ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY
I wish to remind the nation that MMD as pioneers of multiparty democracy, we are proud of ourselves for having organized a credible election last year which ushered in the PF government.
MMD further endeared Zambia to the International Community in the manner we handed over power with grace and dignity. MMD has further graciously accepted the status quo of having become an opposition Party.
We therefore, expect our colleagues the PF to acknowledge the excellent track record of MMD’s democratic culture. Furthermore, on May 25th 2012, MMD once again demonstrated the strength of our inbuilt democracy when I was elected as 4th President of our Party through one of the most representative and democratic processes ever put up by any Party in Zambia and on the continent. Our members and all Zambians must be proud of these noble efforts by the MMD. We left a strong and vibrant economy. I am glad that the PF government is able to swim in our economic glory of massive infrastructure development, heavy investment in human resource including football which let to us being the current African champions.
MMD is therefore, concerned to see that:
- The once robust economy is in the decline including the diminishing foreign reserves.
- Agriculture has suffered a major blow by the PF government with peasant farmers left with no support especially in fertilizer input.
- Zambia has lost its economic ratings from B+ to C since PF took over government
- Investors are showing reluctance to bring money to Zambia due to the new government’s socialist policies. (Minimum wage)
I therefore, call on all Zambians to stand firm and defend the gains that were made by the MMD government. We cannot be silent. We must demand accountability from the PF government without fear. Its time for DON’T KUTINA. Lets help to build a better Zambia for our children.
PRESERVATION OF DEMOCRACY
Yesterday, I wrote a letter to President Michael Sata raising our Party’s deep concern on his adamant desire and attempts to destroy the opposition and create a one Party dictatorship. The agenda of the President and the PF is to destroy the MMD and the opposition in general. You may recall that-
- Weeks after getting into government in October 2011, the President threatened to dissolve Parliament just because the opposition challenged his decision to remove the position of Secretary to Treasury with no recourse to Parliament. The President’s reaction opened a door into his way of thinking. That he hates opposition and was ready to dissolve Parliament and go back to elections with the hope of getting the required two third majority.
- The President and the PF decided to petition all the seats won by MMD.
- They deregistered our Party with a view to trigger new elections.
- After the Judges threw it out, the President gave instructions to appeal to the Supreme Court.
- When our MPs win the petitions, the President follows them to recruit them as deputy ministers of the opposition in Parliament.
THE DEREGISTRATION PLOY
- The PF government in its quest to deal with the opposition especially the MMD appointed a discredited person with instruction to deregister all institutions that were perceived to be against PF and finally the MMD. This is why the party went to court to seek judicial review before that the party had engaged the ministry of justice to find an amicable solution by a consent order which would have entailed the party remains registered together with MPs maintaining the status quo and the alleged statutory obligation paid. Sadly the government withdrew from this position because instructions had been given from high echelon that let it be decided by court so that if MMD wins at high court, an appeal would be made to an intimidated supreme court and once the supreme court rules that will be the end of MMD. This is why the Attorney General has appealed. As far as we are concerned, the Attorney General is a Lawyer for the government and only acts on client’s instructions. It goes therefore, that the appeal is an instruction from PF government. This is despite in her ruling the judge did not stop the government from collecting their statutory obligations. What the judge refused was the deregistration of a major opposition on flimsy grounds, here lies her judgment, “in view of the reason advanced that the cancellation of the registration in question was prompted for purposes of mere debt collection. Considering the registrar has not only alternative legal mechanisms which he could have employed for the recovery of this debt through appropriate court proceedings. Taking into account by rule 15 (2) the registrar was not precluded from exercising his discretion and could have imposed the penalty as in the said section provided. I find the cancellation of the registration of the MMD disproportionate to the transgression in issue. that in our democratic system of governance, it could not have been taken in good faith, as the effect of removing a major opposition political party from participating in the national politics would only amount to mutilation of the very tenets on which multiparty democracy thrives. I have no hesitation in holding the decision “is one so outrageous in its defiance of logic or moral standards that no sensible person who had applied this mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it.”
The fact that the President has appealed to the Supreme Court to deregister the MMD is a confirmation that the PF government is not interested in collecting any money purported to be in default but to deregister the Party. I call on Zambians to stand with us to defend our hard won democracy.
THE ELECTION PETITIONS
MMD is aware that if the PF ploy of petitions were to succeed – democracy will become a thing of the past. We have therefore decided to stand solidly with all our Members of Parliament until all the petitioned seats with no real merit are adequately defended and won back. If they nullify them, we are ready to go to the constituencies and win them back.
We are also aware of some Provincial Permanent Secretaries who are interfering with the Judiciary in order to get desired judgments. We demand that they desist from such acts as they border on judicial sabotage.
APPOINTMENT OF MMD MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AS DEPUTY MINISTER
On Wednesday the 11th of July, President Sata continued his spree of appointing our members of Parliament into his government as deputy minister. In this particular case, that of Feira member of Parliament, Hon. Patrick Ngoma as deputy Minister of Education. Hon. Ngoma becomes the 9th MMD MP to be appointed. As a Party we are flattered by the PF government’s realization that they have no people of the calibre within the rank and file of the numerous PF cadres who can handle such important portfolios like education, health, local government and others.
While the goal of the President is to destroy and embarrass our Party through this crude manner of doing politics, what is on the ground and abundantly clear to all Zambians and particularly to all PF cadres and supporters, is that unknowingly President Sata is not killing the MMD but the Patriotic Front.
