Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nevers accuses PF of buying off MMD councillors
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Sat 13 Apr. 2013, 14:01 CAT

MMD president Nevers Mumba says Patriotic Front is buying MMD councillors like tomatoes. And Mumba says former president Rupiah Banda should not feel like a foreigner in his own country.

Featuring on Breeze FM's 'Political hour' programme yesterday, Mumba said the PF was using district commissioner to buy MMD councillors. He said the PF does not care about the billions of kwacha being spent on by-elections.

"From my experience from this 'New Hope Tour' I have made -I have been to Chama, Lundazi, Chadiza and Vubwi -it has become absolutely clear that the DCs are the ones (they are using to buy councillors); their mission is to buy many councillors from MMD and create unnecessary by-elections," Mumba said.

He said councillors were being bought like tomatoes at the market.

When asked by a caller whether he was also bought when he left his NCC party to join MMD, Mumba said he was not.

He said the buying of MMD councillors by the PF had not weakened the former ruling party.

"We have strong members that are going to be a backbone of our party, I have told our members that we need to convince ourselves that we are no longer in government and I have told our members that the first place towards victory for MMD is to first accept that we are no longer in government. We should not deceive ourselves that the benefits, the privileges we were having (while in government) that we were going to be having them now," Mumba said.

And Mumba said he would not stop reminding the PF to concentrate on fulfilling their campaign promises.

He said PF would not be voted back into government based on how many by-elections they create, but on the basis of fulfilled promises.

"Nevers Mumba is not an enemy of President Sata. Nevers Mumba as a matter of fact is one of the best friends of President Sata, because I tell him things that will make him a better President; it's my job as an opposition leader to do that. I need to tell the President that food security has to be a priority in the country and that mining needs to be strengthened so that investors can come in," Mumba said.

He said the PF was not elected into office to prove that it could destroy the opposition.

"I can tell you that if MMD and the opposition was completely destroyed today, this country will be a mess because nobody will be challenging this government on things that they are going to be doing and this will lead into turning the country into a one party state," Mumba said.

He said MMD would not be convinced that PF was doing the right thing by creating by-elections because the country had a lot of economic problems.

"My advice to PF is that as a political party, you should strive to be loved by the people. When you begin to buy everything and everybody to be known or to be supported, then you are not a popular party. The party that depends on money to buy its popularity is not a popular party. In fact, these are the parties that die immediately after they leave office," Mumba said.

He said going to the grassroots was what would win PF support and not harassing the opposition.

Mumba added that it was unnecessary for the PF government to humiliate the former head of state.

"Insulting opposition political parties, arresting opposition presidents and put them in jail, will not make them (PF government) popular. Going after former president Rupiah Banda and inconveniencing his life and trying to humiliate him before the international community as a new government, I think it's not necessary. I call for a more tolerant governance style in our country," he said.

Mumba said as a human being, Banda did his best during his time.

"None of us should feel like a foreigner in our own country, president Rupiah Banda should not feel like a foreigner. He did an excellent job as a human being, he is not God. He did his best and I think that we should allow the old man to retire and rest in peace and be applauded for the job that he did, instead of being rewarded with appearances in court for trumped-up charges," he said.

Some callers urged Mumba not to become Banda's spokesperson in Eastern Province.

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