It’s WRONG for any political party to shun independence celebrations – Nevers

Nevers Mumba at the Court
Nevers Mumba at the Court

MMD president Nevers Mumba says it is wrong for any opposition political party to shun independence celebrations on Thursday because it is a national and not a political event.
Dr Mumba told Radio Phoenix yesterday that Independence Day is a national event meant to celebrate the lives of freedom fighters and should be attended by all citizens regardless of political affiliation.
“As MMD today and as leader of the MMD today, I think that it was wrong for the opposition to shun the event when we invited them and it is wrong today for any opposition leader not to attend,” he said.
Dr Mumba said political leaders should not politicise independence celebrations because they are a national event which are of national concern to all citizens.
He said Independence Day is a time to honour people who fought for the freedom Zambia is enjoying and cherishing today.
Dr Mumba said during the MMD administration, all political parties were invited but some shunned the day citing high levels of poverty and lack of employment among citizens.
He said Zambians should cherish the history of Independence Day and help to disseminate the information to children.
“As MMD, we shall attend the event but we are not doing it for Mr Sata, we are not doing it for the PF, but we are doing it for the good of our nation and remember our heroes,” Dr Mumba said.
On Monday, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema called on Zambians to shun the celebrations saying there is nothing to rejoice over and yesterday he maintained his statement to ignore the event.
Mr Hichilema said in a statement yesterday that political independence has lost meaning to the majority of Zambians because they are economically dependent or completely marginalised.
He said there is nothing to “dine and wine” for because most Zambians cannot afford the wine.
Mr Hichilema said if genuine freedom fighters that died during the struggle woke up, they would cry to see what is happening in the country.
Meanwhile, Open Society Foundation (OSF) executive director Sunday Chanda has said Mr Hichilema’s justification for boycotting Independence Day celebrations is misplaced.
“We wish to advise here that the catalogue of challenges as provided by Mr Hichilema, while real, is not just a Zambian phenomenon, it is in all neighbouring countries, including South Africa and almost all former colonies.
“Instead, we ask Mr Hichilema and other political leaders to use 24th October to summon the intelligentsia in their respective political establishments to devise mechanisms to defeat these challenges,” he said.
He said politicking over a serious national event must be avoided.
“Zambians must recognise the significance of decolonising ourselves from imperialists,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said OSF also believes that political freedom must lead to economic freedom adding that Zambia’s current economic model excludes the majority and must be dismantled.
On Monday, President Sata said Mr Hichilema is being selfish by calling on Zambians to shun the Independence Day celebrations out of pure vanity.