President Edagr Lungu has confirmed that the people of Northern, Muchinga, Luapula and parts of the Copperbelt who voted for him are not happy with him.
According to the Zambia Daily Mail, Lungu said he has received reports that residents of Northern and Copperbelt provinces are worried that people of North-Western Province have stolen him from them despite having immensely supported him in the January 20 presidential election.
The Watchdog has been revealing that Lungu is working on a project with his mentor Rupiah Banda to smoke out Bembas from most influential government positions. The project being spearheaded by former MMD MP for Solwezi Lucky Mulusa aims at replacing Bemba votes with votes from Northwestern. See the details here.
But the people of Northwestern province have so far largely ignored Lungu and his tribal project. The project is bound to fail. In Solwezi, where Lungu spent most of the time, the UPND which commands massive support was not affected by Lungu’s visit. The current MP for Solwezi is from UPND but embarrassingly failed to influence even one councilor to defect to PF when the president was in the town.
It was Rupiah Banda’s people again who stole the show.
The entire MMD North-Western Province executive committee defected to the Patriotic Front (PF). No official from UPND defected despite Mulusa and his operatives throwing money like they pick it from trees.
The government media reported that the entire MMD ‘defected’ to PF ‘with hundreds’ of UPND supporters but could not mention even one UPND supporter or official who defected. This means that the UPND support is intact as they can see through Rupiah, Lungu and Mulusa’s tribal project. The people of Northwestern are too politically aware and intelligent to be used against another tribe. In the last presidential election, Solwezi gave UPND 96 per cent votes. So even if MMD officials defect to be PF, this will have no impact at all as these same officials voted for PF in the last elections. In fact the MMD officials joining of PF is further evidence of the MMD taking over PF. Very soon, these MMD officials will take over as party officials in PF and replace genuine PF members. This is what is annoying genuine PF members. The same MMD officials will be appointed to government positions and earn money while people who created PF will be reduced to cadres just to support an idea. Lungu’s answer is ‘get out of PF if you are not happy.’
In fact the notable people who defected from MMD to PF hailed from UNIP with Rupiah Banda. Kadansa Sansakuwa for example is a colleague of Rupiah Banda from UNIP days and until 2011 he was District Commissioner for Kasempa. He was appointed by Rupiah but fired by Sata.
Emmanuel Chihili was the mayor of Solwezi MMD NEC member under Rupiah Banda.
He is one of the people who opposed and insulted MPs like Elijah Muchima for supporting Hakinde Hichilema in the presidential by-election.
So it can be seen that what happened in Solwezi is nothing but the on-going rebranding of PF into MMD. MMD has taken over MMD.
The comments by president Lungu therefore show how deep the problem is. Due to his anti-Bemba project, most senior PF ministers have gone quiet.
One person who has been silenced is Chishimba Kambwili. Kambwili was recently humiliated when he attempted to defend late Michael Sata’s legacy from being mocked by people like Dora Siliya. Siliya was the symbol of MMD corruption and hatred for Michael Sata. But now she is the new PF candidate and might be appointed minister if she wins the Petauke seat. Kambwili seems to be in shock. He is the chief government spokesperson and everybody knows how vocal he is. But Kambwili has not said anything on the controversy created by musician Pilato on his creative lyrics of how Lungu has turned against Sata’s people. Instead, it is people from MMD such as Sunday Chanda who are calling for Pilato’s blood. In fact, most ministers from the North are quiet. Even if his trip to Northwestern, Lungu has side-lined the ministers from the Bemba speaking regions. How often do you hear Harry Kalaba, Nkandu Luo, Alexander Chikwanda and others speak about political matters?
“I want to assure them that I will visit every part of this country and spend as much time as possible in all the provinces,” President Lungu said after revealing that Bembas are not happy with him.
He was speaking in Solwezi on Friday shortly after being conferred with the meaningless title of the free man of the municipality of Solwezi.
But Lungu does not seem to realize that it is not just about visiting that matters. It is what he is doing behind the scenes.
People know that Lungu is working on a tribal project as advised by Rupiah Banda. He may go to Northern but just to mock the people there. Lungu was commissioning roads in Solwezi yet he knows there is no money to complete the tarring of the roads. In Muchinga, he has abandoned projects started by Sata but now wants to cheat the people of Northwestern.