IF there is anything Zambians need now, it is a message of hope, says Nevers Mumba.
Speaking on United Voice Radio programme yesterday, Mumba, however, said Hope could only be hope if it is backed by a trustworthy hope giver.
Asked whether he would consider going into a pact with either PF or UPND in the 2021 election, Mumba said it was too early to talk about such issues.
He said his focus now was to rebuild MMD to reclaim its lost political space by giving Zambians a viable option.
“Up until the 5th of November, by and large…Zambians had only two options for government – either to keep PF in government or bring UPND to form government. Until the 5th, that scenario existed but November 6th, that scenario changed because there’s now a three-way approach to government. Zambians have an opportunity now to say look thank you PF and thank you UPND, our boys are back, blue is back, let’s get on to do what we used to do when mealie-meal was K35,” Mumba said.
He said Zambia was facing major challenges of a weak economy, mass load-shedding, higher mealie-meal costs and that MMD had come at a point where people were tired, despondent, angry and wondering if there was any way to go.
“If there is anything Zambians need now, it is a message of hope. Hope can only be hope if it is backed by a trustworthy hope giver. For instance, if a criminal comes in my house and tells me ‘you can leave me to look after your house for the next week but don’t worry, nothing will be lost in your house, and I know he is a criminal, he is a thief, he is giving me all the sweet talk, no Nevers, you can go to the US, I can take care of your house. That’s hope he is giving me but there is no credibility in that hope. And that is what has happened to the politics of Zambia. All the campaign promises, giving hope when you have no capacity, you have no right to give that hope because your own life is a compromised life; MMD comes at the centre with a new hope message….”
Mumba welcomed back all MMD members who left following the confusion.
He said the conflict in MMD had come to an end following the Lusaka High Court’s recent determination.
He said it was now for the party to face the future with courage and forgiveness.
“We no longer have to two factions, we have one party. My leadership shall not segregate, I will continue to serve all members equally,” Mumba said. “This is actually an official call to everyone who calls himself or herself a member or supporter for the Movement for Multiparty Democracy to come back home. To our colleagues who supported honourable Felix Mutati in the last three years, you shall not be segregated against. I urge you to come back home and let us make the New Hope MMD the party of choice ahead of 2021. Zambians will not forgive us if we continue to create artificial conflicts.”
He said the New Hope MMD was a fresh alternative Zambians had been waiting for.
He said the only way for MMD to reclaim its political space was to forget about their differences and forge a new future of hope for the nation.
“It is for this reason that I am welcoming all our members regardless of your political station…whether you spoke for me or spoke against me, you are still a member of our party and we will welcome you with open hands,” he said.
He pledged that his politics would be categorical, without malice, bitterness, and hatred because all he wants is for good to trickle down to Zambians.
Asked whether he had inherited a white elephant, Mumba said his whole life was a ministry of restoration, healing, reconstruction.
“When they say you have inherited an empty shell, what are they trying to say? Are they saying that you should not reconstruct it? You should not rebuild it? You should only inherit good things that are already complete and whole!” Mumba remarked.
Mumba said when MMD lost elections in 2011, members run away, with some joining PF, including 11 members of parliament that defected to the ruling party.
He said no MMD member could freely wear the party t/shirt, caps or raise the hour finger, for fear of being beaten.
“When I came back from Canada, I found that MMD was no longer there; so it was a shell; it had already lost elections in 2011, nobody was talking MMD. People were scared of president Michael Sata…that’s when I came, I got the shell, it had lost elections in 2011 and began to build it. We built it to a level where it had become attractive again that the same people who had gone away came back wanting to get it back now because it looked like it was back on its feet,” Mumba said. “That’s when we faced the first disintegration and going into 2015, we were almost non-existent…then we started to rebuild it again. 2016 comes, the same group comes to try to disrupt us until now on November 5 when the judgment came and said this is the leadership of the party.”
Asked about a Toyota Landcruiser he recently received from government, Mumba, a former Republican vice-president, said it was the last part of his entitlements that were not given to him at the time he left government.
Asked when MMD would go to a convention after his mandate expired in 2017, Mumba said the process had started.
Mumba said only members in good standing with the party would be allowed to contest at the convention.
He explained if Mutati and others regularized their membership to the MMD, they could be allowed to participate in the convention.
He said as it stands, Mutati and others were not members of MMD.
And Mumba said he would like former president Rupiah Banda to be a go to former president and wisdom box “when we are stuck”.
He hoped Banda would continue to encourage and guide younger politicians like himself.
A caller from Chitulika Village advised Mumba not to entertain the rebels who hijacked his party because they would cause him problems in the party.