Saturday, August 11, 2007

Deal with Zim crisis, Mumba urges SADC leaders

Deal with Zim crisis, Mumba urges SADC leaders
By Brighton Phiri
Saturday August 11, 2007 [04:00]

REFORM Party president Pastor Nevers Mumba has asked Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) leaders to deal with the Zimbabwe crisis conclusively when they meet in Lusaka next week. Speaking on QFM Radio Face the Media programme on Thursday, Pastor Mumba said Zimbabwe's crisis required urgent attention of SADC leaders' attention.

"I would like to see the Zimbabwe issue being attended to conclusively during the SADC summit," Pastor Mumba said.

He further asked the SADC leaders to discuss measures that would protect the region's resources from exploitation by foreigners. He said it was time the regional leaders discussed measures on how they could empower their own citizens.

"I would like to see Zambians become more important in the developmental process of our country," he said. "We may be poor but we are not stupid. I appeal to our leaders to do things on behalf of their people and Africa as a continent."

Pastor Mumba urged the SADC leaders to lead the process of integrating Africa into a united continental village.

He observed that the process of Africa's integration was not moving fast enough to meet the people's expectations.

"We definitely need to speed up the process. I would like to see the region with a focus and deadline on integration," he said. "SADC leaders must begin with the regional integration to give us confidence that our desire for a United States of Africa will be realised."

On the constitutional conference bill, Pastor Mumba said it was not too late for Zambians to shape it up to meet their aspiration. He said the bill was still open for correction, discussion, inclusion and changing so that it could be shaped in manner that would serve the interest of the people.

"As a party, we have met and decided that we shall make our submission to the parliamentary committee because we feel there are some recommendations that can compromise the integrity of the process," he said. "I urge everyone that we must find a away where we can be brutal with one another...Oasis Forum can be brutal with government and government can be brutal with Oasis Forum too, without none of them being intimidated by the other."

He asked government officials to desist from issuing threatening statements.

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