Friday, July 30, 2010

PF is Zambia's most cosmopolitan party – Kabimba

PF is Zambia's most cosmopolitan party – Kabimba
By George Chellah
Fri 30 July 2010, 10:00 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba yesterday said PF is the most cosmopolitan political party in Zambia, cutting across ethnic lines. And Siavonga UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima said the MMD may not even exist beyond 2011.

Reacting to President Rupiah Banda’s statement that UPND is for Southern Province and PF for the northern part of the country, Kabimba, who is also PF secretary general, dismissed President Banda’s remarks.

“A look at the 2006 and 2008 election results will clearly show that PF is not a regionally based party because on the Copperbelt and Lusaka, where PF commands the biggest support the people that have voted for the party in these areas, are not from any one tribe in this country,” Kabimba said.

“Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces are not homes for one, two or three tribes. Here, you find people from all the regions of our country. And this is where PF dominates. So we expect RB to know that our national representation can only be seen in the support that PF commands on the Copperbelt and Lusaka. The fact is PF is the most cosmopolitan party, it’s the party which cuts across ethnic lines.”

He said Zambians would shame President Banda in 2011 by not voting along ethnic lines despite his tribal statements.

Kabimba said President Banda had been trying to divide the country on ethnic lines.

“As president and not as an individual. If there is anybody that has been trying to derive any benefits from tribal politics it's RB himself because of the way that he purportedly joined the MMD and finally found himself at the helm of that party,” he said.

He observed that President Banda was very insecure.

“That’s why nobody up to now has any evidence that he resigned from UNIP. As far as I know, RB was seconded to MMD by UNIP. That’s why he is changing the complexion of MMD to resemble a complexion of UNIP,” Kabimba said.

“And because of the political insecurity he suffers in MMD, he thinks that the only way he can grant himself security is to promote tribal politics; hence his statement in the 2008 presidential by-election in Eastern Province that ‘don’t vote for those who don’t come from here’.”

He said although PF originally had its base in Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt provinces, it had drastically mobilised membership in all the nine provinces.

“And the recent results in Milanzi are a clear testimony of how PF is progressively becoming a national party, even overtaking the MMD. This empirical evidence may taste sour in RB’s mouth but it’s the evidence that compares clearly the national nature of MMD and PF as things stand today,” Kabimba said.

“RB is not qualified to condemn anybody about promoting tribal politics because he himself is not innocent as President from such a social crime. Even his use of Frederick Chiluba is intended to benefit himself through votes using the people of Luapula on tribal lines. Otherwise, why doesn’t he send Chiluba to Southern Province, Mumbwa or Serenje to campaign for him? He is using Chiluba as a tribal trump card for himself.”

And Syakalima warned that if President Banda was not careful, MMD would be confined to one province.

“It may not even exist because first of all, the Zambians… the overall picture he is giving, the people are fed up. So in 2011, he will have nothing to point at. In 1990, UNIP was all over and yet people were just angry for multi-partism. What about now when people are annoyed because of squalor, disease, poverty, ignorance, homelessness and hopelessness which the MMD has brought?” asked Syakalima.

“The picture he is seeing now if he doesn’t see beyond his nose, he will get a rude shock in 2011. Zambians are fed up, and Rupiah Banda has repeatedly done things Zambians are fed up with. He is so callous that he doesn’t want what Zambians think. The mobile hospital deal is one case in point; people spoke their lungs out. So by 2011, MMD will be confined in the dust bin of history.”

On Wednesday, President Banda said the UPND was a provincial party for the people of Southern Province and the PF was a party for the Bemba-speaking areas.

“The difference with us for instance with UPND is that they are a provincial party, they are a tribal party,” said President Banda during a campaign rally at Nangula Basic School where he went to drum up support for Mwangala Maopu, the MMD candidate in the Luena by-election.

“Even in Southern Province itself, the people are beginning to rebel against the UPND because they feel that party is isolating them from other parts of the country. Therefore, the UPND must be destined to fail.”

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