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By Times Reporter

HOME Affairs Minister, Ronnie Shikapwasha and former Republican vice-president, Nevers Mumba have joined the race to become the MMD candidate in the forthcoming presidential by-elections.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha confirmed the development from Kabwe where he was awaiting the arrival of the body of Dr Mwanawasa while Dr Mumba confirmed his application in Lusaka yesterday.

The duo joined other contenders, who include acting President Rupiah Banda, former vice-president, Enoch Kavindele, former Works and Supply minister, Ludwig Sondashi, businessman, Sebastian Kopulande and former Constitution Review Commission (CRC) chairman, Willa Mung’omba.

Gen Shikapwasha, who is Keembe member of Parliament (MP), said he decided to join the race after wide consultations with party members.

“I can confirm that I am going for the position because this has been done after wide consultation. I cannot say much but I hope I will be given a chance to serve the nation,” he said.

He said the fight against corruption had to continue following the death of President Mwanawasa, and that was the only way of honouring him.

In an interview, Dr Mumba confirmed that he had presented his application to the MMD secretariat but refused to comment further.

Asked when he rejoined the MMD after having been Reform Party (RP) president, Dr Mumba said the MMD secretariat had all those details.

“I have applied but for further details you can contact the secretariat,” Dr Mumba said.

Dr Mumba, 48, was a presidential candidate in 2001 and he lost to the late President Mwanawasa, who in May 2003 appointed him vice-president, the position he held until October 2004 when he was dropped.

He holds an honourary doctorate from Flint and an associate degree from Christ for the Nations Institute in the United States of America.

The MMD presidential candidate would be chosen by the party’s national executive committee currently comprising 55 members on September 5.