Friday, October 25, 2013

Mulenga wants Wynter to stay
By Abel Mboozi and Tilyenji Mwanza
Tue 01 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba is my elder brother and I would personally want him to continue as PF secretary general, says Mulenga Sata.

Mulenga, who is Lusaka deputy mayor, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that what was happening to Kabimba should, however, serve as a lesson to all leaders in the PF.

A few weeks ago some PF members in Lusaka sent a petition to President Michael Sata through his son Mulenga demanding for the removal of Kabimba as secretary general of the party.

The cadres, who had earlier been involved in a fight with another PF group which was against endorsing President Sata for another term, said they wanted Mulenga to talk to his father over going for another term and to deal with Kabimba.

The group had marched to Mulenga's home, where they presented the petition.

The cadres also petitioned Sata's son to have Lusaka district and provincial leaderships dissolved.

Mulenga promised to convey the message to the party leadership including Kabimba, Vice President Guy Scott and his father.

Mulenga was also among officials that attended a consultative meeting in Lusaka that deliberated on Kabimba's issue and which culminated in a resolution to remove the secretary general.

Asked to comment on calls for Kabimba to resign as PF secretary general, Mulenga said: "Personally, Wynter is my elder brother, who I would want to continue as SG. What is happening to him should serve as a lesson for all of us from the bottom to the top leadership. I am not taking any sides but working at helping resolve these issues."

Mulenga said there was no need for protests over an issue that the PF could resolve amicably.

"My call to all the PF members countrywide is that we should resolve our wrangles peacefully. We are one family and as such, harmony should prevail," he said.

Mulenga said failure by the PF to deal with internal wrangles had the potential of breaking the ruling party.

He said PF members worked hard to strengthen the party and it was regrettable that the squabbles were now weakening it.

"The earlier we resolve this tiff, the better because if we don't do it now, by the time we realise, it might be too late. This will not be good for all of us," Mulenga said.

He said he was helping to resolve the wrangles in the PF by encouraging dialogue and peaceful resolution.

"I am in my small way trying by all means to resolve the situation in an amicable manner. I am meeting people at the grassroots levels to help them realise that all these protests are bad to the wellbeing of the country as well as the unity of the party," he said.

Mulenga said he deliberately remained quiet over the PF wrangles because he had been actively involved in seeking a peaceful solution.

"The wrangles are not necessary because as a party, we have only been in government for two years, and Zambians are expecting us to deliver and not perpetuate disruptions in production through uncalled for protests," said Mulenga.

And Frank Bwalya says it is very sad to see Kabimba being humiliated by PF members after all his done for the party.

Bwalya, who is Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) president said Kabimba was one of the most upright and hard working men in the PF and the treatment he had received from PF members was uncalled for.

"It is not necessary to bruise the man in the manner they are doing, having worked with him, I can say he was one of the most hardworking people even for party mobilisation and it is sad to see how he is being treated," he said.

He said the manner in which the PF were handling the matter would end up destroying the whole party as a whole.

"PF is behaving like a man who sees a snake in his house and decides to set the house on fire to kill the snake. They will burn their house if they are not careful," Bwalya said.

"And as a person, I feel for Mr. Kabimba. No human being deserves to be humiliated in this manner, awe, it is not right."

Bwalya added that the current wrangles in the PF were an indictment on President Sata's leadership.

"People are looking at him as having failed to deal with his house. He is failing to handle such a small matter and they will conclude that he does not have the capacity to handle more complicated national issues," Bwalya said.

Meanwhile, North Western Province PF chairman Fabian Chiposo has dissociated the province from demands to have Kabimba leave his post.
And Western Province provincial political secretary Alfred Miyato says Kabimba has a supervisor and it was the responsibility of that person to discipline him if he misbehaved in anyway.

Chiposo said even the people that attended the consultative meeting over the weekend went there in their own capacity and not as representatives of the Province.

"Let me inform the nation that people reported to have represented the North Western Province at the gathering (consultative meeting) went in their own capacity and not as representatives of the Province," he said.

Chiposo said the official position of the Province on Kabimba was that he was still the PF secretary general until the appointing authority, who was President Michael Sata, made a decision on the matter.

And Miyato said Kabimba had supervisors who should discipline him when he misbehaves and it was therefore, not the duty of party members to mete out discipline on him. "It is the responsibility of the supervisor to discipline Kabimba. What those people are doing actually…they are now showing us that the supervisor is not working. In as far as we are concerned, we don't want to be part of that," he said.

Miyato said there was no official notification to the Province for the consultative meeting that took place over the weekend.

