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 2010-09-03 07:49 pm Back to NEWS
Western Province wants MMD out — Duffy
Mongu Diocese Bishop Paul DuffyThe Post

Mongu Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy has said most people in Western Province feel that now is the appropriate time to change the government.

And Bishop Duffy has asked the government to take the London High Court judgment registration matter back into the courts because judge Evans Hamaundu’s judgment was poor.

In an interview from Mongu yesterday, Bishop Duffy reiterated that the people of Western Province thought it was time to change from the current government.

“You know I have said here in Western Province it seems that people think it is time for change,” Bishop Duffy said.

“We have had the MMD since 1991 and I think it is time for change.”

Bishop Duffy said this was the general feeling of the people he had interacted with in the area.

Bishop Duffy said President Rupiah Banda’s government was full of contradictions.

“Well, you know I am amazed that the donors have been told to pack up and leave,” Bishop Duffy said. “It will be interesting if all the donors pack up and leave and see what happens.”

Bishop Duffy said it was surprising that the government was telling donors to pack and leave when it kept on borrowing and taking the country back into the debt trap.

“Some of the borrowing is questionable,” Bishop Duffy said. “We borrow from the Chinese to buy these hearses that were supposed to dignify the burial services of the people in rural areas.”

Bishop Duffy said most people in Mongu were opting to hire bigger trucks that take in more people during burials than hiring the hearses.

“We borrowed money to buy these Chinese mobile hospitals. Why do we keep borrowing money from China to buy all these Chinese things? That is the question,” Bishop Duffy said.

“But I think we are just getting deeper and deeper into debt, and we are telling people who are giving us grants to leave this country! Something is wrong. It seems we have got things down and skewed somehow.”

But chief government spokesperson Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha called on Zambians to support President Banda’s stance.

“Specifically as the President spoke, it is necessary for the nation to rally behind the President; donors are partners, and the President was speaking to partners,” he said.

When asked if the government could not use diplomatic channels to communicate to partners, Lt Gen Shikapwasha, who is also information minister, said the President had the prerogative to choose when to speak.

“The President has the prerogative as an executive to choose when he can speak to people and can’t speak to people; which is the right moment for him to speak and which is not the right moment for him to speak… and he chooses the right moment.

He is the only President in the country. God has given him the wisdom to choose when he can speak,” Lt Gen Shikapwasha said.

But Bishop Duffy said it was improper for President Banda to attack the donors considering their contribution to the country’s economy.

“You can’t bite a finger that feeds you, it does not make sense, no!” Bishop Duffy said.

And Bishop Duffy said he does not blame former president Frederick Chiluba for his smiles over the throwing out of the application to register the London High Court judgment that found him and others liable of defrauding the Zambian people of US$46 million.

“We say that the Zambian laws are built on the British law and when Britain has ruled something else we say we have an independent country. We seem to be contradicting ourselves,” Bishop Duffy said.

“Why are we saying that our laws are built on their Britain laws but we seem not to be happy when it comes to a decision that government is not happy with. They government should definitely bring back the case in the court. It was a poor judgment.”

Bishop Duffy said Chiluba could afford to smile because of the Zambian government’s failure to take up the registration of the London High Court judgment.

“You can’t blame him. He should be smiling because he doesn’t have a chance to defend himself now that the case was not taken up by the Zambian government, smile, smile, smile,” said Bishop Duffy.

The Post

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