MMD’s Muhabi Lungu On The Post, UPND
Opposition MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu held a press briefing today and delved into reports by the PF aligned Post Newspaper aimed at pitting the two top opposition parties against ever uniting to dislodge power from the ruling party.
Lungu also cautioned the UPND against misleading themselves into believing they will automatically form government if they decide to go alone in any election.
Below are excerpts of Muhabi Lungu’s talking points
The Post Newspaper published an article on 31st July 2014 in which it was alleged that MMD President Dr Nevers Mumba referred to the UPND as a “regional party” due to their failure to attend the Umutomboko Ceremony of the Lunda people. The Post article was derived from a telephone interview that Dr Mumba gave while he was at the Umutomboko ceremony and began as follows:
“The absence of UPND at most Northern region traditional ceremonies categorizes them as a regional party, says MMD president Nevers Mumba.”
We wish to categorically state that Dr Mumba never made such a statement. The Post had conducted an interview with Umutomboko Organizing Committee chairman Misheck Kaoma who was reported to have lamented that UPND leaders have not attended the Umutomboko Ceremony for three years. Later on in referring to the above statement, a Post Newspaper reporter, Ms Tilyenji Mwanza asked Dr Mumba some general questions about traditional ceremonies and the failure by some political parties to attend them. In answering, Dr Mumba stated that it is not possible for political party leaders to attend every traditional ceremony in Zambia, but that it was however important to be tribally inclusive. At no point did he refer to any political party either by name or indirectly.
ATTACKS BY HH ON DR MUMBA
The UPND apparently believe they have already arrived at Plot One because they see themselves as next in line after the MMD and PF. Unfortunately for them, statistical data of election results since 2001 clearly shows them on a path of decline. They got 27% in 2001, 25% in 2006, 20% in 2008 and 18% in 2011. Their path to State House entails an upward swing of not less than 20 percentage points after a decline of 9 points which would be unprecedented in Zambia’s history.
This unbelievable upward swing is put into context when you consider that the UPND failed to even get 5% of the vote in four out of nine provinces in 2011. Namely Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula and Northern. Even in Lusaka where they believe they are very popular, the UPND could only manage 11%.
On the other hand, the path to victory for the MMD is much more assured as we were within 6 percentage points of the PF in 2011. I shall be releasing a comprehensive article within the next few weeks in which all the facts are presented, including the little known fact that MMD has increased in Lusaka by 15% since 2001, whereas the UPND has dropped by 20%.
WINTER KABIMBA’S ATTACKS
Our observation of Mr. Kabimba is that he is one of the most destructive forces we have ever had in Zambian politics and is the individual who has largely contributed to the sharp decline in the PF’s popularity. He has been the chief architect of the confusion around the constitution making process and is singularly responsible for attempting to turn the people-driven Draft Constitution into a PF government White Paper. This is a great tragedy. We demand for the immediate release of the Draft Constitution.
As Minister of Justice and third in the hierarchy of the PF party, he has lamentably failed to provide effective leadership surrounding the recent mishandling of the President’s medical trip to Israel, the confusion in the Judiciary, the Public Order Act and the wasteful By-elections. The sooner President Sata finds a suitable replacement for this position, the better for the PF’s declining image and the country at large.
ALLEGED MOCKING OF HON. NIXON CHILANGWA
We note with regret that Hon. Chilangwa singled out Dr Mumba as using his disability as a campaign tool. Dr Mumba does not know Hon. Chilangwa and was not even aware that he is a disabled person. We wish to explain the kind of person Dr Mumba is with regard to his passion for people with disabilities. When serving as Republican Vice-President, Dr Mumba was instrumental in introducing the sign-language interpreter for the deaf on ZNBC TV main news, an innovation that is still being used ten years later. During that period, Dr. Mumba also championed the provision of ramps in buildings for use by wheel-chair bound people which has now become mandatory. After leaving office, Dr Mumba together with Dr Kenneth Kaunda received an award for championing the cause of the disabled.