mpombos resignation because the party was capable of moving on without him.

He, however, said that although the party did not have regrets over Mr Mpombos decision, the former minister should have made consultations with other members before resigning.

On the MMD convention, Mr Mabenga said the party and Mr Banda had said any person was free to stand for the presidency during the convention as long as they met the qualifications in the party constitution.

Mr Mabenga said the decision to endorse Mr Banda as the sole candidate came from provincial branches and not the NEC. He said the NEC could not deny members the choice they wanted for president because they had a right to pick any person they wanted and this time they had chosen Mr Banda.

Mr Mabenga said about 90 per cent of the party wanted Mr Banda to be president for the next convention and the NEC could not resist the pressure from its members.

On Professor Clive Chirwas ambitions to contest the presidency, Mr Mabenga said he was free to do so but should prove that he was a genuine member.

Times of Zambia

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