Friday, March 28, 2014

MMD wants Rupiah treated the same way as KK
By Kombe Mataka
Fri 20 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

NEVERS Mumba says MMD expects Rupiah Banda to be accorded the same respect as Dr Kenneth Kaunda. But PF national youth chairman Chishimba Kambwili says it seems opening the mouth and issuing media statements is one of Mumba's preoccupation even when what he is discussing is not making any sense.

Mumba, who is MMD leader, accused the PF and some media organisations of persecuting, oppressing and demonising former president Banda, a tendency which he said MMD had vowed to fight and win.

Mumba alleged, in a statement issued by his party secretariat, that PF had found it fashionable to harass Banda, through derogatory statements spearheaded by several leaders.

He said the party condemned the unprovoked abuse of Banda.
"The culture of demonising and persecuting former presidents is retrogressive and takes away from the dignity and sanctity of the Office of President," Mumba said.

"We take great exception to such behaviour by the PF government. MMD back in government shall end once and for all this divisive tendency of persecuting and humiliating former heads of state. We expect the same respect being given to former president Kenneth Kaunda to be extended to president Rupiah Banda. The double standards are unacceptable and as a party, we are determined to fight this oppression until we win."
Mumba called for a reconciliatory spirit from leaders as that seen in the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

"This is time to build our nation and emulate countries like South Africa that have respected the former leaders of their countries including the apartheid leaders who oppressed the black people of South Africa," he said.

Mumba also castigated some media houses, which he did not name, of having resolved to fight Banda.

"We are deeply disappointed by some media houses that have resolved to amputate the peace and love we have enjoyed as a nation over the years. By targeting former president Banda with sustained abuse, we are weakening our bond of unity as a nation. We must emulate the Mandela spirit of seeking reconciliation rather than ugliness," he said in apparent reference to The Post, which has been running stories concerning Banda.

Mumba further said that such media houses should spend their resources on issues that would unite the nation and not petty issues of personal battles that would not improve the quality of life of the people.

"President Banda, like any Zambian should be free to express concern on any matter that affects Zambian people. This is not the definition of being involved in politics. Every Zambian must comment on any issue of concern as a way of expressing one's freedom of expression, which is enshrined in our constitution," said Mumba.

But Kambwili said it was even a waste of time for anyone to respond to such unsubstantiated allegations.

"Just tell him that there are more pertinent issues to talk about, not things that do not exist. I personally have a lot of respect for the former president Mr Rupiah Banda, who I have met at different fora and places where I have accorded him the respect that he deserves," Kambwili said.

"The problem with Nevers Mumba is that he always wants to be in the newspaper. He doesn't even analyse what he wants to talk about. I mean the mere fact the former president is in court doesn't mean he has been demeaned and I think I will not dwell much on the issues that are in court but I think honorable Rupiah Banda has been given a chance and opportunity to defend himself in the courts."

Kambwili said Banda, like any other former leader, was invited to every state function at State House and that it was always up to him to attend or decline.

"We invited him and flew together to Gabon (Africa Cup) together with Kaunda to Gabon. It shows we respect him. So Mumba is talking about things which don't exist. Mumba thinks talking is what will make him popular, but he talks about wrong things."

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