By Nevers Mumba
A NEW HOPE
To day marks a momentous day in the journey and history of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy. After a six year long battle for democracy, decency and the rule of law both in the courts and on the streets, we are now ready to renew our organization and cast a new vision for both our party and Nation. In just an hour from now, I shall be filing in my nomination papers for the Presidency of our great party at the forth coming 7th Extra Ordinary Convention.
The picture I see in my mind is that of a battered battalion returning to base in tattered uniforms with bleeding bodies and stretchers of many dead in battle. But they return home with a victory shout because they won the war. Tired and bruised but Victors. This is the short story of the MMD. Ever since we took over the leadership of a defeated and dispirited party in 2012. Those who believed the party belonged to them fought us from the first day I was declared President. But they under estimated our resolve and determination to save the party from predators. Our moral fight for democracy and decency in politics was tried and tested in all the courts of our land. The High Court, the court of Appeals, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional court. We won a combined total of 25 judgements out of 27. The two we did not win were procedural judgements and not on the substantive matter. The courts have agreed with us that our position was solid and morally right.
This fight has however left scars on all the soldiers that fought in the political trenches. The intention of our opponents was to tarnish the image of the MMD and in the process tarnish our image as individuals.
My team and I do fully understand the depth of damage our opponents have inflicted on the image of the party. It is for this reason that at the coming Convention we shall make drastic changes to the party which shall renew and reposition our party for the future. We shall depart from the MMD of yesterday which faltered at the 2011 polls and start afresh on the path of a NEW HOPE.
This is our season to rewrite history and call this team by the right definition. Heroes. Courageous and warriors for democracy. Our opponents would want to call us weak and use losses we have incurred in the few by elections we have participated in as our levels of popularity. To the contrary, we have been paying for the sins they committed in the name of MMD long before we took over the party. Our fight has been to restore the confidence of Zambians in this mother of democracy, the MMD.
THE ELECTORAL PROCESS
We are of the considered view that all this political activity of holding conventions and press briefings are a wasted effort if the electoral process is fraudulent. We call on all stakeholders on both sides of the divide to take a look at the legitimacy of the electoral process before we rush into elections.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia is constitutionally mandated to organize and conduct free and fair elections in the country.
However, the road to the 12th August 2021 general elections is becoming more and more impassable due to what we consider to be lack of consultation and consensus on the part of the electoral commission of Zambia.
Last month, the MMD under my hand wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the ECZ. In that letter, we outlined the many threats that exist in the manner the electoral process is being managed.
The rigging of an election does not happen on the Election Day but months and even years before the polling day. As of today, the August 12th election stands highly compromised and if the process does not get publicly fixed, the accrued lack of confidence in the process may trigger high levels of insecurity beyond August.
In our letter to ECZ we raised basic concerns like the abuse of the POA by the police, which has limited the opposition’s capacity to mobilize voters ahead of the general election. We also raised issues of alleged under age registered voters and the many foreigners who have allegedly registered as voters. The ECZ has not been consultative and therefore raised great anxiety on the part of stakeholders.
We are aware that not all our concerns may be considered as the responsibility of the ECZ, but our expectation would be that any referee would be interested in concerns raised by both teams, before and during the game. The voice of the opposition has not been heard by the ECZ.
We therefore call on all stakeholders to call out the current fraudulent process by demanding that ECZ begins to listen to our concerns. My appeal to the opposition leaders is not only to release statements and do the restricted campaigns but to demand for a clean and fair electoral process. The temptation to think you shall win without being interested in cleaning up the electoral process is a fallacy. We all need to stop before we Spend millions of dollars into these campaigns and demand for fair electoral rules. We can’t be careless. The Zambian people deserve a free and fair election which shall produce leaders as chosen by themselves.
