The following press statement was sent by the office of the second president of Zambia, Fredrick Chiluba.
1ST JULY 2010
SUBJECT; REMARKS ATTRIBUTED DR. F.J.T. CHILUBA ABOUT THE LATE PRESIDENT, DR. LEVY PATRICK MWANAWASA
We are surprised by press reports alleging that Second Republican President, Dr. F.J.T. Chiluba said in Chambishi that “the late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa turned courts into playground like Nkana Stadium in the eight years”. We chose to ignore these false reports fearing that our rebuttal would dignify this lie.
However, we are alarmed that this fabrication is now a basis for comments and reactions from politicians such as Mr. Michaela Sata.
We wish to state that Dr. Chiluba never referred to President Mwanawasa or the Judiciary, in is his meeting with ex-miners, widows and sitting tenants in Chambishi on Monday 28th June 2010.
After hearing the concerns Dr. Chiluba gave a brief response. In his address, Dr. Chiluba recognized the difficulties being faced by the communities on the Copperbelt and Chambishi in particular to;
2. the poor state of social infrastructure such as roads
3. compensation due to families of the Bilgrim Disaster
4. the requests made by ex-miners to Dr. Chiluba to help them engage in economic activities
5. And their concerns about the Chinese investments in the area that is excluding most local participation.
It should be noted that the meeting was a closed door session and members of the media were not present. This meeting was an initiative called by leaders of this community and no member of the media was present. It is therefore not surprising that the press reports emanating from this meeting are malicious and full of distortions and fabrications because the reports have relied heavily on the account of informers with unknown motives, who claim to have attended the meeting.
In the usual fashion of pettiness of politics in Zambia, reactions and opinions are now being formed on a statement that was never made. We therefore urge opportunistic commentators such as Patriotic Front leader Mr. Michael Sata and the so called “Dr” Cosmo Mumba, to seek clarifications and the truth before making wild statements and demands.
It is a well known fact that Dr. Chiluba is a former president. We reiterate that he is in retirement. However, this does not exclude him from attending to petitions from members of the communities who seek his intervention in matters they deem are delayed or stuck and urge him to use his position as former president to expedite them or obtain a solution.
The desperate panic we are seeing from Mr. Sata and certain sections of the media over Dr. Chiluba’s activities is strange. They are committing resources to trailing him, planting mobs to embarrass him or pursuing him. This is now interfering with his fundamental freedom of movements, of expression and other rights. We wish to advise that the planned activities against Dr. Chiluba are becoming criminal and the Police should not hesitate to pursue the perpetrators.
It is important for Mr. Sata and others to accept that Dr. Chiluba has declared his irrevocable support for President Rupiah Banda and that choice should be respected without question. Zambia is now a Democracy and the right to choice is a fundamental right that cannot be taken away by Mr. Sata and others.
Dr. Chiluba had a fruitful meeting in Chambishi and wishes to thank the people on the Copperbelt who continue to trust him to help find a solution to the difficulties facing these communities.
For and On behalf of
Dr. FJT. Chiluba
SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA