Thursday, February 18, 2010

Katele, Mpombo in ‘big joke’ counter-charges

Katele, Mpombo in ‘big joke’ counter-charges
By Patson Chilemba
Thu 18 Feb. 2010, 12:09 CAT

MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba (left) yesterday said George Mpombo's announcement to challenge President Rupiah Banda for the party presidency is a very big joke.

But Mpombo said the biggest joke was Kalumba himself who had allowed himself to be manipulated by President Banda and other dimwits like works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti.

Commenting on Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament Mpombo's recent announcement that he would challenge President Banda at the MMD national convention, Kalumba said Mpombo was fond of making jokes.

"With respect to Mr Mpombo, whatever he says to me is a joke. That is all I can say, a very good joke. I mean Mr Mpombo knows that he is making a joke, so we should all just laugh at him," Kalumba said.

But Mpombo said he does not understand how an intelligent man like Kalumba had allowed himself to be used like a doormat by President Banda and his colleagues.

"The biggest joke is Kalumba himself in the way he has been manipulated. He was a fellow who was undermined and insulted publicly by Mulongoti and late Benny Tetamashimba, and no one could protect him," Mpombo said. "At one stage, President Banda didn't even want to see Katele. Unless Katele is using defective tools of analysis, clearly Mr. Rupiah Banda is a big liability. There is no way Rupiah Banda can win an election, it is only in the dream."

Mpombo said MMD would be signing a suicide pact should they go ahead with President Banda for the 2011 elections.

"I don't really know, maybe Katele is trying to do these things in order to gain sympathy...I don't know why he has allowed himself to be used by a bunch of political dimwits like Mike Mulongoti and others.

He must be prepared to stand his ground," Mpombo said. "MMD will be thoroughly defeated if they impose Mr Banda. Why is he fearing the convention? Their trick is to buy time because general elections are going to be held early next year. So they will say 'we don't have enough time to hold the convention'."

Mpombo recently announced that he would challenge President Banda at the convention and that he rated his chances very high. He said he would challenge President Banda in order to stop him from manipulating the MMD constitution.

"The whole idea is Mr Banda must know that he is just a new member in MMD. Unless the party wants to get out of power, they can go and vote for Mr Banda because Mr Banda is a big liability," said Mpombo. "He is a very risky candidate, very risky."

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