The distribution of cash with the intention of manipulating the outcome of an election is the clearest definition of corruption. The blatant distribution of both cash and gifts in an election year reveals the rot in our politics. Anything conceived in corruption can only be sustained by corruption. The ECZ must take special interest in these activities as they have a direct impact on the efficacy of the electoral process. While it is evident that those involved in these illicit activities are politicians who have no message and come from a depraved background where they had no access to money, to flaunt this crookedly acquired wealth shows the bankruptcy of peoples hearts.
We expect the ECZ to raise a red flag and call out these corrupt cadres and leaders. To give huge gifts to chiefs and churches in an election year sends a very bad tone of abuse. Abuse of the poor.
If no punishment is meted to the offenders then the electoral results shall lose their efficacy. Law enforcement agencies must arrest and investigate all these gifts and cash being distributed wholesale. We further demand that these corrective efforts be done in a public manner to send a strong message that whosoever is caught corrupting voters will suffer serious consequences.
COVID-19 AND VACCINE
The next president of Zambia must have a clear and resolved position on how to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its offshoots. I wish to assure the Zambian people that, elected President, we shall bring this pandemic to an end through a multilateral approach which includes all recommended health measures and prayer.
On January 31st 2021, I called the Nation to a day of prayer and fasting, to stop the plague. This was at the height of the pandemic when we were recording as high as 1,700 new cases pay day. As of 2nd March, which is 30 days after prayer, new cases plummeted to slightly over 400. We do have a reason to go back to God on a thanksgiving mission. Tomorrow at 14:00hrs we have called the nation to a thanksgiving service which shall run on all our online platforms including Radio Christian voice. I invite you to join us as I preach on a message entitled, “THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE.”
I wish to commend president LUNGU and his minister of health for being cautious in the ordering of the COVID-19 vaccine. We should not be in a hurry and we should not be pushed by any spirit of the age.
A couple of weeks ago, the police in South Africa pounced on a ware house were fake vaccines were being stored in readiness for roll out on innocent black South Africans. In the same week, a factory in China was exposed for producing fake vaccines for export. It is for this reason that I raised a red flag in January this year when I recommended that no Zambian must be vaccinated using untested vaccines by our own scientists. I recommend that we wait.
APPEAL TO THE CHURCH
In 1991, the MMD government declared Zambia as a Christian nation. This was in recognition of the role the church has played since independence in shaping the values of the Zambian society. The Church was in the forefront in changing the vote from the one party system of government to a multiparty democracy in 1991. The church was in the forefront of stopping the third term debate of the late President Chiluba.
Today, Zambia stands divided on many fronts. We are divided along tribal lines and the voting patterns in the past show tribalism at its worst. We are divided on political lines where political parties have become cults that see no wrong in themselves except in the other party. It is this sad position that has generated uncontrolled political violence and hatred. With this atmosphere of a toxic political environment, it is impossible for Zambia to develop and give hope to the next generation of Zambians. In this state, we need to look beyond the change of political parties as the only panacea to the problems of Zambia. We need to look at individual political leaders seeking for office in August. The Bible says, “You shall know them by their fruit..” This is the only qualification that guarantees a better future for any nation.
I present the New Hope MMD as the alternative as its past demonstrates real service to Zambians. Under the MMD a vibrant economy emerged which raised Zambia to the status of one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world. Under the MMD we exercised great fiscal discipline which resulted in zambia liquidating the $7.2 billion debt in a historic first. The good news for Zambians this August is that I had the honor of working hand in hand with the late President Levy Mwanawasa when this economic miracle happened. Elected President, I stand ready to emulate the discipline and patriotism of the late Mwanawasa to take Zambia even further into global success.
The game changer in this coming election is the Church vote. Not a tribal or party vote. Every child of God will be given an opportunity to vote on either tribe, political party or righteousness. I have strong faith to believe that many Christians on that day, will cast their vote on righteousness rather than tribe. It is our obligation to do so. The Bible testifies that, “ When the righteous rule, people rejoice, and when the unrighteousness rule, people mourn.” May this biblical truth haunt us in our churches and in our hearts until we choose to line up with God’s word and put righteousness on the throne.
I thank you and may God bless the Republic of Zambia.