Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chipata gives Lameck Mangani a heroic welcome

Chipata gives Lameck Mangani a heroic welcome
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thu 14 July 2011, 14:00 CAT

FORMER works and supply deputy minister Lameck Mangani yesterday brought Chipata town to a standstill. And Mangani says there is nothing personal between him and President Rupiah Banda except that Zambians are fatigued with the MMD and want change.

Mangani, who last week resigned from the ruling MMD, arrived around 09:05 hours at Chipata Airport aboard a Proflight plane. He was received by hundreds of both PF and MMD members led by PF Eastern Province chairperson Lucas Phiri. There were also Ngoma and Chimtali dancers at the Airport.

After greeting his sympathisers and supporters who were drawn from all parts of Chipata Central Constituency, Mangani’s motorcade which was made up of more than 60 taxis and a number of light trucks and other vehicles started off for his house in Month area.

The journey that normally takes about 15 minutes lasted close to two hours because of the amount of traffic. Traffic police officers who had mounted a roadblock near Chimzele Farms on the Airport Road watched in surprise as Mangani’s entourage passed.

Many people, with the majority being known MMD members, raised the PF symbol throughout the long procession from the airport to Mangani’s residence.

Chipata district MMD chairperson Sinoya Mwale who recently claimed that Mangani was not a factor in Chipata was spotted watching Mangani’s entourage near Chizongwe turn-off.

And many civil servants were seen raising the PF symbol as Mangani’s entourage drove through the town centre.

Initial plans by MMD to diffuse the whole procession proved futile as they were outnumbered.

At Saturday market, a pocket of sponsored MMD cadres raised a banner with words “RB nafuti nafuti” but they were overwhelmed by Mangani’s group.

Other people who stood by the road side near Chipata Motel said the government had changed from Eastern Province.

“A Rupiah aweleko tyala ndale za lero sazazikwanitsa, abaita beka mabvuto aba (Rupiah should come back because he is not going to manage modern politics because he has invited problems on his own),” some of the people said.
At around 11:05 hours, Mangani arrived at his residence with over 300 supporters.

Right, cyclists join Mangani’s entourage at Chimzele farms
The ‘we want change’ and Don’t Kubeba’ slogans became more pronounced at Mangani’s residence.

Plain clothed police officers and some intelligence officers were seen on the periphery of Mangani’s residence.

Other cadres were heard saying, ‘A Mangani awelako kuntchito ku Lusaka (Mangani has come back from work in Lusaka).

And in an interview at Chipata Airport, Mangani said there was nothing personal between him and President Banda except that Zambians were fatigued with the MMD and wanted change.

“In politics members of the same family can choose what they want to be. People should not take it that there is a fight between me and President Banda,” he said. “The way I look at politics of this country… a lot of things have changed.

Our party MMD has been in power for 20 years and you can see for yourself that there is fatigue among the people. This is not because of any problem with anybody but people would want to see a new system altogether.”
Mangani said in a democracy, people had the right to choose what they wanted for themselves.

“If you see that things are not okay, you have an option to go to the political party of your choice. The movement of people from one political party to the other does not suggest any betrayal,” Mangani said. “This is a democratic right of every citizen to choose a party of his or her own choice.”

Mangani said he had a lot of sympathizers from all the political parties but he would declare openly whenever he decides to join any of the political parties.
On claims from some MMD officials that he was not a factor in Chipata, Mangani said people would know whether or not he was a factor after the forth coming elections.

Meanwhile, 21 members of the recently dissolved MMD Chipata Central constituency executive committee have defected to PF.

Former constituency vice-chairperson Dauzen Mwanza confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.

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