By NOEL IYOMBWA
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa’s defence of President Hakainde Hichilema’s personal attacks on his predecessor, Edgar Lungu amounts to moral and political bankruptcy, former Defence Minister George Mpombo has said.
And Dr Mpombo says President Hichilema’s assault on the integrity of Mr Lungu was uncalled for and beyond justification politically or morally.
Reacting to a statement by Mr Mweetwa that opposition political parties had taken the use of the Bemba word “Ukutumpa “out of context and that former President Levy Mwanawasa once used the word on the late Michael Sata, Dr Mpombo stated that despite being provoked, Mr Mwanawasa never harboured any hard feelings.
He said Mr Mwanawasa never used to hold grudges against his political opponents as he used to chat with Mr Sata over the phone in his presence.
Dr Mpombo added that President Mwanawasa’s leadership was praised by the nation when he authorised Mr Sata’s evacuation to South Africa for medical treatment.
He noted that what Mr Mwanawasa purportedly said to Mr Sata faded into insignificance as compared to the words uttered by President Hichilema in Kitwe considering the Head of State’s body language and tone of his voice.
He said the public and the church should have admonished President Mwanawasa if the comments were perceived as a threat on the late Mr Sata.
“In short, Mr Mweetwa’s assertions in Livingstone were morally and politically bankrupt and had loopholes through which a herd of elephants would be driven through” Dr Mpombo said.
Mr Mweetwa, who is also Southern Province Minister has expressed concern over the continued abuse of President Hichilema’s use of the term “Kutumpa Uko” during his recent public address on the Copperbelt Province.
Mr Mweetwa said opposition political parties had taken the statement out of context.
He said the cliché “Kutumpa” was a common saying, which was widely used in the Zambian vocabulary when referring to something, which is not acceptable.
Mr Mweetwa said Mr Mwanawasa and Mr Lungu used that cliché during their reign.
“President Mwanawasa did at one point use the term in reference to the leading opposition party leader then Michael Sata, ‘Nga watumpa; fyala kubipila,’ and also President Edgar Lungu once he took over the reins of leadership of this country did address union leaders who then had indicated that he had failed to provide leadership of this country by saying ‘Kutumpa for the union leaders to say I have failed’,” Mr Mweetwa explained.
By NOEL IYOMBWA