Tuesday, January 01, 2008
By Noel Sichalwe
Tuesday January 01, 2008 [03:00]
United Party for National Development (UPND) spokesperson Charles Kakoma has advised President Mwanawasa not to block Professor Clive Chirwa from contesting the party presidency. Kakoma was commenting on President Mwanawasa's revelation that Professor Chirwa cannot succeed him. Kakoma said the MMD should realize that what happened in their party had a greater effect on the entire political landscape of the whole country.
"If President Mwanawasa does not believe in the forces of democracy, how then can he claim to be a democrat?" he asked. "In our view, he is then simply a hypocrite. We have raised this concern because this MMD tendency of disregarding a democratic election is what leads to electoral malpractices and stealing of votes. Now this shows the people of Zambia in general and Professor Chirwa in particular that the MMD is incapable of being champions of democratic development in our country."
He said leadership should be treated as a preserve of every bonafide Zambian and not only for a few that could be woken up in the night to be handpicked to be Zambian President.
""As Head of State, President Mwanawasa has a constitutional duty to protect and promote democracy at all levels of governance. Already if Mwanawasa is speaking like this, what are his plans for the 2011 general elections? What forces does President Mwanawasa want to use to determine the 2011 elections outcome if he is against democratic forces," he asked.
In an exclusive interview last Wednesday at South Luangwa National Park where he was on holiday, President Mwanawasa said he was against Professor Chirwa succeeding him pointing out that Zambia did not have a shortage of leaders.
"Now, let me give a timely warning to people who have been outside. They have been outside living in a foreign environment. They come back to the country and think that we are all foolish; we are all incapable of providing leadership and now they are God sent people," President Mwanawasa said. "I am against Professor Chirwa and I command a lot of support in the MMD and my supporters will not support him."
Professor Chirwa has been living in England for close to twenty years. He is now lecturing at Boston University as a Professor of Crashworthiness. He intends to come back to settle in Zambia in 2009 in readiness to initially contest the MMD and later the Republican presidency.