I AM in shock, how would I join a fight against corruption led by people I know are corrupt? Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika has asked.
“How do I join the fight for democracy led by people I know are dictators or worshipped dictators?” he asked during the Black history month at the US Embassy in Lusaka yesterday.
Akashambatwa, the founding member of the MMD, who was giving a talk on the Black History Month, said his silence on the Zambian political scene was due to shock.
He, however, emphasized that he had not surrendered nor given up.
“If you say I am silent now, I am in shock. How would I to join a fight against corruption led by people I know are corrupt…how do I join a fight for democracy led by people I know are dictators or worshipped dictators? I am in a period of quiet but I have not surrendered and I have not given up and have not given up hope but I am reviewing and this is why I run for this opportunity that we need to be examined but let’s re-examine it honestly without fear or favour,” Akashambatwa said.
He advised against hero-worshipping and personalisation in the making of leaders.
“Let’s reduce partisanship, let’s reduce personalisation, let’s reduce hero worshipping…let us be crystal clear, at the flip side of reducing hero worshipping is that we have to reduce hero worshipping ourselves, we have to look in the mirror, let us be critical of ourselves, let each one of us examine ourselves, let us make ourselves the sort of leaders we want then such people joining together can take back the train of democracy where is should be,” he said.
“I was attending a ceremony in Kalabo then a political leader went on stage and said from my personal pocket I am donating K25,000 and they cheered…. I am in shock. I mean, they should have asked; ‘where did you steal it? …doesn’t he have children? Doesn’t he have aunties who have no shoes? ‘What sort of business do you have to run where you can just go to the till and take K25,000?” Akashambatwa said.
He said organisations that were based on personalised leadership were not reals.
“That’s why you can have a great charismatic, intelligent, compassionate and totally committed leader like Nkhrumah overthrown and within days his party disappears, that means it wasn’t a party but were there because they wanted to be ministers, they were there because they wanted opportunities to steal…they were there for various reasons. They were not organised and their organisation was not meeting people’s needs although it looked as if it was,” he said.
He lamented that there was a challenge in organising institutions that would stand the test of time.
“For instance, the other day I had one of these infinite list of people that wants to be president in Zambia vising me in Mongu and several of them have done that and some have even invited me to talk to them but when you talk to them you find that the major constraint is that the staring point in politics is that the Nigga wants to be president. If we went to Garden Hotel [and said] that Aka wants to be President, I don’t think we would have overthrown Kaunda because whoever thinks it should be Mulenga will not come and whoever think it should be Aka will not come. We had to go there with an idea, a depersonalised agenda so that everybody makes their own relationship towards it. If you start saying who is President, you would have already restricted your membership to only those who agree with you,” said Akashabatwa.
US ambassador Daniel Foote also attended the event.