By George Chellah Published by the Post newspaper on Mon 04 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba has described Dr Kenneth Kaunda as a hypocrite and divisive failure who is acting for self-preservation.
Commenting on Dr Kaunda’s attack on former defence minister George Mpombo that he has been barking like anything at President Rupiah Banda, Kabimba said there was no former head of state within the SADC region that has been able to act in such a format of character mutation as Dr Kaunda has been doing.
He said one of the things that had been very clear after Dr Kaunda left office was that he had not emulated his contemporaries in the region on the role of former heads of state.
He said Dr Kaunda needed to learn from his colleagues on how they stabilised their countries in the transition from one party state to democracy or multi-partyism.
“I have in mind people like the late Julius Nyerere who was a very stabilising factor in Tanzania, Léopold Senghor of Senegal, the recent icon Nelson Mandela, the man Kaunda fought for him to be liberated and how he has been a stabilising factor in South Africa after he left office and Sir Ketumile Masire of Botswana,” Kabimba said.
“But Kaunda has been very divisive.
According to Kabimda, he has played a role of a divider rather than a uniting factor amongst Zambians. For him to refer to Mpombo as a person who has been barking like anything and in the same statement call upon Zambians to live under the banner of One Zambia One Nation is hypocritical.”
Kabimba said by virtue of coming out the way he did against Mpombo, Dr Kaunda had already taken a side. “He is not reconciling Rupiah and Mpombo.
Look at Kaunda’s role, how he has killed UNIP, the party he led for a long time. It’s because of him having played a divisive role.
He left UNIP and anointed the late Kebby Musokotwane as president. After a couple of years because of his insatiable appetite for power, he went back to UNIP and overthrew the man he anointed – Kebby Musokotwane,” Kabimba said.
“And UNIP has gone into extinction ever since. Finally, he anoints his son Tilyenji as president of UNIP. Another dividing factor in that party.
Now we hear that the ka son is in Matero in sandals trying to organise the party, what UNIP is in Matero now for him to mobilise?”
Kabimba said Dr Kaunda’s divisive tendencies could be traced way back to the early 1990s. “In 1996, he supported the late Dean Mung’omba against Chiluba, in 2001 he shifted his support to the late Anderson Mazoka against Levy Mwanawasa.
In fact, his preferences were Mazoka, Nevers Mumba and his son Tilyenji. In 2006 he shifted again…(he supported Hakainde Hichilema) two years down the line after Levy’s death he shifted his support to Rupiah,” Kabimba said.
“But even as he shifted his support to Rupiah on one hand, on the other hand he attempted to broker an alliance between UPND and PF against Rupiah the person he has supported.
Maybe let me explain this, one of the reasons why the alliance between PF and UPND could not hold then was because of the dividing role Kaunda played.
“The reason why the current pact is holding now is because we have made it very clear that we don’t want him to play a role. The man is unpredictable and he doesn’t mean well.
He is acting for self-preservation. I have no doubt that when the PF-UPND pact forms the next government, Kaunda will shift again and support the PF-UPND government.“ Kabimba said Dr Kaunda had even failed to run the Kenneth Kaunda Foundation effectively. “His AIDS foundation is now going into extinction despite the goodwill and huge amounts of investment money into it. All this is because the man has been divorced from this society. Kaunda is no longer perceived in that dimension uniting factor by a larger part of society. No wonder whatever he has tried has failed,” Kabimba said.
“Mandela is running various foundations including the Mandela foundation, which is internationally recognised. Nyerere was chairman of the South-to-South Commission, which was recognised internationally up to the time of his death.
Kaunda doesn’t have any internationally recognised foundation because he has failed to unite the country he led for many years.” Kabimba said there was no former head of state within the region that had been able to act in such a format of character mutation as Dr Kaunda has been doing.
“That’s why he can only play a role of Santa at Arcades giving gifts to children because adults no longer trust him. The man has rendered himself irrelevant to the Zambian people. Kaunda should exercise deep introspection in the few years remaining in his life on earth to do just one act that he will be remembered for by the people of Zambia,” Kabimba said. “The man has no record. That’s why he has not been able to write his memoirs because there is nothing good to write about Kaunda.
He has failed to write his memoirs. Even those tasked to write can’t proceed to do the job because there is nothing good to write about the man. He announced publicly that he was tasking Mark Chona and Aaron Milner to do his memoirs but there is nothing.”