On my recent trips through the full breadth and length of this country, I found tremendous discouragement, disappointment, anger and frustration among key PF members and cadres who feel greatly betrayed and cheated by their Party President, Mr. Michael Sata. They have looked on helplessly as they have observed the same MMD Members who this government called names and accused of corruption during campaigns, now being rewarded with the very jobs that the PF members have laboured, sweated and anxiously waited for since 2001.
We are grateful to God that PF won the 2011 election so that once and for all the Zambian people can see for themselves that the PF has absolutely nothing to offer in terms of vision and a plan for the country.
DECLARATION OF A POLITICAL WAR
Considering the obvious agenda of the PF government to diminish the opposition both in Parliament and outside, the Party has decided to fight for democracy. We did not start this war and we don’t want it, but PF has declared war on democracy. Although we don’t like this war. We are ready to fight until we win. We have been provoked, our members have been brutally hunted to belong to the PF government. In view of this assault on democracy, the MMD has decided to protect itself.
I wish to announce that our Party has decided to invoke the resolution of the PLC which was held immediately after losing the 2011 election, that:
“Any MMD Member of Parliament who accepts a ministerial job from the PF government ceases to be a member of the MMD Party and a letter of expulsion shall be sent and the National Secretary shall inform the Speaker accordingly.”
Our only tools for survival are discipline and unity. As President, I would rather have twenty disciplined and dedicated MPs than 80 who are not sure where they stand.
It is not the wish of our Party to see costly bye elections take away tax payers money from the poor, but this is what the President of Zambia wants. He has never cared about money spent on bye elections. That is why he wants to declare all our 52 seats vacant. In principle we are opposed to these bye elections, but PF is determined to increase their numbers in Parliament that they are not holding back in how much are spending on bye elections. In Muchinga bye election for instance – the President used Air force Planes and three helicopters. The Vice President came twice instead of once and also came with a plane and helicopters each time. The Minister of Defense, who was the Campaign Manager also had his own plane, all at government expense. This is the exercise they wish to repeat in all fifty two constituencies they plan to hold bye elections, with each bye election costing the tax-pay about K5 billion, a total of K260 billion is at stake of the Zambian people don’t stop this government from abuse of government resources.
MMD is ready for the fight ahead. President Sata expelled 22 of his MPs when he personally decided that they should not participate in the NCC. The message was loyalty to the Party directives.
MMD demands that the money PF wishes to use in the bye elections they are triggering can be used on poverty alleviation programmes, on providing medicines in clinics and hospitals.
BREACH OF THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION
Since the coming into government of the PF Party, we have noticed a consistent pattern by the President of specializing in illegalities. I wish to state that our Party has resolved not to support any illegality perpetuated by the President. We shall stand together with our colleagues in Parliament to fight any breach of the constitution.
For instance, we are concerned about the continued populist approach to matters of governance.
- The new President came with such vengeance and disregard for MMD that the decided to immediately combine several ministries without adequate study and research. After nine months the President has realized that MMD was right and has unbundled the ministries and recreated new ones. In the process he has breached the constitution by swearing in ministers in new ministries which have yet to be ratified by parliament. This is an illegality. Parliament should never be used as a rubber stamp by any President.
- Earlier in his first days, the President nominated ten (10) members of Parliament instead of eight (8) and appointed them ministers until there was a reaction from the citizens.
- The setting up of the judicial tribunal without following procedure and the suspicious retiring of the chief Justice and his deputy. The Courts considered the process to be flawed and that is why the tribunal is not sitting upto now. We hope the specialist Judge from Malawi has since returned to Malawi.
May I submit some pastoral guidance to our colleagues serving in the PF government since we are all connected as brothers, sisters, cousins and above all as fellow Zambians. It is in your interest and that of all Zambians that you find a way to protect and tame the president. We do not expect you to it in public but in private.
Over the past nine months, the president has done and said things that have negatively affected the standing of our nation in the region, and brought conflict in the nation.
(a) MMD takes great exception the Presidents continuous assault on the people of western Province and in particular the Litunga. It is President Sata, who promised the Western Province the restoration of the Barotse agreement of 1964. He has since slapped them in the face and U-turned and has not apologized for having deceived them. As if this wasn’t enough, just a few days ago the President disdained the Litunga Publicly and claimed that the Litunga had no powers to talk about. Such statements are destructive. We plead with colleagues working in the PF government to help deal with this “boiling pot” if anger being built in Western Province.
(b) The diplomatic fall-out during the visit of President Bush has been splashed around the globe. Again this could have been avoided by Foreign Affairs preparing talking notes for the President and insist that he reads them. George Bush came on a humanitarian trip to help Zambians using resources from US, and the least expected was a “thank you” and not a slap in the face, that he was paying back what they took from Zambia as colonialists. This could have been avoided, and it diminishes the progressive image of Zambia around the world.
The list is long. I urge all PF Cabinet Members if you truly love the President and the country, find a way to advise him.
The challenge this government is facing is that advise is considered a declaration of war. Instead of them seeing the concern and desire by some of us to help, we are met with derogatory responses that, “we are political failures, or thieves.” Such responses are truly unfortunate and show a lack of appreciation for constructive opposing voices in the nation. MMD mean well and shall continue to speak boldly on behalf of the voiceless in the nation.
May God bless you and may God bless the Republic of Zambia.
I thank you
July 13, 2012