Friday, December 21, 2012

Youths turn against Lubinda, demand payment for welcoming him

Youths turn against Lubinda, demand payment for welcoming him
By Kombe Chimpinde and Tilyenji Mwanza
Thu 20 Dec. 2012, 14:00 CAT

SOME Lusaka youths that had been ferried to welcome foreign affairs minister Given Lubinda at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday turned against him and demanded that they be paid for going to receive him.

And Kabwata constituency chairman David Silubanje yesterday said UPND cadres welcomed Lubinda.

The youths, some clad in PF attire, complained of hunger and said they were promised money for welcoming Lubinda at the airport but were disappointed that the foreign affairs minister and the organisers had not paid them.

Some of the youths said they wanted Lubinda to give them the plots he promised them during campaigns in 2011.

But Silubanje said there were 45 pieces of chitenge materials, which were given to UPND cadres purporting to be PF cadres to go and welcome Lubinda.

He said around 13:00 hours, two buses were impounded at Kabwata Market and were full of UPND cadres.

Silubanje said he had ordered that the UPND cadres be released with their 45 PF materials and that was the group, which headed to the airport to receive their member.

Lubinda arrived at the airport around 14:50 hours and was welcomed by his deputy Efron Lungu.

Outside the airport terminal, over 50 youths waited for him to air their grievances over the plots in Chilenje compound which they claimed Lubinda promised them during campaigns.

Lubinda emerged from the airport and thanked the youths for going to welcome him at the airport and immediately took off dodging the catcalls on election promises from the youths and avoiding to answer questions from journalists over accusations of treachery within his party.

Soon after he left, the youths turned round and complained that Lubinda did not give them an opportunity to air their grievances in the constituency.

Mangani Phiri who spoke on behalf of the cadres said that it had been close to four years now since Lubinda promised to facilitate the allocation of Maploto plots to them.

"What our MP told us during campaigns, was that we should register our names and attach our national registration cards for consideration of plots in Maploto area located in Chilenje. When we went back to complain to him, he asked us to send our representatives to him but nothing is coming out," said Phiri.

"Up to now, we are still waiting. So, that is why we thought of using this opportunity to remind him of the promise he made because it is clear that he has abandoned us after campaigns."

And Lubinda said he will answer to treachery charges levelled against him.

And asked to respond to allegations of treachery by Silubanje, Lubinda said he was not aware of the new allegations.

Further quizzed if he had responded to Wynter Kabimba's demand for an exculpatory letter, Lubinda said: "it is him (Kabimba)who wrote to me. Go to him and find out not to me. Go to him and find out," he said.
He urged the youths to be peaceful, orderly and truthful to God after thanking them for coming to receive him.

"I'm sure you will find people who will quarrel with you, but stay away from them. Be peaceful and pray to God. Know that yours truly is very happy and back home and yours truly will answer all questions," said Lubinda.

And UPND says Lubinda will be received with warm arms should he decide to turn to UPND.

In an interview on Tuesday, UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said if Lubinda was expelled from PF or decided to rejoin the party, no one in the party would obstruct his welcome.

Mweetwa said UPND was the birth place for Lubinda and therefore his home.

"In the event that he left PF, he has the democratic right to associate with anybody including ourselves and he would be received with a warm welcome. No one and I mean no one, would bar him from coming into UPND. He would be warmly received back home to the UPND," said Mweetwa.

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