MOVEMENT for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba says it doesn’t matter whether President Edgar Lungu doesn’t recognize him as an opposition leader as long as the courts and the Registrar of Societies do.
And Mumba says he does not need to apologize to the President because he has never insulted him, but he will continue to call him whenever there is an issue that affects all Zambians.
He was responding to remarks made by President Lungu his tour of duty in Luwingu District of Northern Province recently.
In a video posted on his official Facebook page, Mumba wondered how the President would fail to believe the outcome of the High Court, which clearly stated that he was the rightful leader of the MMD last November.
“There are not two MMDs, I just want to make it very clear. Up until that date, yes, there were those who claimed to be MMD, but that was concluded in that judgement and that’s why courts exist to create harmony, peace and reconciliation for the country to move forward. And in this regard, our party has moved forward. So, when the President says, ‘he does not recognize me,’ I think it remains for him to explain to us what he means by that. Does he mean that he does not believe in the outcome of his own court and he would like to believe that those who lost the case are the MMD? I am not sure and I hope that he was misquoted, but, basically, I am comfortable myself that in case he doesn’t recognize me, I know that God recognizes me as his child, he recognizes me as his servant. I know that the people of this country recognize me and I know that the government of this country, the Registrar of Societies recognizes me as the legitimate leader of the MMD,” Mumba said.
“The other issue that has been raised by the President is that he doesn’t recognize me and the MMD. Well, first of all, I don’t really understand what the President meant by that; I personally recognize him as the President of this country, and I respect that position. I differ with him on many things, but that doesn’t take away who he is. I hope that the President will also respect me that I am a citizen of this country, he doesn’t have to accept it, but he has to respect it and that I am the president of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and there is only one MMD in the country. And if he says, ‘he does now recognize MMD,’ I am not sure whether the President means he does not recognize first of all the judgement of November 5th 2019, which clearly declared that I am the president of the MMD. So, I do not know whether the President means he does not recognize that judgement, but I hope not.”
But Mumba stressed that he held no grudges against President Lungu for whatever he said in Luwingu as he remained focused on nation-building during the current difficult times.
“There is not a single statement that I have made to play to the gallery. I am not a politician per se, I am a leader called by God to do what I do in politics and, therefore, I am not going to participate in the politics of name-calling, in the politics of trying to make somebody look bad. I am going to talk about things that affect me and affect the Zambian people and in the hope that things could be improved,” Mumba said.
And Mumba said that he did not see the need for him to apologize to President Lungu because he did not insult him.
“May I confirm that I have not apologized to the President because I have not had an opportunity to insult him. First of all, I don’t know how to insult, I gave my life to Christ when I was 17 years old. I have taught respect for one another, respect for leaders and I have also known the public ministry of 43 years of preaching on how to speak truth to power. The only reason why I say what I say is to see Zambia saved, brought to a place where all of us can benefit. Yes, it is true, like I have said on many radio stations, that I have found it necessary, from time-to-time, to call the President in an effort to raise an issue. When COVID-19 began, I called him, sent a message, but no response. When ritual killings began, I called him; I sent a text, but no response. Now, when the China-Zambia relations began to sour, I did the same; on Africa Freedom Day, I sent him a message of congratulations and on his birthday,” recalled Mumba.
“I do those things because I would like to create an environment in this county where we are able to differ on policy positions, but acknowledge that we are leaders that are representing, not our personal interests, but the interests of those people that look up to us for leadership. And this is why I am in politics and I will continue to engage the President on matters that concern the country in the hope that he is not going to use those attempted communications against me or any other leader that tries to reach him on these national matters.”