- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 20, 2005

Nevers Mumba, dismissed as Zambia’s vice president last year by President Levy Mwanawasa, is running in next year’s national election to replace the man who fired him.

“My involvement in politics has started 20 years ago,” the candidate told The Washington Times in an interview this week.

“I am highly confident that morality and integrity are what is needed to bring healing not only to Zambia but to the entire African continent,” he said.

The candidate held his vice presidential office for 17 months before being dismissed after a disagreement on how to fight corruption.

Mr. Mwanawasa was sworn in as president of Zambia in January 2002, becoming the third man to rule the country since independence in 1964.

His predecessors were Kenneth Kaunda, the independence figure who ruled for 26 years, and Frederick Chiluba, who sought to perpetuate his rule through constitutional means but failed.

Mr. Mwanawasa’s victory in the election held in December 2001 had been a scant one as he polled just 28.7 percent of the votes cast, while the nearest of the other 10 candidates polled 26.7 percent.

The result was challenged by his opponents as well as international institutions such as the European Union and Carter Center, headed by former President Jimmy Carter.

“The Carter Center has serious concerns about electoral irregularities and the lack of transparency in Zambia’s vote tabulation,” the group said on its Web site.

“While we have not seen clear evidence of vote rigging, it is critical for the electoral commission of Zambia to release all polling station results and to explain reported discrepancies.”

Mr. Mumba said he is running for the presidency for two reasons.

The first, he said, is to address the crippling corruption crisis in the country, and the second “for reform and democratic transformation.”

“When the president took power he gave false promises to Zambians to fight corruption and ironically he is involved heavily in corruption right now,” Mr. Mumba said, without giving specifics.

Mr. Mumba is known to many as a high profile television evangelist, in Zambia and several other African nations.

He is a regular guest on the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach.

Mr. Mumba is the founder and president of Victory Ministries International.

“Unlike his claims of being a democratic leader, the president expelled me from my position as vice president after declaring my intention to run for presidency in the coming election in October 2006,” Mr. Mumba said.

Mr. Mumba and Mr. Mwanawasa belong to the same political party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy.

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