Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mulongoti’s dismissal is shameful - Hansungule

Mulongoti’s dismissal is shameful - Hansungule
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 26 Feb. 2011, 04:01 CAT

Professor Michelo Hansungule has described President Rupiah Banda's dismissal of Mike Mulongoti as works and supply minister, the revocation of his parliamentary nomination and suspension from the ruling MMD as shameful.

Commenting on President Banda’s dismissal of Mulongoti from both Cabinet and parliament last Saturday for challenging Vice-President Kunda in the race for the MMD vice-presidency, the Pretoria-based human rights law lecturer said Mulongoti’s dismissal shows that President Banda fears Vice-President George Kunda.

“He has exaggerated respect for Kunda. Anyone who touches Kunda must go. What shame for a president. President Banda should not act emotionally when challenged. He should have allowed Mulongoti the chance to contest the election and strategises to beat him there,” Prof Hansungule said.

“But of course he is so scared of political competition, he cannot stand it. He says nine MMD members are vying for the vice-presidency. How many are vying for the presidency? The MMD will reclaim its direction once it gets rid of insecure non-original members from its ranks.”

Prof Hansungule said MMD members should expel President Banda from the party before he frustrated all of them.

“The problem is that President Banda is not an original MMD member and he is awake to it. He came to the MMD through the back door and this is a common story.

He is insecure because he knows he is not MMD. He doesn’t believe in any of the principles of the MMD, foremost among them ‘democracy’ which is one of the words in the name of the party,” Prof Hansungule said.

“Again, where was he when MMD was formed? It is a simple question. Original MMD members should chase Banda before he chases all of them from the party.

Drive him Egypt/Tunisia style back to his farm and tie him on trees there. If they don’t do this, he will drain the party of its original members. He will chase them all if they don’t chase him because he is foreigner in the MMD.”

Prof Hansungule said there was no need for President Banda to fight Mulongoti to the extent of dismissing him. He said political parties should learn from the episode – that they ought to nurture their own leaders rather than import from outside.

“It is called ‘thieves fighting in the kitchen’. This is what President Rupiah Banda is engaging in by fighting Mike Mulongoti, his former Minister of Works and Supply. Thieves are fighting for power and spills in the kitchen … The main mistake Mulongoti made was to remind him he was not at Garden House in 1991, which is correct,” Prof Hansungule said.

He said Mulongoti’s sacking had exposed flaws in the Republican Constitution. Prof Hansungule said nominated members of parliament would always live at the mercy of their appointing authority.

“Mulongoti was a minister and nominated member of parliament, all of which are at the President’s discretion. In other words, Mulongoti was in government on President Banda’s benevolence,” said Prof Hansungule.

“How can you live like that? How do you live your whole life on the goodwill of another? There are others like that in the government. Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, Minister of Finance, is in government on those terms. The Constitution is fundamentally flawed. It is too clearly on the side of dictatorship,” Professor Hansungule said.

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