How have you fared in the last two years?
The first task was to come up with a register, which we did within a very short time. Of course it had some defects, but it at least helped us to conduct internal party elections, structure elections and come up with flag bearers for the party.
Secondly, we prepared candidates for the national elections. We got 5,473 candidates who competed for the party flag at all levels from LC3, LC5 and Parliament.
There were cases where the party’ EC would disqualify a candidate only for the courts to reinstate the person…
Vetting should have been carried out in three stages, but we concentrated on only one because of the time factor.
Which are those three stages?
There should have been ideological vetting. Somebody who wants to represent the party at parliamentary level identifies with the principles and norms of the party.
The second should have been the appreciation of the social and economic changes of the country. Do they appreciate the policies of the party? Would they market those policies in their constituencies? Is the party comfortable with such a candidate?
The third level was of course the issue of requirements, which we concentrated on. We needed to vet more than 5,000 candidates within a period of three weeks and we did with a very thin party secretariat, minimum resources and inadequate staffing levels.
We understand the quarrel between the secretary general and the head of the EC was over management of proceeds from the candidates’ registration process. Did the secretariat have any control over those funds?
We never wanted to interfere with the EC’s work. Well, as they are under the secretariat, we allowed them to work independently. Candidates were paying money to the EC and of course proper public management requires that you don’t hold public funds in your office. There was need for an account to be opened and this money banked.
Did the secretariat have control over that account?
We, together with the EC, don’t have control over resources. It is CEC. We are all workers and we report to CEC.
The account was known to the party chairman. The collections were declared before CEC and expenditure was approved by CEC.
Don’t you think what you have achieved risks being watered down by constant quarrels? The party is back in the spotlight because officials are quarrelling over salaries
Well, it takes me back to the issue of mentorship. When leaders are mentored and ideologically grounded, such petty squabbles do not always come up, but I would also like to say it is not as it is being portrayed in the papers.
Just like any other organisation, in organisational hierarchy when you put teams together there is the process of norming, forming, storming and performing, before you reach this stage of performing all these stages you go through for people to understand one another and the working styles of one another, that brings in some little friction, but I think we are above that level now.
Secondly we believe that some of this is a creation of our enemies.
They know that we can achieve more when we are organised. So they project an air of mistrust and internal rivalry, which is aimed at creating disorganisation.