The following is the full text of the speech delivered by Nevers Mumba during his Kitwe rally held yesterday 7 December.
To Announce the new MMD and give confidence that the apparent squabbles are short lived and therefore cast a vision for NEW Politics and a NEW Zambia.
In September 2011, you the people of the Copperbelt made a dramatic decision to remove MMD from power and replace it by the PF. To the MMD, you gave us an assignment to go back to the drawing board and change our ways. To PF you gave them a mandate to bring change in your pockets, in your homes, in your work places and in the nation as a whole. Today, the two parties are back and must report to you as to how much MMD has changed and whether or not the PF fulfilled its 90 day promises.
In view of the assignment given to us after the 2011 loss, MMD undertook to find out the sins that cost us the 2011 election. To change the perception of the party, MMD chose a new leader, a Pastor in order to make a point that the perception of a corrupt MMD, an arrogant party, a party that was accused of caring more for foreigners than locals has made a shift and started on a road to reform.
It would therefore be arrogance for MMD to dare bring back to the Zambian people the old MMD which they rejected hardly three years ago. It is for this reason you have been hearing of major conflicts within MMD because a new party cannot be born unless the old habits are identified and abandoned. There are those in our party who are determined to keep the old face of MMD and hope that you the people of the Copperbelt have forgotten the reason why you removed MMD from office.
I wish to assure our members, the people of the Copperbelt and the people of Zambia that under my leadership, MMD shall never be the same again. Today, I am presenting a new MMD to Zambia. A Party that has truly repented from the sins of 2011. A Party which now understands the pain and plight of all Zambians. A party which has a new President.
The disturbances you have seen in the MMD are kicks of a dying horse. The old MMD is dying and it has vowed not to die without a fight. I am however confident that the new shall triumph over habits of old. I have given the prime of my life to fight for the rebirth of a new MMD and I am ready to pay the highest price to present to the people of the Copperbelt a new start for MMD, a new start for the Copperbelt and a new start for Zambia. I believe now more than ever before that Zambia shall be saved. The survival of MMD is critical for Democracy and for the prosperity of Zambia as a whole.
KK wanted the old Northern Rhodesia to die and birth a new nation – Zambia. He was fought, hated and imprisoned many times, but eventually a new nation was born in 1964. Fredrick Chiluba wanted the old one party state to die and birth a New Democratic Republic. He was fought, hated and imprisoned many times, but eventually a New MultiParty state was born in 1991.
Today, Nevers Mumba wants to change the old politics of immorality, injustice, hatred and corruption. I want the old politics to die. I have been fought, hated, thrown into prison, but as our history reveals, We shall overcome. In the past we have changed governments, this time we shall change both government and politics. Copperbelt, “the old MMD has passed away, behold the new has come.”
Some say, “Nevers does not qualify to be President because he is a Pastor and has no experience!” Experience? At age 20, I had founded the first national Christian organization (Victory Ministries) and developed it through the Years to become one of the top Christian organizations on the continent.
Experience? At 37 I founded the National Citizen’s Coalition political Party and served as President. It later merged with MMD.
Experience? At age 43 I became Republican Vice President and served as leader of government business in Parliament.
Experience? At age 49 I served as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Canada and elected the President of Canada’s Diplomatic Community. The first African to ever hold this position.
Experience? At 52 I was elected President of the MMD. I humbly submit that The Lord and Zambia has adequately prepared me for the job ahead of me.
THE NATIONAL CHALLENGE
The greatest Challenge Zambia faces is lack of leadership of morality and integrity. PF won the election on expedient promises which have now proved to be false. Zambians have been duped and dumped after the PF emerged as winners.
Instead of life being easier as promised, it became harder. Subsidies on both fuel and Agricultural inputs were removed. This resulted in Mealie meal prices jumping from K37.00 to K85.00. All food prices went up and travel costs went up as well. The promised jobs plummeted as investors pulled out and others suspended further investments until the economic policies of PF could be clarified.
Lack of credibility in leadership has cost Zambia everything. Instead of delivering goods and services, the PF opted for brutality against the opponents. Lest Zambia forgets, under PF, we have lost freedoms of expression and association. Under PF, the Constitution has not been done. Under PF, no foreign Head of State came on an official visit. We lost out both locally and internationally.
THE NEW MMD BACK IN GOVERNMENT
This is the last time you are seeing this Constitution. Public order act will no longer be a weapon against political opponents.
My vision is to target 52% of cabinet to go to women.
An intelligent and educated population is the key to practical development and prosperity. Education will be mandatory and it will be illegal to keep a child away from School. Salaries for teachers will compete highly with those of teachers in the region especially Botswana, so that we no longer lose our hard trained teachers to other countries.
Recruitment of teachers will be on going to ensure that we keep sustainable levels of teachers. Construction of Universities, Secondary Schools, Primary Schools will be an on going program. ICT will be mandatory to all children from grade one.
We will Champion public health: which includes clean environment, good sanitation and clean water provision. Every Zambian will have access to basic health care provided through public, private and family partnership. Will continue with the construction of our initiated 650 clinics.
We shall continue with the construction of District Hospitals under our scheme like Mwanawasa Hospital. We shall ensure that all hospitals are equipped with medicine and necessary technology. We shall reinstate all nurses fired by PF and pay them all that is owed to them.
Every country has street vendors including the United States. The New Hope MMD back in Government shall improve the standards of vendors by ensuring that strict sanitation, cleanliness and appropriate levies are managed. There shall be no dirty street as a result of a vendor. There shall be high penalties for throwing of garbage in any public place.
We shall re introduce subsidies that have been removed by PF on agricultural inputs like fertilizer and seed. This will result in cheaper mealie meal and more profit for farmers. Agriculture will continue to be an economic driver and shall create necessary jobs for our youth.
We shall bring back investor confidence in the mining sector by having consistent policies. We shall engage mine owners to ensure that we create a win win situation for both the investor and the worker.
WORKERS AND UNIONS
Unions will be allowed to bargain for better pay without interference from government. We shall lift the wage freeze immediately we take over government. We shall lift the job freeze which has been put in place by the PF government.
Under my leadership, I will make the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation a practical aspect. Churches will play a heightened role in the governance of the country. Under my leadership, the church will regain its rebate status which has been taken away by the PF government.
They will be able to bring in mission vehicles, building materials, aid into the country duty free as it used to be under President Chiluba. Churches will be allowed to meet in any facility as long as there is an agreement with the institutions renting out facilities including schools.
Churches will be free to apply for land and be considered through a fast-track program. We will introduce a National Thanks Giving day in which the Church will lead the whole nation in worship and praise to God for his abundant blessings on our land once per year.
Every youth will be encouraged to enroll for a skill training program. Those graduating from school and those abandoned on the streets without a trade. My vision is to place tools in the hands of our youth to make a living through specialized skills training.
We shall use a youth development fund to provide capital to enterprising youth to start sustainable businesses. We shall teach and prepare the youth in programs of democracy and the rule of law to prepare them to assume national leadership at relatively young age.
Good promises without good men to implement them is a circus of frustration for the governed. How do you identify good men and women? Through diligence and patience. The Bible says, “You shall know them by their fruit.” The Bembas say, “Icikwanka bacimwena kumampalanya.”
Faith in God, fear for God makes a leader accountable to promises he makes. In this Jubilee season, I offer myself to the Copperbelt, my home, and to Zambia to be your next President.
I thank you.