Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010, 12:50
Senior Chief Puta of the Bwile people of Chienge District in Luapula,in action during last year's Bwilile Ceremony at his palace.
SENIOR Chief Puta of the Bwile people has said there is a plot by some senior MMD officials to harm the party’s national secretary Katele Kalumba.
The traditional leader charged yesterday that a clique of anti-Rupiah Banda MMD officials has ganged up and mooted a plan to sideline Dr Kalumba from participating in the forthcoming MMD party convention.
Chief Puta has also appealed to the people of Luapula to remain calm over Dr Kalumba’s five-year jail sentence by a Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for alleged corrupt practices.
Chief Puta said in a statement yesterday that although many hearts are aggrieved by the judgement, they should remain calm and wait for the due process of the courts following the appeal.
Dr Kalumba and three others were on Friday released from prison after the Magistrate Court granted them each K500 million bail in their own recognisance.
He said last month he received a message from a named deputy minister who confirmed that there was a plot in the MMD by some people to ensure that Dr Kalumba is blocked from being available for the 2011 MMD convention because they are afraid of him politically.Chief Puta alleged that some people were keen to see the downfall of Dr Kalumba by politicising his conviction and that they were the same people working against President Banda.
He alleged that the plan was to extinguish all the strong supporters surrounding President Banda so that he remains exposed and weakened.
He said last month he received a message from a named deputy minister who confirmed that there was a plot in the MMD by some people to ensure that Dr Kalumba is blocked from being available for the 2011 MMD convention because they are afraid of him politically.
“The plot started in 2005 before President Banda ascended to the presidency, the plotters had a meeting in Lusaka, even as late as Tuesday last week, they had a meeting in Kabulonga, we are aware about that,” Chief Puta said.
The chief said as a family, they have resolved to support the leadership of President Banda and that they will not change their position now.
Meanwhile MMD Lusaka Province chairperson William Banda has said that it is wrong to politicise Dr Kalumba’s conviction.
And last week, Evangelical Youth Alliance International president Moses Lungu advised the opposition Patriotic Front to respect Dr Kalumba and desist from making wrong impressions about him.
He said Dr Kalumba has demonstrated under difficult circumstances that he is a leader and has the spirit of uniting the country.
Dr Kalumba filed a notice of appeal against his conviction and sentence.
The other three released on bail are former Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Stella Chibanda and defunct Access Financial Services Limited directors Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu.
[Zambia Daily Mail]