Miko Chiluba, the son of former president Fredrick Chiluba has responded to attacks by Patrick Mwanawasa on his father as published in the Post newspaper.
Below is Miko’s response to Patrick in full as obtained by the Watchdog:
I was surprised by remarks issued and attributed to Patrick Mwanawasa against my father, Dr. Frederick, J.T. Chiluba and published in The Post of October 26th 2009.
I have noticed with sadness that Patrick has continued to issue careless and irresponsible statements on the pretext that he is defending and upholding the legacy of his father.
My humble view is that the legacy, works and contributions that our fathers made as Republican Presidents will be recognised by the people of Zambians. We as children and interested parties should be the last to promote their good image.
It is also regrettable that Patrick’s remarks were rude and in my view, constitute insults against Dr. Chiluba and Mr. George Kunda SC owing to the position and the role the two held in the life of Mr. Mwanawasa.
Patrick is literally my young brother and I feel justified to reprimand him and feel obliged to rebuke this clear misconduct.
Young people should break from the past by conducting themselves in a manner that does not promote insults and divisions, but instead try to bring unity where there were divisions, healing where there were rifts and pain, and friendship where enmity existed.
To begin with, the remarks were inappropriate and irresponsible for a child to issue remarks against someone who is literally his father. With these remarks Patrick disrespected himself and his own late Father by speaking against Dr. Chiluba and Mr. George Kunda in this manner.
As far as I know, there would be no President Levy Mwanawasa if Dr. Chiluba did not play the particular pivotal roles he did, in the life of Mr. Mwanawasa.
Patrick must learn that Dr. Chiluba helped co-opt Mr. Mwanawasa in the MMD in 1991. Later Dr. Chiluba made him Republican Vice- President. Even when Mr. Mwanawasa suffered almost fatal injuries from that car crash in 1991, Dr. Chiluba promptly evacuated him to South Africa to ensure that his life was saved.
When Mr. Mwanawasa became a private citizen, Patrick knows the role Dr. Chiluba played and intervened in many circumstances in the life of Mr. Mwanawasa and his family.
When Mr. Mwanawasa lay critically ill in 1998, Dr. Chiluba promptly intervened to ensure that he was evacuated to South Africa and consequently save his life. At this stage, Mr. Mwanawasa was a private person.
Patrick should also learn the circumstances that allowed his father to become Republican President. In 2001, Mr. Mwanawasa was an ordinary member of the MMD and was not even in line of succession for the party president. He was not part of the NEC. He was a mere ordinary member of the MMD.
Dr. Chiluba promoted his candidature in the party and later in the country. And with the help of the people of Zambia, Mr. Mwanawasa became Republican President. Clearly, Mr. Mwanawasa was not even a political force at all! Yet Patrick and others are quick to embrace this presidency and enjoyed great benefits that come with such a position while insulting those that made it possible for them to be where they are.
I am usually surprised that to a large extent, some members of this family fail to express gratitude and thanks to where it’s due. I will not however ask Patrick and others to show open gratitude to my father for the cardinal role he played in their lives and his immense contributions to this country.
It will not be my duty to ask them to recognise my father’s contributions but I pray that their conscious will probe them to recognise the truth.
Therefore Patrick should not continue with activities that are destined to destroy his life. For example, his attacks on his father’s close friend, Uncle George Kunda SC, who Mr. Mwanawasa even trusted to take over the Law Firm – Mwanawasa and Company, is shocking.
Mr. Kunda and Mr. Mwanawasa were well known friends and their relationship went beyond their practice as lawyers and were family friends.
How can Patrick therefore attack people that occupy a father figure in his life, in this fashion? In my view, he cannot conduct himself in this careless manner in the name of practising politics or freedom of expression. Patrick appears to give us an impression that with the loss of his father, he has lost his moral compass and enjoys no guidance or support. I would urge the elders of this family to sit Patrick down and help chart the course of his life. We as children are usually vulnerable as some unscrupulous people would hijack our family names and use them for purposes that will cause divisions and hurt to other people in the long term.
I also do not think that Patrick’s excuse to issue numerous careless statements pretending to defend and uphold the legacy of his father is justified.
I also hold very strong feelings against Mr. Mwanawasa’s rule. I know that his government was corrupt. I am aware that there were strong allegations of corrupt acts against Mr. Mwanawasa and Mrs. Mwanawasa. He illegally froze the position of party vice-president at the convention. He did not hold mid-term convention as dictated by the party constitution and even when he held the party convention, it was held late. Mr. Mwanawasa was Acting President longer than the constitution allowed him to.
I understand the MMD debate about the convention to mean that they will eventually hold it. In my view, a postponement is not a cancellation. Postponements have occurred in the past.
I have strong views about all these but I feel it is not my duty to bring these matters out and protest about them especially that my father and the Mwanawasas have been family friends from Ndola.
The matters against President Mwanawasa might be very important to this country but I would rather leave them to Zambians and other politicians to handle.
If Patrick wishes to go into politics, my advice would be to ask him to get his act together. If he wishes to join politics, he should take his milk first before rushing to solid foods as it will choke him.
Patrick should learn that there were Presidents before our fathers became leaders and others came after them. It is not a guarantee that because our parents were successful and occupied special places in the country that we shall also succeed.
If Patrick’s statement is a test of what is to come, then I can confidently predict that his political life will be a still birth and will sink to quick oblivion. For example his assessment of Dr. Chiluba political strength is wrong, injurious and misplaced. Dr. Chiluba cannot be adopted or co-opted in the MMD. He is the founding father of this party and was its leader for 11 years.
I would also advise Patrick that persons in our position ought to be careful. Many people would like to use us, abuse us and associate with us for reasons that promote their own selfish benefits and ends. I hope that my young brother Patrick will use this moment to reflect and not cause unnecessary divisions in the family and the nation.
MIKOYAN NKANDU CHILUBA
27TH OCTOBER 2009