First national secretary of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika says some of the problems that Zambia is facing today is because Michael Sata formed a party for himself and there were no succession structures left in place when he died.
And Prince Akashambatwa (AKA) who is former president Rupiah Banda’s political advisor and member of the Barotse Royal Establishment, says Kenneth Kaunda warned that Zambia would be destroyed by tribalism and violence under multiparty democracy.
Speaking when the Felix Mutati-led MMD faction under national secretary Raphael Nakacinda and other party officials called on him at his Mongu residence Tuesday, AKA who resigned as managing director for TAZARA, observed that the Patriotic Front was formed for one man only and the rest of the members were perceived as illegitimate to lead.
“If we went to Garden [House] and said ‘we are going to Garden House to make Mr Frederick Chiluba president’ or if Aka says ‘I have called this meeting so that I am president’, nobody would have come and MMD would not have been born. So in order to get everybody to come, they had to believe that this party is ours together, it is not there to make someone a president. So apart from MMD and UNIP, all these other parties have been made to make a particular person president. This is why they are structured the way they are. Fortunately, to this day, MMD belongs to nobody. Nobody has the courage to stand up to say ‘MMD is mine, if I am not president there is no MMD’, there isn’t,” AKA observed.
“But the other parties, it is very close that if you take away someone… like now, some of the problems we are facing is because somebody died from a party he had created for himself. It has no structures for other people. So other people think you are illegitimate. So my hope is that MMD will not lose itself in that direction.”
AKA said he was disappointed with the tribal politics that had characterised the country.
“I am a very disappointed and frustrated person to tell you the truth because you see, we challenged KK to say he was undemocratic. KK told us that if you get this democracy which these people are talking about, there is going to be tribalism and we truly believed that that was a lie, that Zambians were mature enough not to be tribalists,” recalled AKA.
“He said we were going to be violent and we believed that he was cheating, that the Zambians were mature enough to move away from politics of violence, sectionalism and so on. And thirdly, we believed that the compromise we had made to allow the coming in of multiparty was just step one. That the Zambian Constitution needed to be further cleansed because it wasn’t just clause 4 which said ‘you can’t have other parties’. The other clauses supported a culture where you don’t have multipartism and we haven’t examined those. But I am still hopeful because I think that the proposition, what MMD stands for beyond being a party, is still valid. If it is not fulfilled, it is not just the party that would not have fulfilled it, it is also the country that would have failed to live up to its aspirations.”