Former Solwezi Mayor and Moment for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) National Executive Committee (NEC) Member Emmanuel Chihili who was the North-Western Province campaign manager in the just ended Presidential by-elections has charged that the extremely careless ‘anti-democracy’ remarks attributed to Ikeleng’i Member of Parliament Elijah Muchima carried in The Post of 26th January, 2015 cannot pass without comment. He said that the remarks should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and with the contempt they deserve by all well-meaning Zambians who appreciate the democratic dispensation being enjoyed right now in Zambia, introduced by the MMD in 1991.
Mr. Chihili said the likes of Mr. Muchima reflect the dangerous new crop of ‘hungry’ and morally bankrupt politicians of the ‘belly’ who have surfaced and joined politics not to add any value to the political dispensation whatsoever, but are willing to sacrifice everything to bring their confusion and greed to politics in Zambia. He said this could be one of the main causes for the current voter apathy being experienced in the country as he believes that many Zambians are nauseated and discouraged by the recent unbelievable naked and shameless display of opportunism characterized by many politicians as they jostled among themselves to gain recognition from both the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND). These shameless politicians have exposed the depths to which they are willing to sink in their desperate and embarrassing scramble for survival since the unfortunate demise of President Michael Sata.
Making a response to Mr. Muchima’s statement who said that MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba should blame democracy for his loss in the recent presidential by-election, Mr. Chihili reminded the people of Zambia that Mr. Muchima was one of the first MMD Members of Parliament to be compromised by the PF soon after coming to power in 2011 and was appointed Deputy Minister but was ‘vomited’ a few weeks later because even the PF could see his poor political calibre.
Mr. Chihili reminded Zambians that in the run-up to the just ended Presidential by-elections, Mr. Muchima panicked when he realized that he could not go back to the PF who had thrown him out and instead resorted to ‘crawling’ to the UPND, shaken by the so-called UPND mammoth rallies. Mr. Muchima together with MMD Chairman Kabinga Pande made one of the most ridiculous and irresponsible statements ever made in Zambian politics, since the demise of the dictatorial One Party State by declaring that Kasempa and Mwinilunga were ‘no-go’ areas for the PF and the MMD in their campaigns.
Mr. Pande is today the man claiming that he is still Chairman of the MMD which he shamelessly banned from campaigning in Kasempa, his constituency. Such was the extent of the political madness that overtook these lawmakers. Mr. Chihili has challenged Mr. Pande and Mr. Muchima to repeat their unreasonable threats now that PF has won the election and the UPND that drove them to these dangerous levels of insincerity has lost.
Mr. Chihili has challenged Mr. Pande to emulate the noble, dignified and exemplary conduct of Hon. Inonge Wina, Chairman of the PF, now appropriately appointed as Republican Vice-President, who stood strong and managed to steer the party through a difficult party convention in the selection of the PF president and candidate for the 2015 elections.
He said Mr. Pande’s calibre does not come anywhere near that of Vice-President Wina and he no longer qualifies to be Chairman of the MMD and should immediately leave the party on his own and go to the UPND which he supported. In contrast to Honourable Wina’s conduct, Mr. Pande has been one of the senior members in the forefront of the MMD internal wrangles and has demonstrated poor leadership of the worst order.
Faced with the painful loss of the UPND in these elections, Mr. Chihili has said these shameless and morally bankrupt MPs and NEC members are now politically stranded and are trying to shamelessly crawl back to the MMD which they deserted, scorned and viciously destroyed by mercilessly handing over the well-organized MMD structures to be raped by the two opposition parties, PF and UPND while they looked on with approval.
Mr. Chihili has said this is a wake-up call to the UPND to avoid the bad and desperate habit of always accepting every defector to join their party but to be on the look-out and shun these spineless and morally bankrupt politicians who have no values whatsoever and are simply political vultures flying from party to party in search of survival and jobs. As soon as things go sour, they shall not hesitate to similarly abandon the UPND. He said this is a critical time for Zambians to begin to define and shape the kind of Zambia they want by carefully scrutinizing these fake politicians and if they keep quiet and just watch, the nation would be completely destroyed.
He called upon genuine Zambians, particularly those that stayed away from voting in this by-election, to stand up and save Zambia by rejecting such leaders in 2016 and place the future of this country in hands of politicians who are serious and morally upright leaders and who are not only in search of short-term rewards but those who would like to create a strong, prosperous and democratic country which all Zambians can be proud of.
Mr. Chihili has said all those MMD MEC members, MPs and other ordinary members who supported opposition parties in the just ended election have already fired themselves by their conduct and have greatly helped the party in its on-going cleansing process. He has urged them never to return to the MMD but find space to settle in the parties which they campaigned for. This will allow the MMD to now embark on the serious task of re-organizing the party in readiness for the 2016 election under president Mumba whose mandate as party president is up to 2017. He said Dr. Mumba is now mobilizing a fresh team of new faces who will respect his leadership and help him steer the party in forming government and create the new Zambia that he envisions.
He said these MMD leaders had made the work of Dr. Mumba impossible as most have never supported him in any way since he defeated them in the 2012 internal elections, among them Mr. Felix Mutati, Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane and Mr. Pande. The party was shocked to see how hard working and vigilant these MPs have been – particularly Mr. Mutati and Dr. Musokotwane – in vigorously campaigning for the UPND and PF.
These are the people who have deliberately been inactive for 3 years to ensure that MMD is destroyed and have never lifted a finger to help the party in by-elections, whether financially, morally or logistically. But they have been the most vocal in condemning Dr. Mumba and calling for his resignation every time the party lost by-elections.
Zambians may wish to know that the vocal Hon. Michael Kaingu had the audacity to demand for K50,000 (K50 million in old currency) to be given to him personally to campaign in the Mangango parliamentary by-election last year in Western Province. When this was not given to him, he stayed away and waited for the party to lose then started calling for Dr. Mumba’s resignation. These are the same voices now calling for Dr. Mumba’s resignation after the MMD’s poor performance in the presidential by-election. Such are the depths of moral bankruptcy these politicians have sunk to.
Mr. Chihili has said these same people have been some of the main architects of the endless internal wrangles that beset the party and have deliberately worked to frustrate Dr. Mumba’s efforts in trying to provide a credible leadership in the MMD and they must go. Dr. Mumba was trying to impose moral leadership on MMD which seems to have been too much for some of the current crop of leaders in the party. Some of these leaders have faced court cases and investigations after MMD lost in 2011.
Mr Chihili paid glowing tribute to Party president Dr. Mumba for the rare leadership qualities that he had exhibited during extremely trying times since he took over the presidency of the party and managed to keep the MMD alive. He applauded Dr. Mumba’s big heart in accommodating the difficult characters that the MMD had acquired over the years.
Mr. Chihili said The New Hope MMD fully agrees with newly elected Republican President Edgar Lungu’s statement to those PF members who campaigned for other parties, “If you can’t tow the party line, get out”.