Saturday, January 30, 2010
By Lambwe Kachali
Sat 30 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT
MMD 2011 presidential aspirant Professor Clive Chirwa has resigned from the MMD with immediate effect on grounds that the party is corrupt and facing death.
In a letter to MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba, dated January 28, 2010 and accessed by The Post, Prof Chirwa stated that he had decided to cut his umbilical cord connected to MMD, because he could not compromise his beliefs of good citizenship that was untarnished, that did not tolerate corruption and cheating.
He said the MMD was no longer the party he had known over the years in that everything had deteriorated to an extent that the party was literary paralysed.
“It is with both gratitude and regret that I write to inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) with immediate effect. As you will know, I have been a paid up member of the MMD for over three years. I was one of its original sympathisers and later donors, who believed in the ethos of the party as it resolutely promoted democracy, fairness and selfless service to the communities in our beloved country,” Prof Chirwa stated.
“During that time I have seen the MMD grow from a small group of enthusiastic activists into a party covering all corners of the country, which made breathtaking achievements by winning five consecutive, presidential elections propped by the hardworking men and women who represent the party in The National Assembly. The victories have without a doubt arisen through the hard tirelessly pounding legs of the members up and down the country in wards and branches.
“But here we are in 2010, just more than twelve months after the last contested Presidential victory, and everything has deteriorated to such an extent that the party is literary paralysed and facing death. The party that was once composed of comrades and best friends unified in the struggle for eradicating poverty, illiteracy and disease, while being the guardian for peace has turned into a promoter of injustice, corruption, visionless and has become too narcissistic for a moderate to swallow. This is not the party that I was involved in over the years. Nor is it a party that I want to continue to participate in.
“For these reasons, I am cutting my umbilical cord connected to the party, because I cannot compromise my beliefs of good citizenship that is untarnished, that does not tolerate corruption and cheating, and that upholds the rule of law, and above all that which is prepared to work for total liberation of the people of Zambia from the economic malaise. I am an engineer and I will build Zambia in my new family of compassionate Zambians who believe in my cause for building an industrialised Zambia where every child will proudly grow to be a gallant citizen with the best of education the country can offer and ready to honestly contribute to the development of his/her country.”
He indicated that there were a number of reasons that had necessitated his resignation from the MMD.
“I disagree with the government and MMD's policy on economy that is so backward looking for the 21st Century, it makes our people far much worse off with increased poverty. Appeasing investors, who are contributing very little to our country, while without shame kneeling for aid from donors is tightening the shackles we rightly thought, were removed at independence. Promoting agriculture without giving the people the tools to grow more and efficiently is disastrous, especially when you MMD do not believe in your own agriculture policy,” he stated.
“Disregarding the creation of manufacturing which is the true developmental vehicle that will see job creation in millions is economic incompetence beyond belief. Total dependency on investors to drop out of the sky without pro-actively seeking for those who will genuinely come and develop Zambia is short-sighted. Poor planning in the distribution of funding among provinces is just too bias. Poor tourism strategy that is ignoring Livingstone as the true gem that can spin trillions and trillions of kwacha if properly developed is suicidal. “Erratic and catastrophic decision making on infrastructure construction, including the inert approach towards the railway lines which are the blood streams of any landlocked country, is unacceptable because the economic targets will never be realised without the railways and good roads.”
Prof Chirwa stated that he disagreed with the government's lack of policy in resolving the problems of education, health and housing.
“If you ask, you will be told they are being addressed. But the reality is contrary as we continue seeing Grade Seven pupils still being thrown on the rubbish tip of dropouts, the poor are dying as they cannot afford medication and families are now permanently living in dilapidated shanties that are beyond human habitation. I disagree with the government's and MMD's approach to fighting corruption. The perception of many Zambians is that the party is corrupt to the core,” the letter read in part.
“The party does not protect human rights and has total disregard of the law. In addition, does not entertain differences in opinion, which is the foundation of democracy. The sacking of very good almost irreplaceable professionals who have different progressive views is so totalitarian that the whole meaning of the MMD slogan is rendered unfit for purpose.”
He further stated that he vehemently disagreed with the government and MMD's approach to formulating the necessary laws, and all the instruments pertaining to national governance.
“The tampering of the Legislature; the tampering of the NCC National Constitutional Conference who are preparing the constitution, not only for us today, but also for our siblings and the introduction of possessing a university degree as a pre-requisite for presidential candidate is not right especially when the education system is in turmoil. But minimal attainment is needed and Zambia's level is grade twelve until we sort out the education system,” he stated.
“I disagree with the government's and MMD's approach to politicise the civil service and other 'QUANGOs' Quasi Non Governmental Organisations who are supposed to be impartial and ready to serve any government in power. The total control of the civil service has created an impression that is characterised by corrupt activities,” he stated.
He stated that it was suicidal that MMD national executive committee (NEC) had developed a suffocating culture of centralism and bureaucracy, thereby creating an atmosphere which stifled individual initiatives.
“When the NEC is bypassed through media pages and radio stations that is when members are approached usually with negative consequences that have been concocted through knee jerking. I am a deep thinker and prudent solver of problems who wanted to help, offer change and blow fresh air that injects oxygen into those dead woods. I was not given a chance due to greed,” Prof Chirwa stated.
“It is hardly surprising that much of the party's grassroots simply drifting off into passive mode or leaving. The party has become increasingly marginalised and facing death in 2011 and Zambians will make sure it does. Those who remain in the MMD party face a hard uphill struggle to make the party credible in the eyes of its own supporters, Zambians and relevant to the needs of the 21st Century.”
Prof Chirwa stated that the MMD was a bold and brave experiment that had ultimately failed. He stated that he would not regret resigning from the party because that was the only way he could maintain his integrity.
“At present being a member of MMD is like being in a room with a hungry lion. The atmosphere is so toxic that members have stopped to communicate in a civilised manner. Politically I am now moving to the next step in my plan that is on schedule. I am leaving with no regret or bitterness towards anyone. I value the many good friends, all those who worked for me within the party. It is with heavy heart that I must end my membership of the MMD and therefore resign due to the many reasons including those stipulated above. You should not cry for me as my new home is extremely warmer and I will let you know its address at an appropriate time,” stated Prof Chirwa.