Friday, September 17, 2010

Don’t form party, Mpombo advises Magande

Don’t form party, Mpombo advises Magande
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 17 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

GEORGE Mpombo yesterday advised former finance minister Ng’andu Magande against forming a political party, saying doing so will defeat the unity of purpose among Zambians who believe that President Rupiah Banda has provided mediocre leadership.

Commenting on Magande’s statement that he was eyeing the Republican presidency, saying he was happy that he was out of MMD as that would give him more room to consult, Mpombo - who was recently expelled together with Magande from the ruling MMD - said forming a political party would just bring complications in the country’s political landscape and would result in splitting votes for the opposition.

Mpombo said what people needed now was unity of purpose in the opposition, warning that if efforts were split the impact would be less.

“So it is important that the opposition provide a very formidable challenge by ensuring that they work together. If they are split it means it will be a major disappointment to a lot of Zambians who believe that Mr Banda has provided very clumsy and uninspiring leadership,” Mpombo said.

“People want a government that is a listening government, not a government that will insist even on useless mobile clinics when there are no drugs in hospitals, people sleeping on the floor at the University Teaching Hospital UTH. Right now the priority of government is what we would call top-sturvey, and we therefore do not require fresh opposition.”

Mpombo said the opposition should work together to remove President Banda’s mediocre leadership from government.

“It forming another political party will be a severe setback to the aspirations of the people that believe that this country is being led by a blunder-prone President. So it is going to be a major disappointment,” Mpombo said.

“I have not discussed anything with Honourable Magande. I know he has got his unfettered rights as a citizen of Zambia, but I think it is important to look at the bigger picture because if we formed political parties it is tantamount to abdication of responsibility which should instead ignite unity of purpose.”

Magande recently accepted his expulsion from the MMD, saying he saw no need of re-contesting the Chilanga seat because the next stage of management from being a minister was the Republican presidency.

Earlier, Magande’s supporters on the Copperbelt had threatened that if the MMD frustrated him, they would form another political party.

On President Banda’s desire for a by-election in Kasama, Mpombo said President Banda had developed a habit of wasting national resources. He said this was the same President who was jumping from one country to the other carrying huge delegations at great cost to the taxpayers.

Mpombo said President Banda had no feeling for protecting the country’s meager resources. He said the statement by President Banda in Kasama did not come as a surprise, given his addiction to luxurious travels outside the country.

“Like you have seen the mobile hospitals, instead of addressing issues that are important he is the only President in the SADC region who has traveled so much. And you know information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha should be ashamed of himself for trying to bamboozle the public that as a result of President Banda’s travels this country has harvested US $400 million worth of investment,” Mpombo said.

“This is political hogwash. You don’t have to have such reckless statements coming from a minister. The other day the President was saying a group of investors are coming to see where they can maintain the railway line, but the railway line is in private hands, so where are they going to begin from? So it is not true.”

Mpombo reminded President Banda and Shikapwasha that Zambians were not stupid and could see through their naked lies.

“You see Mr Banda is commissioning projects that where left by Mr Levy Mwanawasa but giving the impression that it’s his own initiatives. You saw the drama at UTH Cancer Hospital? When was the Cancer Hospital opened?” asked Mpombo.

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