Friday, October 18, 2013

Tribal prejudice at work in PF - Scott
By Moses Kuwema and Prudence Phiri
Fri 27 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-President Dr Guy Scott says there is some element of tribal prejudice at work in the calls for PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba to resign.

And Vice-President Scott says there is also a large element of corru ption involved in the people who are causing confusion in the PF because they are trying to immunize themselves against forces of law and order.

Commenting on Kabimba's statement that there was a clique of tribal elements that was sponsoring anarchy in the Patriotic Front, Vice-President Scott who is also party vice president, however, said the use of the term 'tribal clique' could have certain implications.

"The use of a term like tribal clique has certain implications…There is certainly some element of tribal prejudice at work. Whether this amounts to a clique or a conspiracy or simply to old habits that die hard, I would not be in a position to judge because I don't have a tribe, unless Scottish is a tribe. So I don't know very much about tribalism," he said.

Vice-President Scott said there was a procedure that needed to be followed before Kabimba could be removed.

"You cannot call for somebody to leave in this fashion protests. If you want somebody to leave, assuming that that's what you genuinely want, there are procedures. You write a complaint to the secretariat or if it is against the party secretary general, to the executive and say you want to give evidence, you want this matter considered. Then you go and give your evidence about what the secretary general has been up to, why you don't want him, which elements of party disciplinary code he has violated. If the decision goes against him, then he gets removed," he said.

Vice-President Scott said it was the same procedure that was used on Kabwata member of parliament Given Lubinda.

"He Lubinda was not hounded by people baying for his blood, taking off their trousers and standing on the roof of galimoto (vehicles) like 'funtad' (mad) people. He was removed by recourse to the procedures," he said.

And Vice-President Scott said there was certainly a large element of corruption involved in the people who were causing the disruption in the PF.

He said these people were trying to immunise themselves against forces of law and order.

"I think there are a lot of aspects and forces at work including opposition forces, wanting to confuse the party from inside. We are acting against it. I think it is being taken. It will not run forever. I expect it to be under good control in the next few days," he said.

Vice-President Scott said there were people within the PF who had their own agendas.

"Let me give you an example; there are land grabs going on throughout Lusaka. People claiming to be PF cadres who are selling land in Lusaka West, in Chawama, Chalimbana, in Kampasa. We have had a lot of people purporting to be PF cadres. It is difficult to say who is a PF cadre and who is not," he said.

Vice-President Scott said self-appointed PF branch officials do not want to comply with the law were the ones who were causing confusion.

"They think the way to do it is to take a dominant position in the PF. So that, for example, has to be handled and dealt with by the forces of law and order. I am just giving you as an example of the kind of interest that come into play when you get a situation like this. But I would expect everything to be brought back into a disciplined form, disciplined state of affairs," he said.

Asked why the leadership in the PF had allowed the cadres to conduct themselves in the way they had conducted themselves, Vice-President Scott responded: "Who says we are allowing it? It is very difficult to tell in the case of a demonstration, whether it is being allowed or not. But it is not our leadership which allows demonstrations by random people, it is the police. And if you ask me why the police have allowed this, I don't know. I am not part of the police structure but I suppose as long as the demonstration is peaceful, it is very difficult to stop."

Vice-President Scott said there was no active promotion of the indiscipline among the cadres from the leadership of the party.

"If there is then whoever has got the agenda has got a very strange agenda and we have got to find out what it is," he said.

Vice-President Scott further said he never saw most of the cadres that had been marching during the 2011 general elections.

"I have seen people I didn't see in 2011. It is just opportunism. It is a ruling party, if you can intimidate the police, outflank the police, you can use your position as ruling party to abuse the law and to effectively take control of the streets and we are not tolerating it," he said.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Scott agreed with Chishimba Kambwili's observation that the PF would be dead if the infighting were not stopped and added that there was need to bring to an end the anarchy and indiscipline that had rocked the party.

"If you have an organisation that wants to eat itself, it will die. It is like a mad dog eating its own stomach. You cannot have an organisation which is divided against itself, especially an organisation as strong as PF. So we have to bring an end to this anarchy, indiscipline," said Vice-President Scott.

Meanwhile, Kambwili says Kabimba's arrogance towards PF cadres is what will hound him out of the party.

Reacting to Kabimba's accusations that he was part of the tribal clique in the party, Kambwili, who is PF national youth chairperson, said it was unfortunate that the PF secretary general mistook his recent advice for tribalism.

"Munshebwa aile namafi kubuko (He who did not take advice went with faeces to his in-laws). This is the kind of arrogance that we don't need as a nation. Surely, how can someone give you an earnest advice like the one I gave, and I was not biased towards the cadres or towards the secretary general. What I said was a balanced advice to both the cadres and Honourable Wynter Kabimba and if my advice to him means I am a tribalist and I am a member of the PF that wants to hound him out of the party, it's unfortunate," he said.

"What will hound Wynter out of the party is his personal attitude and arrogance. Cadres are complaining that they are chased, he doesn't know how to answer people. The best he can do is to work on those things, rather accusing colleagues and friends of being tribalists."

Kambwili appealed to cadres and Kabimba to stop washing dirty linen in public as this would eventually weaken the party.

"Let us be united because we have a unity of purpose. To my colleague and brother honourable Wynter Kabimba, deep down his heart he knows I have never been associated with tribalism. It is not good to wash dirty linen in public. I am appealing to the cadres, please stop the demonstrations, it's not healthy to the nation and the party. To Wynter, let's be level-headed, be calm. But if he takes on everyone that gives him advice, then it's unfortunate," he said.

Kambwili said the future of the Patriotic Front was intact as no one member was bigger that the party.

On Wednesday, Kabimba accused Kambwili of being part of a clique of tribal elements sponsoring anarchy in PF. Kabimba, who is also justice minister, said Kambwili should know that he Kabimba had many PF supporters who were interested in the affairs of the party.

Speaking to journalists earlier at his office on Wednesday, Kambwili urged Kabimba to apologise to Kabwata PF member of parliament Given Lubinda over the behaviour of PF cadres towards him.

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