Friday, January 08, 2010
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 08 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT
FORMER defence minister George Mpombo yesterday charged that Dr Kenneth Kaunda should not be given a blank cheque to attack other citizens, especially those of a political nature.
Featuring on a 5 FM radio programme yesterday, Mpombo said he took great exception to Dr Kaunda's morally repugnant remarks against him, saying there was no way a former president could use such sarcastic langauge like 'barking like anything' against a former minister.
He said he was not the first minister to have left government and cross swords with those in power. Mpombo said even during the time Dr Kaunda was in power, there were political skirmishes in that people like Mwansa Kapwepwe resigned from his government. He cited the 1967 UNIP conference, which nearly brought up umozi wakumawa.
Mpombo said this was the same Dr Kaunda who used to attack late president Mwanawasa but had changed positions since President Rupiah Banda took over office.
"No, he should not be given a blank cheque to attack citizens, especially of a political nature. If KK has an advice...we want him to have a role where he can broker some peace," Mpombo said. "But certainly for those who are saying he should not be attacked because he is founding father, I think they are using defective tools of analysis because each human being has a soul. God has made a man in His own image, so we must choose, treat people equally with respect."
Asked by the interviewer what he meant when he said Dr Kaunda risked stepping on undetonated political landmines, Mpombo said Dr Kaunda could get into unnecessary storms like he has done because people were bound to react, and in their reaction they would say something unpalatable.
On the suspension of former science and technology minister Gabriel Namulambe from the national executive committee (NEC), Mpombo said the MMD was courting very dangerous circumstances.
"They are actually creating a festering ulcer," Mpombo said. "You know by taking that draconian action, of course dropping one from a ministerial position is a different matter, but why should they follow him?"
Mpombo said Namulambe was merely reacting to President Banda's aide Dr Francis Chigunta who issued disparaging remarks against president Mwanawasa.
"But I am surprised that action should be taken against Gabriel and not Chigunta," he said.
Mpombo said some MMD members had embarked on a vortex of spin, manipulation and character assassination just because he was perceived to be close to president Mwanawasa.
"I know they are coming from, maybe, small minds like Mike Mulongoti, and maybe others," he said.
On assertions that he was not a Lamba, Mpombo responded: "Unfortunately, that can only come from a bizarre character like Mr. Mulongoti. I have been in leadership in my own Lambaland since 1968."
He asked Mulongoti to avoid being trailed by little thoughts.
On MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga's assertions that he made all sorts of apologies when some MMD NEC officials asked him on why he was attacking President Banda, Mpombo described the statements as an outrageous fabrication, saying he was surprised that Mabenga could sink so low as to say the things he said.
Asked on why the MMD was jittery over the Lamba issue, Mpombo said Lambas had always voted as a block, in that while the urban parts voted for the Patriotic Front (PF), the Lambas in the rural areas voted for the MMD.
He said the people felt betrayed because now they were seeing people like Dr Chigunta and a journalist at State House throwing mud at president Mwanawasa.
Mpombo said MMD should not even cheat themselves with people like Mulongoti because he could not even be received at any village in Ndola rural.