Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chiluba is now looking foolish, says Syakalima

Chiluba is now looking foolish, says Syakalima
By Patson Chilemba in Lusaka and Speedwell Mupuchi in Kitwe
Sat 22 May 2010, 04:00 CAT

SIAVONGA UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima yesterday charged that Frederick Chiluba is now looking foolish following revelations on his ‘development meeting’ in Luapula Province.

In an interview, Syakalima said it was clear that former president Chiluba’s trip to launch campaigns for President Banda had failed miserably.

“First of all, did anybody believe that Chiluba was going there for development? Because that guy is a lie himself, he lives on a lie. He eats a lie. Most of us intelligent people know that he was not going there for development,” Syakalima said. “

Who is now looking foolish, if the chief can come out in the open that ‘this is what happened?’”

Syakalima said Chiluba should not think that he could fool Zambians anymore.

“It was bad enough for us to elect him president, and should not provoke us more. It was during his reign that the health sector went back. His word that he can press the button for Rupiah Banda, he is nothing,” Syakalima said. “He overvalues himself. You know what crooks do, they overvalue themselves.”

Syakalima said in the past Chiluba could manipulate people but now many people could see through him as they had now come to know the kind of person he was.

“Let him just sit down and keep quiet since now he is no longer sleeping. I don’t know when he got healed for his heart condition,” Syakalima said. “Even for him to start doing politics when the Constitution says don’t do politics as former head of state, so all these things he is doing, he is now piling up all the things Zambians dislike about him.”

Syakalima said President Banda should not think that he could bank on Chiluba because he was just wasting his time. He said Chiluba was no longer a factor in Zambian politics.

“Zambians are not looking for anything but to remove the MMD. When curtains have fallen, it’s always better to get out of the stage,” Syakalima said.

And Change Life Zambia executive director Fr Frank Bwalya on Thursday said Chiluba is still a thief who cannot add value to any developmental meeting.

During a live phone-in Radio Icengelo programme that featured Luapula Province minister Dr Boniface Kawimbe who was explaining the ‘developmental’ meeting held in Mansa last week, Fr Bwalya said government could have afforded not having the former president at the ‘developmental’ meeting.

He said government knew well that Chiluba had a controversial character because of his overtone and the cases he was facing in court, especially the London High Court Judgment.

“I personally still believe he is a thief who stole from Zambians; a thief cannot add value to any developmental meeting,” said Fr Bwalya.

Towards the end of the programme, following Dr Kawimbe’s defence of Chiluba, that he had freedoms of speech, movement and association, Fr Bwalya again phoned and said the London High Court judgment found Chiluba guilty of stealing from Zambians.

He said according to the London High Court, Chiluba was supposed to pay back US $41 million.

“The judgment clearly said Chiluba is a thief. The government of Mr Rupiah Banda ni government yabuwelewele, you can see ubuwelewele bweka,” he said.

Fr Bwalya questioned the logic in taking people like former Patriotic Front secretaries general Charles Chimumbwa and Edward Mumbi to attend the developmental meeting.

“Dr Kawimbe, we Zambians are not happy with the inclusion of Dr Chiluba in that meeting,” said Fr Bwalya.

Dr Kawimbe had said all Zambians would prefer a president who hails from their areas.

“Luapula people are very fortunate to have produced a president (Chiluba) and we are proud of that. For many years, Dr Chiluba was not able to visit Luapula Province, this was his first time, so naturally he was going back home,” said Dr Kawimbe.

He said the freedoms of speech, movement and association were applicable to all Zambians including Chiluba.

“He (Chiluba) should be free to associate with anyone he wants; he is free to express himself on any issue,” he said.

Dr Kawimbe said people might not like Chiluba, but he had freedom of movement and association.

“Unfortunately that’s what our Constitution says. We can’t apply these freedoms in a discriminatory manner,” he said.

Dr Kawimbe earlier said parliamentarians from Luapula and not government organised the meeting in Mansa last weekend.

He said the meeting was a follow-up to last year’s meeting members of parliament from Luapula had with chiefs.

Several callers criticised the involvement of Chiluba in the “developmental” meeting in Luapula.

A Mrs Bwalya from Kalulushi said Chiluba just went to Mansa to scold other politicians.

A caller from Ndola told Dr Kawimbe he was defending everything for his job and that he was not able to see the negative side of things.

Another caller, a Mrs Chileshe from Ndola, said the country had no credible leaders to which Dr Kawimbe said voters should shoulder the blame because it was them that elect leaders.

Another caller from Mufulira wondered how perceived differences between Michael Sata and Paramount chief Chitimukulu of Northern Province could be discussed at a meeting in Luapula Province.

A Mr Phiri told Dr Kawimbe to be sincere about the Mansa meeting saying Zambians were not dull because they read between the lines.

Dr Kawimbe also said the K1 million that chiefs who attended the meeting got did not come from government but from members of parliament who organised the meeting.

He said it was not unusual for the chiefs to get the K1 million because allowances were given at all workshops.

On the appointment of opposition UNIP member of parliament Mkondo Lungu as home affairs minister, Syakalima said desperate people did desperate things.

He said people had consistently warned President Banda that Mangani was not fit to serve as interior minister.

“The man wanted to be the commanding officer of all the provinces. He became Inspector General of police. You don’t behave like that as interior minister. He told Inspector General of police Francis Kabonde to go to Mufumbwe and you saw what happened there,” said Syakalima.

“And since Mangani has been dropped, let this guy Kabonde also resign for having surrendered his powers to Mangani

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