MD leader Nevers Mumba says today Zambia is broke and broken and witchcraft has found its abode in the corridors of power and God’s anger looms over the nation.
He was speaking at the MMD secretariat during the occasion to commemorate 30 years of MMD’s existence and award of democracy champion awards.
Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika, Mbita Chitala, late Arthur Wina, Ephraim Chibwe, Simon Zukas, Vernon Mwaanga, late Levy Mwanawasa, and Frederick Chiluba were awarded as champions of democracy.
In his address, Mumba, a former republican vice-president, pledged never to forget the democracy champions’ courage, resilience and determination to form MMD.
As a party, we have chosen to etch your names permanently on the history blocks of our changing nation,” Mumba said.
“We salute the unions, the media, the university and college students, the marketeers, the Churches and the millions of Zambians for setting aside your individual comforts in order to create the movement we now call the MMD.”
Mumba, however, noted that there were people who wish to diminish the significance of the sacrifices and to bury the history and pretend to forget that MMD represents the aspirations of most Zambians.
He said MMD represents freedom for all – freedoms of speech, expression, association and assembly.
“These are the godly values our founders suffered for,” he said.
Mumba said at 30, the MMD stands as a battle tested organisation.
“It has seen both great days and terrible days. It has seen both good and bad leaders. It has brought both good and bad things. But MMD has been greatly applauded for the great things it has brought and has also equally been punished for the bad things. MMD was rewarded for bringing back multiparty democracy. It has been heralded for bringing a free market economy and a free media. MMD dismantled the troubling national debt of $7.5 billion,” he said. “MMD sustained an average economic growth rate of 6 per cent. MMD liberalised both politics and the economy. But it has also been punished when in 2011 it was accused of corruption. Zambians decided to withdraw their trust in September 2011 and voted the MMD out of power. It was at this point of weakness that the party started to look for a way to rebuild and survive. A National Convention was called in 2012 to choose new leadership which could bring hope to a dispirited and tired party; a leadership which could stand toe to toe with the new and vengeful ruling PF party whose priority was to dismantle the former ruling Party. The lot fell on the current New Hope Leadership led by myself whose responsibility is to assure all Zambians that this is a new MMD.”
Mumba said his administration would take all that was good about MMD and publicly abandon all that which Zambians detested about MMD prior to 2011 general election.
He assured MMD members that their party, having survived one of the most punishing storms, was back on its feet, with great determination to recapture its number one place in Zambian politics.
He noted that some members feared that the persecution, assault and the destabilisation MMD faced in the past four years had taken away its chances of winning the next election.
“To the contrary, our pain, humiliation, tears were only meant to prepare us for the humongous work ahead of us; the work to bring a divided nation together, the work to restore the lost faith in government, the work to rebuild the broken economy, the work to bring back our lost Christian values and restore our nation to the true status of a Christian nation as declared by our founding President Dr FJT Chiluba,” Mumba said.
“Under my watch, we shall not disappoint or fail our founding fathers. Both those in the grave and those still with us. We shall turn our past battles into victory for all Zambians. This is not the first setback our party has faced in its 30-year journey.”
Mumba catalogued the many divisive moments, including the recent one in 2016 when an illegal convention was held and he had to put up a spirited legal battle, which he won in November 2019.
“We wish to pledge to our membership and to the legacy of our founding fathers that with the same determination and fight that we have exhibited in the past four years, we shall fight to rescue our nation from the dimming light of the Patriotic Front. We have done it before and we shall do it again,” Mumba vowed.
To the church, Mumba said from MMD’s inception in 1990, the church had supported its values for freedom and the rule of law.
He noted that the church was vocal against any injustices they observed during MMD’s rule and was the moral compass of the nation.
“Today our nation is lost at sea. Our title of Christian nation has been rendered almost of no value. The country is broke and broken. Witchcraft has found its abode in the corridors of power. The anger of the Lord looms over our nation,” Mumba said. “Freedom has been taken away from the citizens. But more worrying is the silence of the corporate voice of the church. Our prayer as the New Hope Movement for Multiparty Democracy is that, ‘Let God arise and His enemies be scattered’. We have chosen to partner with the Church to bring back Zambia on the road to prosperity and Godliness.”
Mumba wished the Church would not become the enablers of evil but the watchmen on the wall of justice and morality. We pledge to the founding president Dr FJT Chiluba to uphold the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.”
Mumba also announced that ahead of the 2021 general election, his party had, as a matter of policy, decided to make women the engine for political and social change.
He said the MMD’s 55-member national executive committee had finally reached the 50 per cent threshold for women.
“This is the reflection which we shall see in the distribution of leadership positions when we form government next year. We are not aware of any party in the nation with similar demographics. We call all women with a passion to create a better Zambia to make the New Hope MMD as a party of choice if you wish to stand for any elective office next year,” Mumba said.