DEMOCRATIC Party DP president Harry Kalaba says he will not allow PF Lusaka chairperson Paul Moonga to label him as a tribalist just because of whom he chooses to speak with.
And Kalaba says he is yet to understand what the UPND stands for.
Reacting to Moonga allegations that Kalaba’s planned alliance with Lusaka lawyer Kevin Bwalya Fube and former finance minister Felix Mutati was tribal, the DP leader asked “Who is Paul Moonga? Is he the one with a funny dental formula?”
When Radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk Host, Luchi, observed that such personal attacks were not synonymous with his style of politics, Kalaba said, “Sometimes, garbage in garbage out. This issue of people trying to take advantage of others because they will not speak, because they know they will not go to that level, they should be very careful. It is not correct for somebody to call another person who is contributing positively to the economic emancipation of our country a danger. That is a very strong term used to a colleague to say he is a danger.”
Kalaba said Moonga’s claims were unreasonable as he did not practice tribal politics.
“Look, I think the job that we have right now is to bridge the divide and for us as the DP, we will seek to talk to everybody that we should talk to. We should seek to find common ground with whoever we can find common ground with because there are people who are accusing us here on this program ‘why don’t you work with your friends’ that ‘no, DP you are alone’ but again when you see us together talking to other people again you are the ones telling us ‘they have met, they are tribal’. Tribal politics for me doesn’t even exist, if there is a person that doesn’t like tribalism it’s me. So, I can’t practice those kind of politics,” Kalaba said.
“Zambians are asking us to come together, how that format is happening, they should give it a chance, don’t judge, you just see one first meeting then you say ‘oh this political party have formed an alliance’, we have not yet formed an alliance! There is no alliance, but I have said if an alliance is birthed because of what we are talking, so be it, but right now there is no alliance amongst KBF, Harry Kalaba and [Felix Mutati]. There is no alliance but we are having consultative meetings to see how consultative our consultative meetings can get and to see how Zambian interests can be taken on board, is that a crime? Is that something someone should begin saying they are being tribal?”
He added that if an alliance would be formed, it would not comprise of people from the same region.
“Even if there was an alliance, I mean, we will not be naive to pick people from the same region, that we will not do, that cannot work. Even if there was an alliance that is going to be formed in future and I pray that there is [something] tangible that will come out from our consultation, but I don’t think we will remain naive to allow ourselves to behave like the way the PF is behaving, where you only have about two provinces running the country, we can’t do! We never sink low to do that. So those who are propagating that, that is their own thing and they have their own agenda. There is no caveat within the Constitution framework of the country which stops me from consulting someone from the same region. I know Comrade Mutati comes from the Northern and the other one from Muchinga and myself from the other side but it doesn’t stop us from making consultations,” Kalaba said.
He said something much bigger was happening.
“Even if you read the paper which put us there yesterday, I think when you read what I had said, yes we are meeting to talk and if it means making an alliance is going to work why not, but for now, for reasons of clarity to those who want to peddle lies, there is no alliance that has been created and there is no pact that has been created. When there will be an alliance we will tell you that there is an alliance and the alliance is consisting of all these members and we need to ensure that we unite. Our meeting was consultative and it was not the first consultative meeting we have had. We have met I don’t know how many times, it was not the first time that we are meeting. Something bigger than what you saw is happening,” he said.
And responding to Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti’s social media post that Fube’s background was marred with lawlessness and she was wondering how Kalaba could interact with him, Kalaba said no one was perfect.
“I have a lot of respect for Laura Miti I should admit. It is regrettable that she has written the way she has written because I think none of us standing, even myself here, is perfect and if there are issues about my brother Fube, I think it will be unfair for me or anybody else to begin casting aspersions on him. When you say he stole money for what, if he stole money, LAZ will not allow him to continue practising. As far I am concerned, I was talking to him this morning and he is somewhere out of Lusaka and he is attending court cases representing clients. So it is LAZ that should tell us . I think this thing of just trying to bring people down is not very good,” Kalaba said.
And Kalaba said he is yet to understand what the UPND stands for, when asked why he couldn’t consider entering into an alliance with them.
“I think I have said this before that those who are saying that the UPND has a large populace and that we wish them well, alliances are not formed because this one has got a lot of numbers. Alliances are formed on the premise of what people agree upon. I don’t know and I speak this not for politics but I am yet to understand what UPND stands for,” said Kalaba.
“The Bible says unless the two agree, they cannot work together, they cannot move together. The DP will not move together with any political party, if they got their numbers we wish them well those are theirs, but the DP is not going to move with any political party whose ideals they don’t synchronize with. We are not going to just move because if you partner with these ones, you are going to win, I mean that is cheap you don’t do that. You only partner if you are convinced that this is going to take us to the next paradigm. You don’t just go in because that is what is giving you an option and it is the easier route to go no,” said Kalaba.