Aka was abandoned during Chiluba’s time, claims sister

By Staff Reporter

Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika says her brother, Akashambatwa, left the political arena prematurely because Zambians abandoned him to the ‘wolves’ that terrorised and outmanouvred the founders of the original MMD.

Dr Inonge was responding to a question that a Duncan Mayungano posed on Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika’s Facebook post where he was recounting the events surrounding the evacuation of late president Levy Mwanawasa to South Africa following the accident he suffered in 1992 while he was Frederick Chiluba’s Vice-President.

“Why did you leave the political arena so early? Politics has now gone to the guinea fowls,” Mayungano asked.

Dr Inonge responded: “Because you left him to the ‘wolves’ by your silence & distancing yourselves as ‘they’ terrorised the founders of the ORIGINAL MMD and maneuvered them out. Everyone has to keep watch and be involved.”

In his recollection, Akashambatwa stated that he was among the young turks that had campaigned for Mwanawasa for the position of MMD vice-president in the internal elections of February 1991.

“In the February 1991 internal MMD leadership election, I [was] with others campaigning for Levy Mwanawasa for the Party vice presidency, on the ‘Young Turks’ slate. He was amenable because he had found out that Mr. Chiluba had been offering the vice presidency to several others – Christon Tembo, Baldwin Nkumbula and Vernon Mwaanga – in addition to himself,” he stated. “Thus, we ‘Young Turks’ regarded him as one of us, when he was elected to that position, and later appointed to the State vice presidency.  Hence, when he was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, Young Turks, who included myself, Kopulande, Remmy Mushota, and Boniface Kawimbe, did not even bother to seek presidential permission to accompany Levy Mwanawasa on a midnight evacuation flight to a hospital in South Africa.”

The now Mongu-based Akashambatwa, indicated that it was only on Sunday, the 10th commemoration of Mwanawasa’s death, that he had been reminded of that incident.

“It was only yesterday that I was reminded of the tension and drama of that night by Kopulande. He remembered that Levy Mwanawasa was in such bad shape that he could neither be carried on stretcher nor laid on any seat on the flight,” recounted Akashambatwa

“The four of us had to stand up throughout the Turbulence of takeoff and landing, while holding Levy Mwanawasa in midair.”