By SIMON MUNTEMBA
I HAVE reconciled with my predecessor, Rupiah Banda after almost 10 years of misunderstanding and we are now on talking terms, MMD president Nevers Mumba has said. Dr Mumba said the two had put their political differences aside and reconciled to focus on building the nation instead of dwelling on past personal issues.
He disclosed that a few day ago, he spoke to the fourth republican President on phone during which they reconciled. Dr Mumba said he was happy with the healing words that Mr Banda uttered to him during their phone conversation
“I would like to make a great announcement today that I have never made. Obviously, people have noticed that President Rupiah Banda and I have not been singing from the same rhythm. We have not been sitting on one table and having coffee which has been my greatest desire like a child who would like to have a good time with his father. I never had that nice time with him. For the last 10 years, it has been a time of weeping.
“But a few days ago, I was on the phone with President Rupiah Banda, and he said some of the most healing Of course it looks late because much damage has been done unto us and the party. But he healed me by telling me that Nevers, you and I have a history together and it is strong,” Dr Mumba narrated.
Dr Mumba explained that Mr Banda also told him that, “I know you have been praying for me and I know that we have been praying for each other. We may have differed but I think let’s look to the future and not behind.” During the 2015 Presidential election after the death of President Michael Sata, Mr Banda, who was then MMD member and immediate past party president, endorsed Patriotic Front presidential candidate Edgar Lungu, a move that angered Dr Mumba.
Meanwhile, Dr Mumba said the Patriotic Front should take a leaf of what happened to MMD after losing power when he took over from Mr Banda to avoid repeating the same mistake. “This should help our colleagues in PF that at the end of the day, somebody might become president of PF even if he is not President Edgar Lungu’s choice. He must have an endorsement of the general membership and not president Lungu alone,” he said.
He advised President Lungu to keep away from the process of selecting a PF president if the party was to survive and avoid the pitfalls of MMD. “The membership may want somebody who had nothing to do with President Lungu. Therefore, the fall or rise of PF for now lies to the greater extent in the hands of Mr Lungu. We want a vibrant democracy. Of course I want MMD to be strong but we need more strong opposition for a healthy democracy,” Dr Mumba said.