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 2009-08-18 12:46 pm Back to NEWS
Zambia is in the hands of crooks, criminals Sata

PATRIOTIC 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 failure.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's memorial service for the late president, Sata said there was a lot that people could learn from president Mwanawasa.

"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 by mercenaries."

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 for."

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 corrupt MMD.

"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 own."

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."

 
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