PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says Kenyan law professor Patrick Lumumba is a disgrace to educated people because whilst claiming to be an intellectual, he plagiarised someone else’s academic work last year.
Prof Lumumba was denied entry into Zambia last Saturday on national security grounds, but the Kenyan described the barring as an act of stupidity, adding that he would write to President Edgar Lungu and the African Union to register his displeasure.
But the PF has not taken kindly to the Professors remarks, forcing party functionaries to jump to the government’s defence; digging out plagiarism claims reported in Kenyan media involving him.
Reacting to Prof Lumumba’s remarks, Phiri who is former Zambia’s High Commissioner to Kenya charged that the anti-corruption icon was a fraud even in his own country.
“Who is this Professor Patrick Lumumba? In Kenya the way they know him, this is somebody who stole Wachira Maina’s work and pretended that it was his work. Wachira Maina went to court last year. And I’m sure you’ve heard that he was told to write an apology within 14 days. Can you call such a person a credible person? From the time I heard that story, I was even thinking [to say] we have so many crooked people [and] if he can steal somebody’s work and pretend that it’s his work [and] only to acknowledge that it’s true that it wasn’t his work when he was taken to court. Can you call such a person credible?” Phiri wondered.
Phiri said there was nothing sinister about the barring of Prof Lumumba, remembering that even president Michael Sata was barred from entering Malawi before he formed government.
“Is this the first time a deportation is happening? we had our own former president, the late Michael Sata (may his soul rest in peace), he was brought back from Malawi and I remember that story very well. He was blocked on the Muchinji boarder. He was bundled in a Land Rover. In fact Lumumba was told to sit in the plane but our own late president Michael Sata was bundled in a Land Rover. Did you hear any noise from Zambians?” she asked.
“I would like to urge Zambians [that] it’s us who are contributing to the downfall of the Kwacha because of the negatives we are saying about or own country. Let us be positive. Yes we don’t agree with criticism but let it be constructive. I heard my brother Mr [Brebner] Changala apologising to Lumumba on behalf of Zambians, apologising for what? Apologising for a discredited professor in his own country? I was surprised because in Zambia we have credible professors. Somebody who can steal somebody’s work and is in court and you call him credible, shame to you the educated because me I am a marketer and I don’t go and steal tomatoes at somebody’s farm to make me look like I am farming. I do it practically myself. It’s very shameful [and] we are demeaning ourselves as a country.”
And Phiri said if the Kenyan government was unhappy with the decision that Zambia had taken against its national, it was that country’s High Commission in Zambia that is supposed to complain through established channels.
“With all these people who are being deported like the Zimbabwean, this same Kenyan, one thing which is surprising is that their own countries are not protesting, because under normal diplomatic etiquette… and I am speaking as a former High Commissioner for that matter, if as a Zambian I get deported, it’s my country which is supposed to write to the High Commissioner who is representing that country. The way Patrick Lumumba was deported from Zambia, the people who were supposed to complain is the Kenyan High Commission in Zambia, but have we seen anything from their embassy here? Nothing. So what is the problem? It’s us Zambians who are degrading our own country which is very unfortunate,” said Phiri.
– Zambian observer