Saturday, November 29, 2008

I want to keep my job, declares Tetamashimba

I want to keep my job, declares Tetamashimba
Written by Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday, November 29, 2008 4:18:21 PM

LOCAL government minister Benny Tetamashimba on Wednesday declared that he wants to keep his job. And Tetamashimba has said he is waiting for MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga to do something about MMD Katuba member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa for disobeying his [Mabenga’s] directives that no party member should discuss party issues in the media.

Asked to comment on Shakafuswa’s observations that he [Tetamashimba] as party spokesperson had caused divisions in the ruling party because of his statements, Tetamashimba retorted: “I want to keep my job, you can’t employ me. Please leave, you can’t keep me.”

Tetamashimba then pushed this author away, saying: “I am working here.” This was at Lusaka International Airport on Wednesday before the departure of President Rupiah Banda.

Tetamashimba later returned to the place where ministers, senior government officials and MMD officials stood to see off President Banda. He jumped around while waving at the Presidential plane when it took off.

Tetamashimba, who was elusive, later said in an interview that he was waiting to see what Mabenga would do against Shakafuswa.

“The party chairman gave us instructions that nobody should speak. Now that Shakafuswa has spoken, go and ask the chairman that ‘what are you going to do, now that somebody has disobeyed your instructions?’ Otherwise I have nothing to say myself,” Tetamashimba said.

However, Tetamashimba said there were no differences in MMD between people considering themselves as old or new members.

“I had already said that there is nothing like true blues and light blue, we are all MMD. But if there are people saying there are true blues and light blues, the only person who can comment is Mabenga who is the head of the party as at now,” Tetamashimba said.

When contacted, Mabenga declined to comment on the counterattacks involving Tetamashimba, Shakafuswa and national secretary Katele Kalumba.

“I will never discuss party matters in the press. No! Never!” Mabenga said. “I have written a circular. Go and read the circular I have written that members should not speak about party matters in the press.”
Mabenga said his only way of communicating with MMD members would be through circulars.

Shakafuswa on Tuesday advised Tetamashimba to shut up, accusing him of weakening the ruling party because of his media statements. Shakafuswa was commenting on the exchange of words between Tetamashimba and Kalumba.

Recently, Tetamashimba called for an audit of the October 30 presidential election to ascertain why President Banda lost in constituencies where the MMD has members of parliament.

President Banda lost in Chiengi Constituency in Luapula Province where Kalumba is member of parliament.

Responding to Tetamashimba’s remarks, Kalumba urged MMD members not to insult Zambians who did not vote for President Banda.

Kalumba said parliamentarians could not force people on who they should vote for because human beings were capable of making their own decisions.

But Tetamashimba argued that Kalumba was trying to justify his failure to deliver Chiengi Constituency to President Banda.

However, Kalumba responded saying only ‘true blues’ [original members of the party] could determine his fate.

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