Wednesday, May 23, 2012
By Henry Sinyangwe in Lusaka and Roy Habaalu in Mongu
Wed 23 May 2012, 13:39 CAT
MMD under Pastor Nevers Mumba is a sinking Titanic, says Sunday Chanda. Meanwhile, Pastor Mumba says the Patriotic Front is failing to settle down and govern.
In a statement yesterday, Chanda, the spokesperson of MMD presidential hopeful Felix Mutati, said the party must elect as its president someone who the youth could believe has what it took to mould the country for many generations.
"Seven candidates for the MMD presidency; the best choice with a future in mind must be made. With the plethora of options on the table, how do MMD members know who will be the right choice? Do they pick the one who should win, or the one who could beat the one who should win? Better yet, do they vote for the one who reminds them the most of a break with present type of politics or one who reminds you of arrogance, empty promises and personal attacks?" he asked.
Chanda, who discounted late entrants into the MMD presidential race like Enoch Kavindele and Kapembwa Simbao, said Pastor Mumba might be loud with the courage to speak, but said he could not win a presidential election as close as the 2016 one considering the political baggage he brings to the race.
"He needs to deal with the tag that he is power hungry and that he would not serve under any person - a notion which has made others to create rumours that he is contemplating another route if he does not win the MMD presidency," he stated.
"The endorsements in the media are just political excitement which will subtract rather than add. Last week, there were reports of Pastor Nevers Mumba's endorsements which have, unfortunately injured his candidature and repelled some members who wanted to give him a chance because these are the same people generally blamed for part of former president Rupiah Banda's poor judgment on several issues owing to their ill advice. If they had wanted to help the man, they could have gone underground than hurt his ticket as they have done."
"There is no serious politician with quite a huge substantial political baggage who would entertain Ms Dora Siliya's endorsement at this stage because of the general attitude within the party and nation towards her. Coincidentally, it is the same RB group that is giving support to the Pastor but this is the group that MMD is calling to take the back seat because of the deep waters they drove the party in individually. MMD members must rubbish those endorsements because as Zambians will prove, they will amount to no victory on Friday. MMD under Pastor Mumba is a sinking ship, a Titanic as the party will suffer serious political haemorrhage."
Chanda stated that the stature of MMD's next president would determine how high and far the former ruling party would go.
"This is not a call for MMD to find an angel to lead it because no one is that angel. In 2000-2001, only a handful of Zambians ever imagined that President Michael Chilufya Sata would ever be taken seriously by the people of Zambia to the point of becoming their President. There had to be a lot of image building and consistency over the two decades that PF was in the opposition and the rest is history," he stated.
Chanda stated that the next MMD president should draw inspiration from the manner in which President Sata managed to rebrand himself.
"The next president of the MMD does not need to be an angel but an empty vessel which the party will repack for floating to the Zambian people in 2016," he stated.
Chanda stated that the punch-for-punch kind of politics Pastor Mumba was espousing was entrenched in bitterness, sour grapes and was a reverse gear for Zambian politics.
He stated that President Sata must not be the measure to define how politics would be conducted in future.
"He is from the old school and it remains a shame that someone who claims to emerge from the new school should seek to embrace Cha-cha-cha politics of aggressive fights. How about decency, respect and issues redefining the political space? I would also argue that President Sata was not the best example of an opposition leader owing to some extents he would go just to fix presidents to his advantage. The manner he conducted himself when late president Levy Mwanawasa suffered a stroke before the 2006 elections was un-African and a lesson for all to learn from. Punch-for-punch is outdated because it signifies a failure to think by those who practice the game," he stated.
Chanda stated that MMD's reason for existence was not just to fight President Sata but to offer alternatives and uplift the welfare of the suffering millions.
He stated that Zambians would respect a re-birthed MMD repositioned to address issues and not personalities.
"Felix Mutati represents MMD's rebirth and over the last 10 years, he succeeded in positioning himself as a peak performer who won the respect of Zambians beyond partisan lines," said Chanda.
And addressing MMD members in Mongu on Monday, Pastor Mumba said the former ruling party must face the demons and evils that caused it to lose power in order to retain its political relevance.
Pastor Mumba claimed that party structures were still intact and that only leadership was lacking.
"MMD needs leadership that will inspire in that although we lost the election, the game is not over. We failed yesterday but tomorrow we shall rise and walk. We need inspirational leadership that can give hope to our members. MMD was shocked that we lost elections in 2011. PF was shocked that they won because they are unable to settle down and govern. I want us to tackle the demons and evils that made us lose. If we don't, the Zambian people will be afraid to change their minds about us being corrupt," he said.
Pastor Mumba said in an event that he was not elected president, he would work with the people's preferred candidate.
He also insisted that President Sata must apologise to the people of Western Province for lying that he would restore the Barotseland Agreement.
Pastor Mumba accused President Sata and the PF of ascending to power through deceit.
He said it was reckless for President Sata to make promises he knew were not attainable, adding that no politician could cheat people of Western Province because they were the first to be more educated in Zambia.
Pastor Mumba said he was not against President Sata but "his lies".
"Fulfil your campaign promises by restoring the Barotseland Agreement as you promised. Don't send the army, police and ZAF; fly to Western Province and apologise to the people your Excellency. If he comes here to say sorry, people of Western Province will forgive him, but he should find another plan to resolve the problem. But if he fails to apologise, this will give reason for people not to trust him," Pastor Mumba said.
He complained of political intimidation and harassment by the government and that MMD members were not free to conduct party activities.
Pastor Mumba said President Sata should realise that PF had come and time would come for it to go.
He accused President Sata of being a unique President who does not respond to requests.
"He's sharp with his tongue, he's harsh with anything...That's the President you are dealing with. The way you deal with President Sata is punch for punch! If he speaks at six o'clock, I should answer at seven o'clock. It's punch for punch... fear not, don't kutina," he said.
Pastor Mumba also accused Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini of being a member of the PF.