Former Home Affairs Minister Lameck Mangani has responded to the allegation by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Media Director Sunday Chanda accusing him and others, including Panji Kaunda, of working to incite People in Eastern Province against President Lungu and PF.
In a statement released to the media, Mr. Mangani warned Mr. Chanda that the approach he used in MMD, together with the Late Chanda Chimba, could cause another catastrophic defeat for the PF if he didn’t adjust.
Mr Mangani said that the politics of divide and rule have no space in modern politics and that Zambians don’t enjoy, politics of character assassination and blackmail.
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT ISSUED BY HON. LAMECK MANGANI IN RESPONSE TO THE ALLEGATIONS LEVELED AGAINST HIM, ATTRIBUTED TO PF MEDIA DIRECTOR SUNDAY CHANDA ON 16TH JANUARY 2020.
I would like to react to the statements which are attributed to Councillor William Phiri the PF Provincial IPS for Eastern Province and our Media Director at PF Secretariate Mr Sunday Chanda.
To begin with, let me deal with Councillor Phiri’s statement who is the IPS in Eastern province. From the historical perspective Councillor Phiri, the current Provincial Chairperson Andrew Lubusha, Jacob Sakala and several other young men and women played a pivotal role in 2011 in order to fight for the Patriotic Front in Eastern province. It was a very aggressive approach and everybody put in their very best and I do appreciate their contributions. I think it’s from that perspective that Councillor Phiri is coming from. Looking back at what happened in 2011, he is seeing whether something of that nature could be done as we go into 2021. The way I understood his statement, he is calling upon the President, the party leadership and the entire membership, that we get United and get ready to mobilise all those players who contributed to the success of the party in 2011 so that we are assured of victory in 2021. In my view, I thought that was a very progressive statement. Although I was put at the centre, I believe the appeal was meant for all those who contributed to the success of the PF, particularly in 2011.
In this respect, I am humbled by the fact that other people like Councillor Phiri can appreciate my contribution to the party. It is not a secret that in 2011, I was at the center of most of the political activities in the province. This is the angle that Councillor Phiri is coming from.
On the other hand, I was surprised and shocked by the reaction of our Media Director at our Secretariate. He came up with all sorts of accusations which include that, there are people who are plotting against the First Family in Eastern Province. Among these people, was Colonel Panji Kaunda, myself, Councilor William Phiri and another Councillor whom I don’t know from Chipangali. And then Ambassador George Zulu and others.
As one of the Senior members of the party in Eastern province, who even served as Provincial Chairman, I take great exception to this naked attempt to sow needless division between myself, the Province and the First Family. I want to make it very clear, that I have no issues with the First Family and any desperate attempt to try and malign me in this regard is extremely unfortunate. Nevertheless, as an Easterner, I totally agree with the sentiments that the political hegemony in Eastern province is glaring and requires consented effort in order to address the situation on the ground. Of course, some of the issues are beyond human making such as climate change which has resulted in some parts experiencing crop failure. It is also true that the economy of Eastern province is basically agricultural and I am not ashamed to indicate that we are facing challenges in this area.
I would like also to state that, although Comrade Panji Kaunda is a colleague from UNIP days, I have never had any contact with him for a long time, either in person or through the phone. Furthermore, in 2019, I was only in Eastern province for 4(four) times. And I can count them that one was during the Ncwala Ceremony, during the Kulamba Ceremony, and then when I lost my Nephew who died in UTH and I took the body to the village, the latest one was when there was a funeral for Chief Zumwanda. On all these occasions I have spent less than 3(three) days at each given time.
So where have I been having meetings to destabilize the party? Do they have empirical evidence, that I have been distributing money alleged to come from UPND? And who is this person that has been giving me this money? As grave as these allegations sound to be, as a senior member of the party I should have been summoned by the party leadership to explain myself. My advice to my colleagues in the leadership of the party is that, as we proceed to seek a fresh mandate from the Zambian people in 2021, let’s be level headed and work on promoting health debates to deal with issues which are prevailing on the ground. That is the only way we can grow the party and be assured of victory in 2021. These alarming statements further create more confusion on the ground than solving the problems.
Admittedly, I have been deliberately quiet on many issues, but this must not suggest that I don’t understand what is prevailing on the ground.
I also want to put it on record, that I detest, politics extended to our families. And the mention of the First Lady Madam Esther Lungu and President LUNGU’s daughter Tasila Lungu who is my daughter is extremely hurtful. There is no need to drive a wage between me and the First Family over unfounded allegations.
To my young man Sunday Chanda, I would like you to know that many people suffered for the victory of the PF into government. I personally suffered both materially and financially in this regard. I know, I have been on this road before where people accuse me of all sorts of issues in order to get political mileage. But the truth shall always prevail. Unless otherwise, I can only speculate that you may be used by other people to fight their battles. As a media director, try very hard to engage people on issues that affect the party. Secondly, I am a strong believer that younger men of your kind should be given space to perform but any leadership goes with responsibility. I would also want to remind you, that the approach you had in MMD together with the Late Chanda Chimba could cause another catastrophic defeat for the PF if you don’t adjust! The politics of divide and rule have no space in modern politics. Please also take note that Zambians don’t enjoy, politics of character assassination and blackmail.
I Thank You!!!!
Hon. Lameck Mangani
Former PF Eastern Province Chairman and Former Minister of Home Affairs