Zambians have expressed shock at the disparaging comments and insults directed at PF ministers and opposition political leaders by first republican president Kenneth Kaunda during the commemoration of 49th independence anniversary in Kitwe on Thursday.
Opposition MMD leader NeversMumba said that it is most unfortunate that the occasion was spoiled by utterances from Dr Kaunda who turned it into a time to disparage the former ruling political party, the MMD, and other opposition political parties.
And Operation Young Vote (OYV) says it is a pity that first republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda is dividing the ruling PF more by launching attacks on the ministers that championed the “Sata for 2016” campaign.
Mumba said former presidents are supposed to be statesmen and women who must conduct themselves well and with impeccable decorum.
He said Dr. Kaunda was the Father of the Nation, and must therefore desist from thinking that he had friends and enemies in Zambia.
“The sour statements which Dr. Kaunda made have not gone down well with right-thinking Zambians across the country. Everyone is surprised and asking the question, “what is wrong with the old man?” or “has the Old Man joined politics contrary to the Republican Constitution on former heads of state?” he said.
He said Kaunda had an immense responsibility to assist fellow Zambians in keeping the unity of the nation.
Mumba wondered how President Sata had become a great man today when he defected from the United National Independence Party in 1990 to campaign against Kaunda and that vice president Scott was part of anti -Kaunda and anti-UNIP campaigns at that time.
“It is very unfortunate and sad that Dr. Kaunda can stomach hate against the MMD up to this day. Losing democrats never hate victors.The ruling Patriotic Front appears to be abusing the old man by making him its campaign manager following the dwindling of its fortunes in popularity. Let it be known by the great Zambian people that the MMD cannot be shaken by such petty and false criticism from a senile retiree,” Mumba said.
He said his party the MMD took the opportunity to condemn Dr. Kaunda and his insults in the strongest terms possible and with the contempt they deserve.
The opposition leader further urged the PF to find constructive projects and programmes where former heads of state could be assigned instead of being “wild campaigners” or indeed appearing in courts on fabricated offences.
And OYV executive director Guess Nyirenda said it is unacceptable that president Kaunda who should be regarded as a beacon and icon of peace and unity was now fanning division in the ruling party by labeling ministers foolish and stupid.
Nyirenda charged that it was not right for Kaunda to refer to ministers serving the current government as foolish for expressing their democratic right.
“As much as we appreciated what KK did for this country, we also remember how he also mistreated people that expressed contrary views to him. He called Zambians stupid and foolish idiots and for a head of state it is not right to display such attitude towards the people of this country.
“If Kaunda wants to get back to politics, he should do so clearly and be ready to forfeit his benefits. The people using KK to gain political mileage are being unfair to him and it’s unfortunate that the old man is just following without saying no,” said Nyirenda.
He said president Kaunda was expected to give advice to President Sata on how best he could resolve the wrangles in the ruling party other than fanning more divisions.