Front (PF) leader Michael Sata has called on Zambians to remember late
president Levy Mwanawasa for his decency and desire to rid the country of
corruption, adding that currently the country is in the hands of crooks and
criminals. And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said attempts by President Rupiah
Banda to emulate late president Mwanawasa's governance have been a total
Speaking ahead of tomorrow's memorial service for the late
president, Sata said there was a lot that people could learn from president
"Time has run out so quickly that so soon a year has passed
since the death of that gallant man, Mwanawasa. And it's sad that people forget
easily what my late brother stood for. He stood for decency and a
corruption-free country. But one year on, we can't see the future of this
country," Sata said.
"The country is now in the hands of crooks and
criminals who abuse people's rights with impunity. The country has now lost the
fight against corruption and we don't know where we are going. Mwanawasa must be
turning in his grave as the country he fought for is being ripped of its assets
Sata said president Mwanawasa may have had weaknesses,
but he made good use of criticism.
"We all criticised him in many
instances and when it mattered, but he saw sense in that criticism and made good
use of it. Now when we look at the current regime, they are hard hearted. They
want to crush any dissenting voice. The only voice that matters to them is one
which praises them. Rupiah Banda and George Kunda are now using Mwanawasa's name
to survive, but they didn't learn anything from him. Last year they used Levy's
name to campaign but they have abandoned everything that he stood
Sata said the Rupiah Banda administration was humiliating president
Mwanawasa in the manner they ruled the country.
"These people used
Mwanawasa's name to campaign and got the vote by false pretences. And now they
humiliate him by persecuting his relatives, starting with George Mpombo. Rupiah
Banda and George Kunda behave like it was not Mwanawasa who brought them into
the political limelight. These people have now forgotten about him completely
because there is nothing they can point at to show that they remember him in any
way," Sata said.
He urged Zambians to look back and remember a leader who
tried to better their lives and uphold their values.
"The country should
reflect on what Mwanawasa stood for and cross check that with what his successor
is doing. At the moment the country is on autopilot because of this sangwapo
government. The worst is that even the lost sheep and bully, Ronnie Shikapwasha
has forgotten that he claimed to be Mwanawasa's relative. And his boss Rupiah
Banda is not even ashamed of corruption. So, as we reflect on Mwanawasa's
leadership, let us also remind ourselves that we have mercenaries in government
wiping out all that he did for us," Sata said.
And Hichilema said it was
sad for the country to realise that the late president Mwanawasa had been gone
for a year now.
"That's sad and may his soul rest in peace. Attempts by
Rupiah Banda to emulate Levy Mwanawasa's governance has been a total failure.
Levy was miles ahead in terms of governance record ahead of Rupiah Banda and the
two can't be compared," Hichilema said. "Rupiah must know that there is no
comparison between him and Levy Mwanawasa in many respects."
He said the
late Mwanawasa took bold decisions to fight corruption despite inheriting a
"Whenever a minister was perceived to be corrupt, Levy
Mwanawasa acted immediately to protect public interest. Now you have a President
who promotes private interest, personal and family interests," Hichilema said.
"The people Levy Mwanawasa removed for corrupt reasons are the people Rupiah is
appointing, for example, Michael Mabenga. Levy was resolute on the fight against
corruption. Rupiah's attempts to compare himself to Levy on the corruption side
is a total failure. There is no comparison; Levy was in a class of his
He said President Banda was also greedy.
"He was the first
one to sign a bill for salaries of his colleagues. Levy had an appreciation that
public interest must take precedence. Not this one, it's private interest that
comes first. We must remember Levy Mwanawasa as a man who was bold enough to
take decisive decisions especially on the fight against corruption," said
Hichilema. "He died at the battle front. It shows that he had Zambians at his
heart. This particular one [President Banda] has no idea of what he is doing
that's why he has no sense of purpose. He is confused."