Friday, October 18, 2013

It's tribalists at work - Kabimba
By Allan Mulenga
Wed 25 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

WE have a clique of tribalists emerging in the PF who are sponsoring anarchy, says the party's secretary general Wynter Kabimba. And slogan-chanting PF cadres yesterday morning marched from PF Lusaka district offices to the national secretariat housed at Lusaka House, demanding Kabimba's removal.

Reacting to the PF cadres demanding his removal as secretary general, Kabimba, who is also justice minister, said it is tribalists at work and he would not succumb to tribal elements in the party and relinquish his position.

"We have in PF a clique of tribalists that is emerging. The youths that you see marching on the streets of Lusaka today are being used as tools in the hands of a clique of tribalists that is emerging in the Patriotic Front. I didn't know myself or let me say that, I have been naive all along in my belief and judgement that all those of us that have been referring to UPND as being a tribal political party were themselves non-believers in tribalism. I have been naive," he said.
"The truth of the matter is that a lot of the people that have been condemning the UPND as being a political party of tribalists are themselves tribalists; maybe even stronger tribalists than UPND members."

Kabimba said a clique of "tribal elements" was financing PF cadres to cover up for their tribal agenda.

"In order to cover up for that tribal agenda, they have now resorted to hiring innocent youths to propel their political agenda. That is what is going on. These are the people that went to the people of Zambia in 2010 and 2011, campaigning that we would like to unite the country across ethnic diversity and that people should not vote for the UPND because it was ethnically tribal," he said. "The people of Zambia believed us in that message. After taking power, a clique now has emerged in PF which is more tribal in their thinking, in their action, in their attitude, in their deeds, than the UPND."

Kabimba said his contribution to the PF was across ethnic diversity.

"You can't cheat the Zambian people in that way. So, I am becoming the sacrificial lamb of that tribal agenda. Because I didn't go out to the Zambian people to cheat them, to lie to them that I was participating in the PF on tribal lines," he said.

"I genuinely believed and I still believe today that my service, my contribution to the PF as a political party and to the PF government, is to all Zambians across ethnic diversity."

Kabimba wondered why a "clique of tribalists" had emerged when the PF did not campaign on tribal lines.

"That was my position then and that is still my position today. I will never lie to the Zambian people the way this clique has lied. I want to make emphasis that those poor youths are being financed by this clique of tribalists that is emerging in the Patriotic Front after assuming power. And the Zambian people must judge them for what they are. Because this country has remained united, it remained united under UNIP because of ethnic unity," he said.

"That is the message we put to the Zambian people when we were campaigning, that MMD was taking us on the route of having this country divided on ethnic lines and we said as PF that we shall not allow that to happen."

And Kabimba said he would not succumb to the "clique of tribalists" to relinquish his position as PF secretary general.

"To my surprise, there existed and still exists in our midst a camp of tribal elements that think now that they can use the youths on the streets to achieve their tribal agenda. This is the core of this anarchy being fuelled by these tribal elements. The sooner we get them exposed, the better for the unity of this country. I will not succumb to these tribal elements," said Kabimba.

And business in the central business district of Lusaka came to a standstill yesterday morning when PF cadres chanting anti-Kabimba slogans staged a peaceful procession.

The placard-carrying cadres were also chanting Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba's names.
They vowed to continue staging protests until Kabimba relinquishes his position.

Police had to be called in to calm the situation as the crowd became violent upon joining Cairo Road from Kafue Roundabout.

This prompted pedestrians to rush to the roadside to catch a glimpse of what was happening.

Meanwhile, PF deputy secretary general Bridget Atanga said the wrangles in the party could only be resolved by President Michael Sata and Kabimba.

Atanga said the behaviour of PF cadres was embarrassing in the eyes of the opposition.

"I am just too junior; this problem can only be solved by the President himself and the secretary general himself. The President and the secretary general have to make a decision. At the end of the day, I don't think anybody can solve this problem. I am not against Mr Kabimba. I have worked with Mr Kabimba well. After all, in every institution where there are two people or so, the're always differences, but they are not differences that one would want another person to suffer," Atanga said.

"I am also watching the top bosses and see how they will solve this problem. I am just too junior to solve it myself. It is very sad; even our opponents will start laughing at us. We feel embarrassed us who are found in office. It is like we have failed to tame them (cadres). These are the majority voters and when we were fighting, they were there through and through. We just have to handle them properly."

And PF Lusaka district chairperson Robert Chikwelete said PF cadres would not stop protesting until Kabimba relinquishes his position.

Chikwelete, who was recently recognised as PF Lusaka district chairperson, said the removal of Kabimba from his position was in the interest of the party.

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