We are witnessing Felix Mutati’s final tumble from grace. We believe that by now, Mr Mutati has fully known Jesus. We hope he has now learnt that, indeed, there is no honour among thieves. Like we predicted, Mr Mutati now has no ministerial position, no parliamentary seat, no political party and, of course, no job!
Mr Mutati’s chapter in PF was closed the day he was dropped as Finance Minister. In his naivety, he thought his dismissal would give him the much-needed time to campaign ahead of 2021, and that’s what he told his supporters. Little did he know that the Great Leader had it all planned.
On November 8, 2018, we wrote in our opinion: “What Mr Mutati doesn’t know is that he now has no political party; the MMD has slipped from his hands along with his government job.
Since Mr Mutati seems to be naïve, we will spell it out for him. Considering that his intention is to take over the governance of this country from President Lungu, he can kiss the court case goodbye. This is operation: ‘Sink the MMD before it bounces back’.”
It all started in September, 2017, when a group of PF youths began a “Mutati must go” campaign when the man was still Minister of Finance – the most powerful and critical ministerial position in Cabinet. At that point, we saw State House involvement in the operation. We could see President Lungu’s teeth going for Mr Mutati’s flesh.
It’s a well-known State House gimmick used when the President is about to fire a Cabinet Minister who shows too much ambition to takeover the reigns of power. They use this trick when they don’t only want to stop at firing, but also to politically finish the person. Those who need examples can refer to the case of former Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba – how powerful he was in PF and what he has been reduced to today.
President Lungu realized that some Zambians actually felt Mutati could make a better President than him. So, he regretted surrendering the Treasury to him, because from that ministerial influence, the MMD leader started mobilizing the party with plans to challenge President Lungu in 2021. Keeping Mutati in government was making that reality more and more feasible, so they launched this operation, which reached its conclusion on Tuesday at the High Court.
There is nothing much one can say to Mr Mutati, apart from assuring him that he is reaping what he sowed. This is the Felix Mutati who betrayed the opposition and tolled a PF agenda on the Constitution, with his MMD faction. He sold his position on national matters to the PF in exchange for a government job. The Mutati-led MMD faction was happy to give PF that 50 per cent plus ONE VOTE, that prevented an election rerun because they thought the PF would keep their vows until 2021.
Mr Mutati betrayed his brothers and sisters in MMD to pursue his selfish personal interest. After noticing that Nevers Mumba was hesitating to take up the immoral offer for partnership, Mutati hijacked the MMD and gave himself to the PF, leaving the Mumba-led faction in disarray. The PF gave Mutati some resources to mobilize youths who violently stormed the MMD secretariat and hounded out office bearers with stones and sticks.
While all that was happening, we knew that Mutati was nothing, but a pawn. He was used by Rupiah Banda, who also wanted to guarantee his freedom by ensuring that PF stays in power. Posterity has finally caught up with clever Mutati now. He made his bed and now it is time lie in it.
We don’t celebrate other people’s misery, but in every sad situation, there are life lessons. Mutati has learnt his. He is now a graduate of the PF school of mafias. We wish him well in retirement and hope he will make some right choices to remain relevant on the political scene. He is a good man who went to bed with bad people. And they say if you go to bed with an itchy behind, you wake up with smelly fingers.
This is politics. At this stage, now, we would not be surprised if before 2021, President Lungu withdraws his nomination of Mr Raphael Nakacinda as member of parliament because his use has equally expired. The PF didn’t need him in the first place. The nomination served nothing more than a slap on Mr Mutati’s face. Otherwise, there’s no alliance to talk about.
And this brings us to the winner of the MMD presidency, Pastor Nevers Mumba. In April, 2018, when we wrote an opinion stating that the battle for MMD was about begging rights, Pastor Mumba was not pleased with our view. We meant no disrespect, but our observation was that whoever won the MMD presidency would use the party to lobby a bigger alliance position in either the UPND or the Patriotic Front. He said we were wrong.
Well, the court has given Pastor Mumba the MMD presidency, what will he do with the party now? Does he have the money, energy and the required strategic grassroot structures to mobilize the party and contest the 2021 elections? We strongly doubt. This is exactly the position that the PF wanted the MMD to find itself in.
Congratulations, Pastor Mumba, for winning this huge white elephant, but which way forward now? PF or UPND? Prove us wrong!