MANY followers of Nevers Mumba still remember that young, sharp-witted, rapid-fire tele-evangelist who wowed Pentecostal church crowds with his moving sermons under the theme “Zambia shall be saved”.
Nevers pioneered the ‘‘Pente’’ movement in Zambia under the Victory Ministries label and within a short time he was a household name. Thousands thronged his open-air crusades and were thrilled by his American-tinged intonation, stage antics and sheer energy.
Today’s Nevers Mumba is something else. How politics can change a man!
Yesterday our beloved man of God was effectively thrown out as president of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, the hallowed organization which brought multi-partyism to Zambia, which he was privileged to lead over the past five years.
Dr Mumba lost the do-or-die legal battle with former Lunte parliamentarian Felix Mutati to have the recent MMD convention in Kabwe annulled by the High Court. The court ruled that Nevers was forum shopping – jumping from one court to another, using the same facts and arguments – an abuse of the court process.
It was probably the final nail in the coffin of a man whose disenchanted followers accused of being over-ambitious, incorrigible, impervious to reason and too proud to accept defeat.
Dr Mumba must now learn to be humble, open to divergent views and to turn the other cheek when the need arises as his former vocation demands. Above all he must accept that it is over when it is over.
The former republican Vice President took over MMD when it was the most viable, organized and heavily resourced opposition party, having built its reputation, assets and membership over 20 years of uninterrupted leadership of the country.
Many die-hard supporters of the ‘‘Pa-nkoloko’’ believed that the 2011 loss to the now ruling Patriotic Front was a flash in the pan and that MMD would be back sooner rather than later. Alas, they were wrong.
Dr Mumba dismembered the MMD super structure with his own hands, set it on fire and accused his invisible enemies of being responsible. He ran the political party like a katemba where he fired and hired senior party executives. In the end he was left to preside over a hollow kingdom in the fashion of that proverbial king who appeared at a state ceremony in his birthday suit.
MMD ceased to exist and function a long time ago but Dr Mumba, the lame-duck president, still believed he was in charge. Even when hundreds of genuine MMD lovers and founder members converged on the Mulungushi Rock of Authority to decide his fate, the man called them jokas and imposters.
He even spurned Mutati’s invitation for him to go and hand over the MMD honourably and still remain a respected former party leader. Now the man has no party, no followers and no party secretariat
Stranger than fiction, the man was on Thursday signing a memorandum of understanding with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to forge an alliance with MMD. Which MMD? The man has no party to stake for a position in any alliance. He is now a one-man “MMD’’.
No wonder many Zambians who were inspired by that young pastor of the Victory Ministries wished he did not make the fatal mistake of forsaking God for the mirage of political power, money and influence.
Sadly, Dr Nevers Mumba has lost all of them.