SCORES of MMD cadres in Mansa yesterday marched around the
town centre to celebrate former president Frederick Chiluba's acquittal on
corruption charges. During the march which attracted people's attention, MMD
cadres carried banners predominantly in support of Chiluba's acquittal and
walked from CR bus station on Mansa-Kashikishi Road through Mulenshi Road into
Independence Road and back into Mansa Kashikishi Road to the provincial
headquarters at the boma offices.
Some of the messages on the banners
read: "Chiluba is a humble person of God please respect the court judgment;
Respect the independence of the judiciary's power on Chiluba's
Others who carried messages in solidarity with Chiluba
purported to have been from senior chief Puta, chief Chisunka and chief Kalasa
The cadres, most of them clad in party regalia, sang songs in
solidarity with Chiluba and others in support of President Rupiah Banda. There
was a heavy police presence in Mansa as officers were stationed throughout the
route of the march to maintain order.
After the march, lands deputy
minister and MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga towards the end of his speech
acknowledged the messages on the banners but said he was not schooled enough to
comment on Chiluba's acquittal as this was for the judiciary.
said he would soon instruct the MMD secretariat to look at the petition from
Luapula Province calling for the MMD convention due next year to be
He said the MMD constitution stated that if there was a
petition from six or more provinces, that would have to be tabled before NEC for
discussion. He said this when he received a petition from acting Luapula
Province MMD chairman and local government deputy minister Chrispine
He expressed delight that MMD in Luapula had given him 'panadol'
to cure the headaches that he had been suffering from owing to the problems that
the party in the area was embroiled in.
He said the MMD did not have time
for insults and finger pointing and was only interested in
And in reference to the PF-UPND pact, Mabenga warned
Zambians to be wary of lies which did not build nor assure peace.
said campaigns for the 2011 elections had begun and he urged everyone to talk
about President Banda in whatever they did to sell his candidature.
insiders in Mansa said Chiluba and MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba, who is
also Chiengi member of parliament in Luapula Province, were supposed to attend
the celebratory function in Mansa.
"Dr Chiluba was supposed to come but
they changed. He was removed from the programme so that people don't know his
role in the organisation of this party. Initially he was supposed to be here,"
an MMD official said.
Another source said the function was meant to show
that people in Luapula Province, where Chiluba hails from, had welcomed his
"We are enjoying here. We have a function at the provincial
minister's office," the source said. "We are celebrating the acquittal of
On August 17, Ndola High Court Registrar Jones Chinyama,
sitting as a magistrate in Lusaka, acquitted Chiluba of theft charges involving
US $500, 000 public funds.
And addressing the cadres, MMD deputy national
secretary Jeff Kaande warned Chilanga member of parliament Ng'andu Magande and
his Kafulafuta MP George Mpombo of possible expulsion if they continued
'insulting' the party.
Kaande said the party had ignored the utterances
of the two members of parliament because they did not want
"We have two members of parliament who have been insulting
the party and government; MMD members of parliament, Magande and Mpombo," Kaande
said. "We are not weak towards them and I am giving a timely warning to them. We
have resisted to charge them simply because we don't want by-elections;
by-elections are costly; we have a lot of responsibilities...but let me warn
them if they push us against the wall, I will raise the charges and NEC
[national executive committee] will react."
He warned that should Magande
and Mpombo respond to his threat, he would act after the funeral of late local
government and housing minister Benny Tetamashimba.
"If they are men
enough, let them answer me. I will raise the charges," he said.
also urged MMD cadres in Luapula to be united.
He said what had weakened
the MMD in Luapula Province were the constant quarrels.
"If you can stop
quarrelling and do more of what we have done today, we would be strong," Kaande
said. "MMD members are enemies of themselves because what you do is that when
you wake up 'is Kaande; what lie can I make on Kaande so that he's in trouble;
what lie can I make on Chungu? What lie can I make on the DC [District
Commissioner]; the PS [Permanent Secretary]'?"
He advised members of MMD
to approach officials whom they thought were in the wrong as opposed to lying
Kaande directed MMD officials to pay courtesy calls on the
Mansa district commissioner whenever they were in town.
"Even if the DC
does not want your greeting, tell me. It's me to deal with him," Kaande
He said the directive was to signify unity between "the party and
Kaande further warned that he would dissolve
constituency and ward structures in Luapula Province wherever there were losses
in local government by-elections.
And Musosha, in an apparent reference
to The Post, said the private media was working with the opposition to bring
down the government. He expressed disappointment at what he termed as the
private media's incessant attacks on President Banda.
congratulated President Banda for uniting the nation and accommodating the
private media despite their "useless stories" against him.
march, the cadres were asked to see certain district officials for further
Police sources told The Post that 120 paramilitary officers
from Kamfinsa were dispatched to Mansa for the march and that other police
officers were drawn from other towns in Luapula.
There were concerns that
PF cadres could disrupt the MMD march after they were earlier denied permission
to hold a procession to celebrate their local government by-election victory for
Mansa Central last month.
Police sources said police had initially wanted
to block the MMD from marching but provincial officials sought intervention from
State House and that eventually Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde
ordered that the procession be permitted.
And in a letter obtained by The
Post dated September 4, 2009, to the officer-in-charge at Mansa Central Police
Station, PF provincial chairman Rasford Mwale protested against MMD being
allowed to march to celebrate Chiluba's acquittal.
"You will recall that
on 14th August 2009, the PF applied to be allowed to march along the streets of
Mansa town in order to celebrate the sweet victory that our party the PF won in
the two by-elections in Chilyapa and Muchinka wards here in Mansa," stated
Mwale. "You the police refused this citing security concerns. Sir as I write to
you, the MMD is preparing to celebrate the acquittal of Dr Chiluba in the
streets of Mansa to celebrate our victory and I can assure you they have the
money but we have the people and anything that will happen will squarely lie on
your shoulders. We refuse to be treated unfairly by the police in our own land.
Zambia is for all of us. We want to thank you for receiving our verbal petition
and later this written petition."