Saturday, December 06, 2008

Kawimbe to review Luapula MMD poll loss

Kawimbe to review Luapula MMD poll loss
Written by Chibaula Silwamba and Lambwe Kachali
Saturday, December 06, 2008 4:51:34 PM

NEWLY sworn-in Luapula Province minister Dr Boniface Kawimbe yesterday said his first task will be to find out why the ruling MMD is not doing well in the province.

And President Rupiah Banda has disclosed that he and late president Levy Mwanawasa made the decision to appoint legal advisor to the president, Darlington Mwape, as Zambia’s ambassador and permanent representative to Geneva, Switzerland.

Speaking to journalists soon after being sworn in as Luapula Province minister, Dr Kawimbe, an MMD stalwart who was recently nominated as member of parliament and subsequently appointed provincial minister, said he would establish the cause of the poor performance of the ruling party.

“I am sure it is an open secret that Luapula Province together with Northern Province, Copperbelt Province and Lusaka Province were once upon a time the strongholds of our party. My first task, as I go to Luapula, is really to find out why our party is not doing as well as it should be doing,” Dr Kawimbe said.

As you know, as a medical doctor, when something is wrong, the first thing you have to establish is to make a diagnosis to find out what the problems are and really my first responsibility will be to consult with all the residents of Luapula Province.”

He said he would ensure that he works with all the people in Luapula Province.

“We have a lot of challenges in reducing poverty, unemployment, hunger and disease. All these cannot be defeated by some of the people; it can only be defeated by the efforts of all the people,” he said.

President Banda lost in all but one constituencies in Luapula Province to Patriotic Front (PF)’s Michael Sata in the October 30 presidential election.

Dr Kawimbe takes over from MMD Mansa Central member of parliament Chrispine Musosha.

And President Banda said Luapula Province had vast potentials in mineral, agriculture and water resources as well as great people that need to be properly administered.

“I am so pleased to have this opportunity to swear in Dr Kawimbe who is very well-known to myself for many years and I do know that you are a founder member of this great party the MMD and that you have its interests very much at heart and that you are committed to the principles and the vision of this party to develop this country.

I am asking you to go and represent this government as provincial minister in Luapula Province; one of the provinces that really require the best that the party can offer to administer it in view of the potentials that lie there in minerals, in agriculture, in water and of course, its great people, President Banda said.

And after swearing in Mwape, President Banda asked him to represent him and the people of Zambia well in Switzerland.

“I am also very pleased to say goodbye to my young friend, my son as I always have called him, you have been in this house, State House, for many years advising our president in legal matters, so in that sense, I will miss you but as you know, this decision we made with the president [Levy Mwanawasa] before he left us,“ President Banda said.

He said he had no doubt that Mwape was one of the best legal experts the country had ever produced.

“...the people of Switzerland and those who come into contact with you will be able to see the Zambian people through yourself,” President Banda said.

Meanwhile, President Banda said the peace agreement in Burundi had been reached.

Speaking to journalists at Lusaka International Airport upon arrival from Burundi on Thursday, where he had gone to attend an emergency one-day heads of state and government summit on the Burundi peace process, President Banda said the summit was successful as they managed to reach an agreement between the opposition and the government.

“Fortunately, we have managed to reach the agreement with the political party in opposition and the government. So we have agreed that they will start the process of disengagement and establish the peace. It was a long and very hard negotiation. As soon as we arrived, we went in until we left this evening [Thursday],” said President Banda.

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