(By Salim Dawood and Marilyn Rose)
FELIX Mutati says the MMD is the one that worked to achieve what the PF is now enjoying today.
The former works and supply and finance minister delivered a veiled message to the ruling party during the MMD card renewal exercise for the Copperbelt at Kitwe’s Moba Hotel on Saturday.
Mutati, who addressed scores of members in Bemba, said MMD members had been discarded and forgotten but did not say who had forgotten or discarded them.
Mutati led a faction of the MMD into an alliance with the PF prior to the 2016 general elections after which he was appointed finance minister before being demoted to works and supply minister in March 2018 and then finally fired from government last December.
“I want to speak honestly, we as a MMD party have no hatred. As MMD, even if you speak ill of us, we helped you and God is the one who knows the future,” Mutati said.
He said the MMD was being battered by external and internal forces that were weakening the party structures.
He said many members had left the party in search of better pastures but that the party had been ill-treated and had not been welcomed.
“They were asking, ‘what have you come to do? They have forgotten that you are the ones who worked for what they are now enjoying. Some of you left empty handed,” he said.
Mutati said the party would not shed tears or groan over its loss but will seek strength from God.
He said if something was not meant to be yours, no amount of attempts could turn things around.
Mutati said the party members had taught him to be patient.
“Some people say Mutati is a coward, Mutati can’t speak, do you want me to bite people to show strength?” he asked.
Mutati said the MMD had been through a lot and admitted they had made mistakes along the way from which they should learn lessons.
“We must use the mistakes that we have made to change the course of our party. If me, as your president have not delivered so far, I can only say; I am sorry,” Mutati said.
He said the huge numbers that had turned up for the card renewal exercise was evidence of the party’s strength and continued existence.
He urged party members to be disciplined, United and hard working.
Mutati later told journalists after: “the huge numbers that turned up (for the card renewal exercise) to us that we have a presence in the political space to make difference, probably a difference that the people of Zambia are looking for.”
And Mutati said even if some leaders try to force themselves into State House, if they were not meant to be in government, they would be removed.
He said when MMD is brought back into government, it would ensure that the economy is revamped and that poverty levels are reduced.
“Many say we have come to destabilise their party, the economy is difficult and we know that many are hungry and there are alarming levels of poverty and no job security. But as MMD, one of our biggest strengths is economic management and governance, most of the industries have been closed in this government,” he said.
He said issues of resources have been a major challenge for MMD, hindering it from mobilising itself.
“I know as a party we are going through many challenges of resources such as money, materials and vehicles for mobilisation. We need to work hard as a party to find where the money is so that you are able to mobilise the party. All those who are still holding on to the party’s vehicles should bring them back or we will get them back,” said Mutati.