"To start with, nobody told us about what is happening in Lusaka. We are just reading about it in the papers. As far as Western Province is concerned, we were not party to that and we are still not party. It is not true to say all provinces were represented,"he said.

Miyato said he had been inconstant touch with his provincial chairman and all provincial officials who were supposed to have represented their respective provinces, but that they all expressed ignorance about the consultative meeting.

"We were not party to that. If there was any from our executive, that person was not mandated by the provincial committee. I being the provincial political secretary, I am not aware, the provincial chairman is not aware. We have not held any meeting to mandate anyone to travel to Lusaka to be part of that gathering," said Miyato.

And Cornelius Mweetwa says Kabimba is being hounded out of the PF because he has shown willingness to fight corruption.

Kabimba on Friday said corrupt elements wanted to take advantage of the absence of President Michael Sata to hound him out of the party.

"Most of my colleagues are busy flying out of the country almost every other week. They are busy doing business in their government offices. They are busy acquiring tenders to prop up their businesses which were failing when they were in the opposition. I don't do any of those things; my concentration has been on holding this party together," he said.

Kabimba added: "My enemies in the party are playing the game of the appeasement, so that they can show their political fortunes. They think that is what it means to be good politicians. I do not think so myself. To be a good leader means to govern a country in the interest of everybody."

And Mweetwa who is African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption chairperson said the PF secretary general was being used as a sacrificial lamb for the ruling party's failures when he had clearly highlighted that there was a lot of corruption going on in the party.

"...From what we are seeing,Kabimba is fighting a lone battle against corruption because this is not the first time he has said his colleagues are corrupt and nothing has been done about it," he said.
Mweetwa said his organisation was concerned with reports of rampant plunder of national resources in the PFas revealed by Kabimba.
He questioned whether the corruption cases highlighted by Kabimba were what the nation had voted for and challenged President Sata to address the matter.

"This is not the first time that Wynter has said this and we did not see any reaction from the President,and the sad part, even the Vice-President said the same thing. Corrupt people should not hijack the PF and the PF government should be the last ones to be involved or associated with corruption," said Mweetwa, adding that the allegedcorruption in government would undermine investor confidence and affect foreign direct investments.

Mweetwa said President Sata should come out strong and address the corruption highlighted by Kabimba.

And McDonald Mulongoti says elements that have risen against Kabimba in the PF merely want to advance their selfish motives that will be detrimental to the survival of the party.

Mulongoti, who is immediate past Chingola mayor, said Kabimba should not yield to pressure from 'bad elements' that had no interest of the party at heart.

"I am supporting Kabimba due to his forthrightness. I have known him to be an objective person, who is straightforward in his dealings and makes bold decisions," he said. Mulongoti said people should know that those that had risen against Kabimba as secretary general wanted to advance their personal interests or egos.

"They want to protect their businesses because they know that if he remains SG, they will not be ablet to manipulate adoptions for parliamentary seats in 2016," he said.

Mulongoti said Kabimba had always stood his ground that parliamentary seat adoptions should be conducted in a transparent manner and based on merit and not incumbency.

"In 2011, those that were not adopted based on merit as per the circular Kabimba issued campaigned against him; even at the party convention in Kabwe, the same happened. They de-campaigned him, urging delegates to vote for Given Lubinda," he said.

Mulongoti said such events showed how forthright Kabimba was in making bold decisions aimed at building the party, and not otherwise. He said the clique speaking ill of Kabimba was doing so, knowing that the secretary general is a strong and principled man, who makes audacious decisions.

"I have information that the clique will stop at nothing but ensure that Kabimba loses his position because they are bankrolling these protests.

Kabimba should, however, remain strong because he enjoys my support as well as that of genuine PF members who have the party at heart," Mulongoti said.

He wondered why the PF cadres were being allowed to protest with impunity, in some instances even without police permits and yet the opposition was being denied the same right.

"Why is home affairs minister Edgar Lungu and the police applying selective justice by allowing disgruntled cadres to protest against Kabimba and yet the opposition is denied permits?"Mulongoti asked.
He also questioned why protests had degenerated in the absence of President Sata.

"I am wondering why we are witnessing wild protests just after President Sata left the country. This to me shows that the clique is working against the President; it wants to undermine the leadership of the President," Mulongoti said.

He said President Sata should institute reshuffles to his Cabinet immediately he comes back as it had become apparent that some of his senior ministers were behind the protests.

"Personally, I will support Kabimba through and through. I won't abandon him, I know what he has done for the PF and so far, he is the best SG we have ever had in PF," said Mulongoti, adding that Kabimba's contribution to the PF was too immense to ignore.

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