Thursday, September 06, 2007

Prof Chirwa joins MMD

Prof Chirwa joins MMD
By Nomusa Michelo, Joan Chirwa and Patson Chilemba
Thursday September 06, 2007 [04:02]

UK-BASED automotive and aerospace expert Professor Clive Chirwa has joined the ruling MMD, citing good economic policies by the current government. And finance deputy minister Jonas Shakafuswa has confirmed that Prof Chirwa has joined the MMD in Katuba constituency where he is member of parliament and described Prof Chirwa as the MMD’s biggest catch.

But Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata said there was nothing to fear about Prof Chirwa joining the MMD. Prof Chirwa told The Post in an interview that he decided to join the ruling MMD so that he could help the government to rebuild the country’s economy.

“I have decided to join the MMD so that I can help in a number of things with regard to the country’s development efforts,” Prof Chirwa said. “Some of the reasons that have made me join the MMD are the current government’s economic programmes with regard to investments and other developments stipulated in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and beyond.”

Prof Chirwa, who is also principle advisor to the European Union commission of transport as well as safety and education advisor to the United Kingdom government, said he had a vision to make the country one of the most prosperous African states in the world.

“I have a vision for Zambia. This country is really rich in resources and we need to be producing quality products in the development cycle,” Prof Chirwa said. “We need to look at areas that will give Zambia the much-needed resources and revenue at the end of the day so that we can make the country more developed.”

Prof Chirwa said he could not have joined any political party other than the MMD because of the current government’s “outlined objectives to attain macro-economic stability and reduce poverty in the country.”

“There are more parties existing in the country now but I could not have joined any other party than the MMD. The ruling party has good policies; I have looked at a number of programmes that the government is trying to do and I think a continuation of good policies is needed to develop the country further,” Prof Chirwa said. “I believe that the MMD will manage to move development forward for the benefit of all citizens in this country.”

And Shakafuswa said he met with Prof Chirwa when he paid a courtesy call on him at his office. Shakafuswa said Prof Chirwa discussed with him the possibility of joining the MMD.

“I never followed Professor Chirwa. He is the one who came to my office and yes we discussed him joining the MMD. I’m actually overwhelmed that he has decided to join the MMD. Professor Chirwa is the future of MMD,” he said. “We need politicians who are of the calibre of Professor Chirwa so that they can help put Zambia where it is supposed to be. There are some people in the MMD who just want to reap without adding any value.”

Shakafuswa said the MMD would soon ‘flush out’ low calibre leaders.

“Those whose morality does not match Professor Chirwa, we will start kicking them out. The new MMD is the party of the future. The bad habits of Chiluba will be flushed out. In fact, I can say Professor Chirwa is the biggest catch we have had,” Shakafuswa said. “He is actually buying a card from Katuba Constituency.”

When asked who the leaders of low calibre and low morality in the party were, Shakafuswa said the nation would soon see who they were.

“Some of them are even provincial chairmen, others are holding other high positions in the party. Just wait,” he said.

And commenting on Prof Chirwa’s joining of the MMD, the party’s spokesperson Ben Tetamashimba said he was welcome.

“If people are joining the MMD, it means they are satisfied with the performance of the party. I have been reading about him and if he has joined us he is offering skills to contribute to the vision of our party,” Tetamashimba said. “I believe if the MMD can attract people of high calibre then everything is okay. We are asking for more to come; they are free to come. We are not going to chase anyone, even leaders in the opposition are most welcome.”

But Sata said there was nothing to fear about Prof Chirwa joining the MMD.

“He has joined MMD? That’s alright but as controversial as he is…he’s controversial of the MMD. There is no problem, let him continue. He’s trying to make a name,” Sata said. “I don’t know him, I’ve never seen him and now he has joined MMD. If you are scared about Professor Chirwa, that’s your problem, that’s not my problem. There is nothing to fear.”

However, Sata said if the intention of Prof Chirwa’s joining politics was to become president, there was nothing wrong.

“If he wants to become president there is nothing wrong. Even you, even Brighton Phiri would want to be president. No one owns Zambia so good luck to Professor Chirwa,” said Sata.

But MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga said he did not even know who Prof Chirwa was.

“Who is Professor? Who is this Professor Chirwa? I don’t even know him. I don’t even know where he lives,” Mabenga said sharply. “I will have to check in the party register if he has been entered. I can’t talk about somebody I don’t even know.”

And Zambia Republican Party president Ben Mwila has urged Zambians to judge politicians based on their quality and not academic qualifications.
Commenting on Prof Chirwa’s decision to join the MMD, Mwila said Zambians should be cautious with the kind of leaders they want to put in power.

“The business of trying to import leadership you don’t know is dangerous, because Zambians have to vote for the people they know. They don’t have to vote for qualifications. In Malawi, they thought they were importing a doctor, Dr Kamuzu Banda but they ended up importing a monster,” he said.

Mwila said he was not scared of Prof Chirwa’s joining politics.
“We have equal opportunities. Zambians need to understand leaders they are voting for because voting blindly, they will vote for a monster; not necessarily the imported ones, but those from within could be worse monsters who would end up enslaving them,” he said.

However, Mwila welcomed Prof Chirwa’s joining of politics through the MMD.
“Let him join the MMD and if he wants to bid for president he will bid for the presidency in MMD,” said Mwila.
During a Press Freedom Committee of The Post newsmakers’ forum held on Monday evening at Broadway Cinema in Ndola, Prof Chirwa was under pressure from the audience to state his ambitions for political office.

During his presentation, the cheering crowd shouted: “Chirwa uli wa mano (Chirwa you are intelligent)…ni iwe wine fye (you are the one)… presidential material.”

Yotam Mutayachalo, a trade unionist, said Zambia had a lot of mediocre leadership both in the opposition and the ruling party.
“We need leaders with a vision, we need a political and economic revolution in this country. Professor, I’m afraid that the political arena in this country has been infiltrated by mediocre leadership; both in the ruling government and in the opposition. And we have people like you Professor and we cannot allow this to continue. We are not going to allow mediocre leadership to continue to be misleading Zambians. The question is that don’t you have ambitions?”

Mutayachalo asked amidst cheers and applause from the audience.
“The 2011 elections are around the corner; don’t you have ambitions professor to provide a service to this country because the majority of politicians are there to enrich themselves. They are just there to drive Pajeros and get sitting allowances in Parliament.”
In response, Prof Chirwa said he was still an academician but would be returning to Zambia in 2009.

“At the moment as you understand, I am academic and of course what I will just say is that I am retiring from academia in 2009 then I will come back home,” said Prof Chirwa.

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At 10:11 PM , Blogger Musole said...

A mixture of 10% abnormal DNA with 60% normal is considered unviable in bilogical terms! Prof Chirwa should know that! What good policies does the MMD have that will cause economic "deliverance" in Zambia? If they did have such policies, why have we not significant economic advancements? The only good MMD ushered into the Zambian polic-economy is the multi-party democracy..other than that, there is little else!


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