SPECIAL assistant to the President for political affairs, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika has said that he is not fighting the Litunga of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) or blaming him for the alleged weakening of the MMD in Western Province.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said in response to a Press query yesterday that he did not as alleged in the Post newspapers of November 18, 2009 speak against the Litunga and his leadership and that no one mentioned the name of the Litunga in the MMD meeting that was held on November 15 this year at Andrews Motel in Lusaka.

He said he did not, during the meeting, bring any person, name, title or authority of the Head of Barotse into disputable or contentious issues or any other traditional leadership during the meeting.

“To do otherwise is a taboo. I would not do it, even to save my life. Only an ill socialised and traditionally uncultured person can do that,” the statement reads in part.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika also said the meeting was not dominated by issues pertaining to one person or one part of the country and that the issues that were raised that related to the former Western Province chairperson Simasiku Namakando were the most marginal and least consequential.

He said the views that he expressed on the matter were not the ones that were ascribed to him in the Post newspaper.

He said of late, accusations bent on alienating him from the Barotse and Zambian leadership even those to divide his family had been based on inaccuracies and falsehoods.

“In decent times of fair and just media and decent honest politics, this statement would not be necessary, even in self defence. In the past, I have often not responded to outrageous accusations. I had hoped that the knowledge of, and respect for our customs and traditions would prevent such falsehoods being taken seriously. But these are not decent times,” Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said.

He said people that fear him would continue attempting to assassinate him politically or otherwise.

He said the meeting referred to in the article was convened as a private party conversation facility by the MMD through the treasurer, Suresh Desai.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said he did not officiate the meeting as alleged because he was not an office holder in the party.
He said there was no opinion or decision of the meeting that was made through him.

The Post newspapers of November 18 this year carried a story that said that Mr Lewanika officiated an MMD meeting that blamed the Litunga and Mr Namakando for the party’s recent fall out in Western Province.

[Times of Zambia]