Friday, April 23, 2010
By George Chellah
Fri 23 Apr. 2010, 04:00 CAT
FORMER president Frederick Chiluba is next month expected to launch President Rupiah Banda’s campaign in Luapula Province at a function organisers claim will be discussing development.
According to a letter to all chiefs in Luapula Province dated March 23, 2010, which was marked ‘strictly confidential’ and signed by PF Kawambwa member of parliament Elizabeth Chitika and MMD Chembe member of parliament Mwansa Mbulakulima, who are the group coordinators, Chiluba is scheduled to meet the chiefs and all members of parliament from Luapula that are aligned to the ruling MMD.
“RE: PROVINCIAL CONSULTATIVE MEETING IN MANSA 15th to 16th May 2010. During the Chabuka ceremony of the Ushi people in Mansa in October, 2009, their Royal Highnesses who were present and 12 Hon members of parliament from Luapula Province agreed to organise a provincial consultative meeting where all the senior chiefs, chiefs and some sub chiefs will be able to meet and exchange views on many important issues affecting the people of Luapula Province,” read the letter in part.
“As a result of this important request, we as your children and representatives of the people have the honour to cordially invite you to this important consultative meeting that will address the social, developmental and look at the way forward for the province.
Your Royal Highnesses are expected to arrive in Mansa on Friday, 14th May 2010. The meeting will officially be opened by our own son, the former 2nd Republican President, Dr FTJ Chiluba and officially closed by his Honour the Vice-President, Hon George Kunda, SC on 16th May 2010.
“Transport, agenda for the meeting and other logistical arrangements will be communicated to you by the organisers through the office of the District Commissioner in your respective districts. Confirmation of attendance should also be done by contacting the District Commissioner in your district and this should be done by 5th May, 2010. We remain, your children and representatives.”
Among the chiefs invited are; The Mwata, senior chief Mushota, senior chief Milambo, senior chief Puta, senior chief Mununga, senior chief Kalasa Mukoso, senior chief Kalimankonde, senior chief Mwewa, chief Chama, chief Munkanta, chief Chimese, chief Chisunka, chieftainess Kalaba, chief Kalasa Lukangaba, chief Kasomalwela, chief Mabumba, chief Matanda, chief Mibenge, chieftainess Sokontwe, chief Kashiba, chief Katuta, chief Lubunda, chief Lukwesa, chief Mulundu, chief Mwenda, chief Mutipula, chieftainess Lambwe Chomba, chief Kambwali, chieftainess Kanyembo, chief Nshimba, chief Bwalya, Mponda, chief Chitembo, chief Kasoma Lunga, chief Kasoma Bangweulu, chief Mbulu, chief Mulakwa, chieftainess Mulongwe, chief Mwansakombe, chief Nsamba, sub chief Kabila, sub chief Mushili, sub chief Kafwanka and sub chief Chama Wabuseba.
The group of members of parliament that Chitika-Mulobeka and Mbulakulima are coordinating include Dr Katele Kalumba, Ben Mwila, Peter Machungwa, Jones Chinyanta, Chrispin Musosha, Joseph Kasongo, Ernest Mwansa, Dr Bernard Chishya, Besa Chimbaka and Jacob Chongo.
And Mbulakulima confirmed on Wednesday that there are plans to hold the meeting.
“Yes, I can confirm we are looking at development in the Province. And development must encompass every person from a common person to our traditional leaders,” Mbulakulima said.
Asked about Chiluba’s invitation, Mbulakulima answered: “We are still looking at who we should invite for the opening and closing and who else we should invite to participate. I cannot confirm that, yes, we have settled for Dr Chiluba. But his name is on the list of people we are considering to invite.”
When reminded that two PF members of Parliament namely Davies Mwila and Samuel Chitonge were not on the list, Mbulakulima responded: “On the MPs, we haven’t exhausted the list yet. But if we find it compatible we shall invite them.”
And Chiluba’s spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba said Chiluba has not received the invitation yet.
“Dr Chiluba is a key stakeholder to any part of this country so if any group of citizens invite him, they are welcome,” Mwamba said. “Dr Chiluba is willing to help in any way to the development agenda of this country and to the strengthening of MMD in any part of the country.”
But MMD sources yesterday disclosed that Chiluba’s trip to Luapula will purely be for campaigns for President Banda.
“He is going to Luapula to begin the campaign for RB just like he did with the Copperbelt. If you heard RB on Tuesday, he was just repeating the things Chiluba raised at his last press conference concerning the Copperbelt Province and PF run councils.
Chiluba is basically acting as a sweeper for RB’s arrival in these areas,” the source said. “So that’s what he will be going to Luapula for, as well. He will meet the chiefs and the MPs and thereafter RB will go there to consolidate what Chiluba would have started.
Do not be cheated Chitika and her colleagues are just hiding Chiluba’s visit under the guise of a consultative meeting to discuss development when in actual fact they will be strategizing for 2011 on behalf of RB.”