Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mumba can't be trusted on alliances - Nawakwi
By Henry Sinyangwe and Kombe Mataka
Tue 21 Jan. 2014, 14:01 CAT

NEVERS Mumba cannot be trusted on issues of alliances, says opposition FDD leader Edith Nawakwi. And Hakainde Hichilema says he will not discuss the proposed opposition alliance openly.

MMD leader Nevers Mumba yesterday said at a briefing that he is ready to sacrifice party presidency and work under any leader that would be chosen to lead the proposed alliance.

Mumba, who was flanked by leader of ABZ, Frank Bwalya, one of those spearheading calls for unity, announced that he would table the matter before a National Executive Committee meeting to be held in 30 days' time.

"If to remove the PF to save this country means that Nevers withdraws, that somebody else runs, Nevers will withdraw so that somebody else can run, if that is the one the people want and all of us presidents must come to that agreement," Mumba said.

"The MMD is totally prepared to consider a working arrangement towards the opposition working together in regard to the nullified seats and eventually for the bigger picture."

Mumba said the needs of the many Zambians far out-weighed those of a few individuals.

He said he would not put his individual ambition and fixation to become president for the sake of it ahead of a much nobler cause, which was to fix the country.

Mumba, however, warned that no opposition political party should come to the round-table to discuss the proposed alliance without accepting that its president may not be the one elected to lead the alliance.

"If you come to the table without that mindset, you're wasting our time. Please just go and run your own campaign," he said.

Mumba said MMD was looking for serious parties to partner with in order to remove the PF from power.

But Nawakwi said Mumba had betrayed the opposition parties before when he was entrusted and sent to present a petition to former president Levy Mwanawasa but ended up getting a job as vice-president.

"This is the same Nevers. We had teamed up in the opposition and sent him to present our petition to Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. My brother went and got a job as a vice-president, so where do I even get the moral high ground as Edith to think that things have changed, because we chose him in the opposition during Mwanawasa's time to be our spokesperson and representative because we only thought that our brother has a moral standing which we could draw our strength on," Nawakwi said.

She argued that there was need to create systems of governance to check the excesses of individuals in government rather than aiming at unsettling the ruling party.

"It's never about how we as Zambians should create systems to check the excesses of individuals, but how we can be forward-looking to develop our country. It's always about individuals and I am getting tired of this story that, 'let's team up because there is an individual in State House'. I want us as Zambians to team up on the core business of governing ourselves," Nawakwi said.

She said there was need to start presenting individual party manifestos to the public, on which they could be assessed.

"When we band up together, we need to know what is our policy for the future? What is the programme for the people? This call of 'please opposition, get together' is not a good call. People need to start examining the manifestos of each political party and get all of us together," said Nawakwi.

And Hichilema said he does not want to discuss the proposed opposition alliance openly.

He said he had learnt from past experience that discussing such issues in the media could not work.

"We know each other's numbers, we have been to each other's homes and we talk to each other in camera," he said. "No one discusses strategy in the media."

And Mumba said the MMD would effect a political lockout on justice minister Wynter Kabimba if President Michael Sata does not remove him from his position pending the outcome of the tribunal probing him.
"Our members can be positioned at his office to stop him from going there, including PF members, whom we know will be very happy to do that. We can mobilise them so that we stop him from going there. We call it a political lockout," Mumba said.

"Why should he embarrass himself? In any case, that job, the kind of money they get, he can survive without it. Nga ifwe (what about us), how come we are surviving? We were ministers and vice-president but we are looking okay. Am I not looking okay? Fwe malofwa (we who are jobless), are still wearing suits. So naba Wynter, he will be okay. The flag does not make him, he makes the flag."

And Mumba said the PF should give Zambians a new constitution by October this year or risk facing what he called a direct political reaction.

Meanwhile, Bwalya said that a joint press briefing would be held on Friday to discuss the proposed alliance at the NAREP secretariat.

Bwalya refused to disclose which political parties had responded to his calls for unity and the names of the leaders who would be present at the briefing.

Among those who will be in attendance are NAREP leader Elias Chipimo and People's Party leader, Mike Mulongoti.

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