FORMER Republican vice-president Enoch Kavindele has told the PF government that there is no harm in consulting previous leaders on how to deal with economic problems currently affecting the country. In a brief statement to call upon former president Rupiah Banda to deliver a lecture on the eighth memorial for former president Frederick Chiluba at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka on Sunday, Kavindele said the problems the country was facing had been experienced before.
“My request to the current leadership is that some of the problems they are undergoing have been there before and there is no harm in consulting me or one of my colleagues here to go and sit down with the current leadership to talk about issues,” he said.
Kavindele said there was no point in starting all over again when all that was required was consultation.
“My prayer is that we must continue to share ideas,” said Kavindele.
Meanwhile, delivering a lecture on Chiluba’s legacy, Banda said it was sad that in recent years Chiluba’s legacy “had been under attack from unscrupulous and selfish cabal in a ruthless quest for power who painted him as a selfish enemy of the people.”
“This is not the Chiluba that I or millions of Zambians knew, ever approachable, cheerful and humble. Dr Chiluba brought the presidency closer to the people,” Banda said.
He said Chiluba touched many lives in so many ways, visiting the sick in hospitals, the old and vulnerable.
“He would console us in our homes during funerals. To use my own words, truly he was president for all Zambians,” he said.
Banda urged the listeners to forever defend and exalt Chiluba’s legacy so that he could take his rightful place alongside the other great sons and daughters of the soil who sacrificed and served the country. And MMD-faction leader Felix Mutati said he was concerned that Chiluba’s legacy had been extremely undervalued. He said the Chiluba who led Zambia from 1991 to 2001 was not being remembered for things he had done to change the political and economic landscape of the country.
“President Chiluba took some of the most courageous decisions that transformed the lives of Zambians,” said Mutati.
After leaving office, Chiluba was a target of president Levy Mwanawasa’s campaign against corruption. In February 2003, he was charged along with his former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu, and several former ministers and senior officials, with 168 counts of theft totalling more than US$40m. On 4 May 2007, Chiluba was found guilty of stealing $46m (£23m) in a civil case by a UK court.
London High Court judge Peter Smith accused Chiluba of “shamelessly defrauding his people and flaunting his wealth with an expensive wardrobe of “stupendous proportions”.