Saturday, May 07, 2011

Change is unstoppable - Mulongoti

Change is unstoppable - Mulongoti
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 07 May 2011, 04:02 CAT

Mike Mulongoti says President Rupiah Banda is going this year because change of government is unstoppable. And Mulongoti said President Banda is being insincere for taking credit over projects which were started by late president Levy Mwanawasa.

Mulongoti, who is former works and supply minister, said the call for change has continued to gain momentum.

“People are calling for change, and this call continues to gain momentum. Whoever stands in the way of that change can just be swept away. The indications that are coming are like the indications we had in 1991,” Mulongoti said.

“So if that is anything to go by, then it can only be assumed that the wish for the people to change is unstoppable. It cannot be avoided. My fear is that I must identify myself with the change, or else I will get swept away.”

Mulongoti said the nation had witnessed a total erasing of late president Mwanawasa’s name in the projects President Banda was commissioning.

“You have got all the posters going up showing President Banda. Some of those projects started much earlier when president Mwanawasa was there. So why is it that the credit just goes to him (Banda) alone? You cannot rub off history because that is part of Mwanawasa’s legacy. To try and just obliterate it is not right,” Mulongoti said.

“Of course the Ndola Stadium was discussed between president Mwanawasa and Chinese President Hu Jintao in China. So the implementation part of it; all those things, were already decided.”

Mulongoti said projects like the new Soweto Market, Chainama Hospital and the hospital in Chongwe were started by president Mwanawasa, although President Banda claimed that they had been done in the last three years.

“Chainama, I mean surely you know that Chainama Hospital, the foundation stone was laid by president Mwanawasa. Everything needed for the implementation was already there. It would be interesting to go and check whether the foundation stone for Mwanawasa is still there,” Mulongoti said.

On George Mpombo’s revelation that he resigned as defence minister because of pressure from President Banda to discuss the arms deal from which the President’s son, James would get a 10 per cent commission, Mulongoti said the issue of that gravity could not be reduced to simple answers like calling Mpombo a madman.

“It is questioning the integrity of the Commander-in-Chief and the President of the Republic. What should be addressed is if what Mr Mpombo is saying is untrue,” he said.

Mulongoti said the other people Mpombo had mentioned were still in the service, and they should be allowed to speak on the matter.

“If the President begins to dismiss the issue quickly, it means he is intimidating those to come out and say something. If he is going to deny, let him just deny, but not to say that the man who said it is a madman. What is he saying?” Mulongoti asked.

“He is telling the people who would want to testify on it to say ‘don’t take the man seriously, he is a madman’. The issue behind this is a very serious one. It should not be consigned to just that simple approach. Arms deals world over have been a source of problems.”

Mulongoti said people could begin to deduce some guiltiness on the part of President Banda and those around him, going by their conduct on Mpombo’s revelation.

“It is a question of just addressing it in a normal way without emotions. I will give you an example, President Obama was questioned over his nationality. What did he do? He just went and processed the birth certificate. That is the approach we need from leadership,” said Mulongoti.

He also condemned the journalism being practiced at the state-owned and government-controlled Times of Zambia for lying that Mbita Chitala was in the United Kingdom, when he was in Mbala.

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