Friday, October 25, 2013

They're tearing Sata up - Scott
By Moses Kuwema
Mon 30 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

Vice-President Guy Scott says the people that have been organising others in order to remove Wynter Kabimba from the position of secretary general are after President Michael Sata. And Vice-President Scott says Kabimba's departure would be a serious loss to the PF and President Sata in particular.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Scott says Robert Chikwelete is misrepresenting himself as Lusaka district chairman because he was not recognised by President Sata and certainly has no letter of appointment.

Vice-President Scott yesterday emphasised that the real target of the "schemers" was President Sata, who was being put into conflict with the PF Central Committee and party officials generally.

"The real issue is that current events are in fact an attack on his leadership, intended to undermine his power," he said.

He said those that wanted to remove Kabimba were bent on controlling the party.

He said the people who wanted to weaken President Sata were the ones who were a danger to the party and were causing the confusion.

"These people are bent on dividing the party. They are after Michael Sata's power if not even his job. This is a much bigger thing than we think, it is not just playing with cadres. Although they are using the language of endorsement, it puts Michael at odds with other leaders, which is an intolerable position. They are tearing him up - on one side there are his lieutenants of many years, who have done so much to put him in power… and on the other hand mob justice or kangaroo justice is being handed out by people who have no idea what they are doing. The basic thing is that the whole thing (calls for Kabimba to resign) is aimed at the old man, to put him in a difficult if not impossible position," Vice-President Scott said.

He said the calls for Kabimba to go were a cleverer bit of political engineering than he had originally thought.

Vice-President Scott, who is also PF vice-president, said President Sata, Kabimba and himself worked so hard to ensure that PF reached where it was today and would not allow it to go to the dogs.

"We made the PF work because of Wynter, me and the boss (President Sata), and other dedicated people. In the hard days, we made it work,even when others were hammering us. Yes, he (Wynter) is my friend but that is not the overriding consideration in politics. But the fact is it would be a serious loss to PF, and the President most particularly," he said.

Vice-President Scott described calls for Kabimba to resign as hard to understand. When asked if there was any charge of arrogance in the PF constitution which the people that have been calling for Kabimba to leave, have been referring to, Vice-President Scott responded: "Yes he can be arrogant, he is a lawyer. And lawyers are funny people. But a lot of people are arrogant, and I am simply failing to understand exactly what he is alleged to have done. People have now started criticising his remarks on tribalism, but these came after some weeks of protest and coffins. Really, I don't understand any specific allegations that caused this whole thing to get started."

Asked about Kabimba's party management, Scott said: "Anyone who controls the money faces unpopularity. And since MMD, many people believe that there is so much money available in the party, but they don't see it. Rather than helping the party by explaining that resources are limited, people who would like to undermine Wynter have led people to believe that he is somehow depriving them for his own selfish reasons."

And on reports that Kabimba was being propped up to form his own political party through an online publication Barotse Times, Vice-President Scott said Kabimba was not stupid.

"Wynter may be guilty of a bit of arrogance, may be guilty of a bit of one thing or another, but he certainly is not stupid. That will be the most crazy thing for him to do, to align himself with the Barotseland calls, where is your point? You are secretary general of the ruling party in Zambia and you go and mess around with Barotse politics; it is just nonsense," he said.

On allegations that Kabimba was plotting against President Sata, Vice-President Scott said that was fake.

"If the guy becomes a threat to the presidency and the boss does not like that, he can stop him. Does he need his own students to teach him a lesson in politics? If he is under any kind of political threat, I have not the slightest doubt about his abilities to deal with it. He does not need Willie Nsanda or Robert Chikwelete or Guy Scott to come along and teach him," he said.

When asked over some calls by cadres that Kabwata member of parliament Given Lubinda should take over from Kabimba as secretary general of the PF, Vice-President Scott responded: "I hope my friend (Lubinda) is not allowing himself to be used in this whole masquerade, pantomime. He has been and can continue to be a very useful member of the party."

And Vice-President Scott expressed worry at the use of the public media in doing propaganda against members of the government on behalf of other members of the same government.

"We have had headlines saying 'Stop lying Kabimba - says another minister'. What is this? In the government papers? We have had ZNBC stories that Wynter is about to join some Barotse separatist, new party. This is not right at all. And the story is so implausible that not even the Watchdog would print it. My searches through Google have not revealed the existence of the Barotse Times somewhere. What is this kind of journalism doing?" he wondered.

Vice-President Scott wondered what information and broadcasting permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba was doing at the ministry if he was failing to ensure journalistic standards.

Vice-President Scott observed that it was unfortunate that just when the Independent Broadcasting Authority had been brought in, there was apparent manipulation of the public media.

He vowed to discredit the whole propaganda in the next Central Committee meeting.

And on Chikwelete, Vice-President Scott said the former Lusaka City Council mayor was nobody in PF.

Vice-President Scott said that during the launch of the Pave Zambia 2000 road project in Chawama, President Sata only recognised Chikwelete as the chairman for Chawama Constituency and not Lusaka district.

"I heard this, and later verified that Chikwelete is not a party official beyond the Chawama Constituency. In our party, we do things with letters. If I am going to be appointed chairman of women's affairs, I get a letter saying that I am appointed. If Chikwelete is district chairman, let him show us his letter," Vice-President Scott said.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Scott described a consultative meeting that was held in Lusaka over the weekend, at which it was resolved by 'PF members across the 10 provinces' that Kabimba should leave his post as secretary general, as a kangaroo court that did not follow clearly laid down party procedures.

Vice-President Scott wondered which 10 provinces had resolved that Kabimba leaves when the Luapula Provincial Executive Committee, who were in his company over the weekend, did not want to be part of the 'nonsense' because they did not understand it.

He said the provincial committee told him that there were only two women whom he said were freelance PF members that had travelled to Lusaka to attend the meeting.

"I happened to be in Luapula doing my job, but I am quite sure that if I was in other provinces instead of Luapula, I would find the story is the same. The idea that the 10 provinces of Zambia have met and decided sensibly, honestly and then voted according to our laid down procedures is totally nonsense. It is witch-hunting," he said.

Vice-President Scott said he did not want to allow the outcomes of this meeting to be presented as if they were legitimate, because the people who convened the meeting, and their process, were not respectable at all.

"Of course, there were people who went along to the consultative meeting in Lusaka who thought it was a proper forum, and they can be forgiven, but this meeting was not conducted in good faith," he said.

Vice-President Scott said he was impressed with the PF members in Luapula Province, a province he said gave the PF almost a 100 per cent vote during the general elections in 2011.

"These are President Sata's supporters, they are not jokers. Luapula Province was the highest-scoring Province as it almost had 100 per cent in terms of PF seats. That was largely due to the party conventions and so forth that we held in Luapula, and we can see that observing proper process is good for the party and has good results," he said.

Asked for a final comment, Vice-President Scott responded: "Let us be very clear with unruly behaviour; it is not what people voted for and not what they will vote for in 2016. Let us work on implementing our vision for development, which is the job we were given to do."

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