MMD faction president Felix Mutati says late Republican president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa will be remembered for the relentless fight against corruption and upholding of the rule of law.
Speaking during late president Mwanawasa’s memorial held at Embassy Park, Monday, Mutati said president Mwanawasa was relentless in the fight against corruption.
“I had a rare privilege to work under president Mwanawasa, and for me, the defining legacy of his presidency is one of his relentless fight against corruption, in pursuing the fight, he was faceless, in pursuing the fight. There was no discretion in pursuing the fight. He basically said Zambia must be a good place for all of us to live in,” Mutati said.
“The second defining legacy for the president was that he stood on the rule of law, he stood on firm discipline and that was his holy grail and in pursuing the rule of law, he told all his Ministers that what is sustainable, whether economic development, social development is that you must continue to apply the fundamental principals and values not only of the Constitution, but also the things that make a change in this life. And for me, his daily bread was always to think about the disadvantaged person; the poor person; the poor Zambian working very hard, sometimes painfully so, to make sure he lifts the conditions of the poor people.”
He observed that Zambia would be at a better place for all if today’s politicians would emulate him.
“You will recall; he introduced reforms in the agriculture space giving aid bags of fertilizer to the poor people. He fought very hard to ensure that the debt burden that Zambia was carrying was written-off and because of him, we had almost US $7 billion of debt being written-off and this was for the benefit of the people of Zambia. He fought very hard and pushed us, as Ministers, to ensure that we had a solid economy. During his time, the economy was upwards of six per cent; growth was evident; delivery was evident. Investment was colossal in the mining sector alone during his reign; we had over US $10 billion investment in the mining sector,” recalled Mutati.
“So, if someone was to summarize who Levy was…for me, Levy was a change-maker, even as he had personal pain, he subordinated his personal pain to the well-being of the people of Zambia; even in his last days, he would say what matters is not me, what matters is what you people can deliver for the people of Zambia. I just wish those here, as politicians, we can even emulate five, 10 per cent of his legacy! The Zambia of today, tomorrow will, indeed, be better if will live on the principals and values of our late president Levy Mwanawasa; may his soul rest in peace.”
And chairman of the Levy Patrick Mwanawasa Foundation Dr Moses Banda said it was gratifying that the nation continued to mourn and celebrate the life of president Mwanawasa.
“As you maybe aware, every year we will meet to come and think about what he (Levy) did; think about his thoughts, of course, and whatever he hoped for, for this country. So, we meet every year at this place, and every five years there is always an unofficial programme, which the State participates. So, this is not the official one; the next one will be four years from now, but for us us as a Foundation and a family, we normally meet. Of course, we expect friends to be with us; Honourable Mutati (Felix) is with us, who worked as a (Commerce) Minister under president Mwanawasa so we haven’t got much to say; we are just pleased that the nation is mourning with us and are with us to celebrate the life of our late president,” said Dr Banda.