Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rupiah’s handlers lack seriousness – Mpombo

Rupiah’s handlers lack seriousness – Mpombo
By George Chellah
Thu 11 Mar. 2010, 04:20 CAT

President Banda toured flood affected compounds in Lusaka two days ago
RUPIAH’s handlers lack seriousness, George Mpombo said yesterday.

Commenting on President Rupiah Banda's tour to compounds in Lusaka that have been affected by the floods on Tuesday, Mpombo described the President's fact-finding tour as too little too late bearing in mind that the disaster occurred way before he even left for China more than two weeks ago.

“I feel sorry for the President because I think he has a big problem even with the cabal surrounding him. The cabal surrounding him is not providing the necessary advice to make him succeed,” Mpombo said.

“I think the cabal surrounding him is determined to see him fail and I think they are succeeding. He has got to look at his cabal.”

Mpombo said President Banda had displayed total inadequate leadership, leadership that is not able to see through the situation.

“I do appreciate that overseas trips are important. But the handlers of the President really are lacking some sort of seriousness. They can't package him to tour in this way,” Mpombo said.

“Two weeks from Addis Ababa, he is away for two weeks. Immediately after that he is away for another two weeks, four weeks a President being out of the country! These are the results you get where a President is constantly on the move,” Mpombo said.

“He is not able to monitor situations like this and he is depending on mere reports. The handlers must know that there is no way we are going to have a President away out of the country for two weeks.

He goes to Addis Ababa, he is away for two weeks. He comes back again he is away for two weeks, it has never happened. So the country is being run through instincts. This is mind-boggling!”

Mpombo said President Banda's visit to the flood victims was a sign of desperation.
“It's too little too late because even before the President left for China, he left that situation where people were displaced and the Vice-President was saying 'no, the situation was a complex one'.

He needed everybody like the opposition and Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to sit down and find a solution.

And the whole thing has exposed the vulnerability of our disaster management. It actually means that we have nothing in terms of disaster management,” Mpombo said.

“This is an issue, which we should have handled. The President's visit is not inspiring. The President should have visited the areas even before he went to China. He knew because he left these floods before he left to China and the Vice-President was gallivanting all over. People expect leadership that is prepared to handle issues of this nature in a very rational manner.”

Mpombo said the MMD government had performed in a very lackadaisical manner.
“The way government handled this one is extremely lackadaisical, below par and totally unacceptable.

The response has been very late. It's like shedding crocodile tears. The President should have initiated bold measures even before he went to China,” Mpombo said.

“There has been a clear absence of leadership, there has been a tragic leadership failure. It's absolutely late, it's very late to arrest the situation in any meaningful way because this is happening in Lusaka where people expect swift government response and the President stays in Lusaka and all the government machinery is in Lusaka.”
Mpombo also criticised the government's response to the recent landslide that occurred in Mpulungu.

“Apart from sending messages of condolences, we would have expected the Vice-President to have flown there and see what is on the ground and assure the people. It is this kind of timid approach to important issues, which is raising a lot of concern,” Mpombo said. “We have fallen short of the requirement of the Zambian people.

My assessment is that there has been tragic leadership failure. He President Banda has not provided the kind of leadership that is expected to move the country forward. He has failed to assert himself on important national issues.”

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