Sunday, December 01, 2013

Kabimba responds to Lubinda's letter
By Roy Habaalu and Tilyenji Mwanza
Wed 23 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba says Given Lubinda is trying to launder his political image and standing in the party and in the public. And Lubinda said on Monday that his confidence in having a fair disciplinary action was shaken when Kabimba was quoted in public, saying he (Lubinda) had received a fair trial and the matter was closed.

Responding to Kabwata Constituency PF member of parliament Lubinda's allegations that Kabimba as secretary general of PF mishandled his disciplinary case in which he was found guilty of treachery and working with the opposition to frustrate government policies, Kabimba stated in a letter dated October 22 to Lubinda that he initiated the charges against him as secretary general in accordance with provisions of the party constitution.

Kabimba stated that his role ended after he forwarded copies of the two charge letters and his exculpatory statement to the disciplinary committee chairperson Edgar Lungu.

He wondered why Lubinda accused him of being the judge and the jury in the matter when he was not a member of the disciplinary committee.

"I am surprised that you decided in your own infinite wisdom that such an administrative matter should go to the press instead of us discussing it as colleagues in the party. I am further surprised at the anger and belligerent tone directed at me in your letter. It is clear from your anger that your objective for the same is not to find a remedy but rather to launder your political image and standing in the party and also in public. Unfortunately, however, you cannot achieve your intentions by misrepresentation of facts like you have done," read Kabimba's letter to Lubinda, in part.

Kabimba stated that he was not privy to the disciplinary committee's proceedings at any time during the hearing.

He stated that the disciplinary committee did not report to the secretary general but to the central committee as an independent organ under the PF constitution.

Kabimba stated that if Lubinda had any misgivings about the procedure followed by the committee, he was at liberty to raise the issue with the central committee.

He stated that he only learnt later that he had appeared before the central committee and that he was duly heard.

Kabimba stated that the report that went before the central committee over his case was not that of the secretary general, but that of Lungu.
He stated that he did not attend the central committee meeting which determined Lubinda's case as he was indisposed.

Kabimba stated that it was his considered view that the party's disciplinary procedures were observed and followed, hence his press statement which Lubinda referred to.

"Even in conventional judicial system, it is not the prosecutor who communicates the judgment to the accused person. This is the responsibility of the court. Likewise, the chairman or the secretary of the party's disciplinary committee should have informed you about the verdict in your case and not the secretary general. The statement I made about the expiry of your period of suspension was made from the party's administrative side and nothing more. I was responding to a press query," read the letter.

Kabimba stated that the disciplinary committee should have informed Lubinda about his right to appeal upon communicating to him the decision of the central committee.

He noted that such an appeal lay with the party's national council and finally the general conference, which both take place in 2016.

"You may, therefore, wish to seek the committee's guidance over the same. From the above, it is clear that you are taking issue with an innocent person or someone who simply discharged his duties in the party accordingly. I find the rest of the issues you raised in the letter too petty to respond to and spend time therein," Kabimba stated.

And Lubinda on Monday said most of the friends that he had lost had started going back to him and apologising.

He said his silence on his past suspension should not be mistaken for admission of guilt or weakness.
He also reiterated that a day was coming when he would be heard.

"I lost some friends, who have since started coming back; a number of them have been coming back and saying to me 'sorry, we didn't know; sorry forgive us'," he said.

Lubinda said some members had apologised to him, saying they had been forced to rise up against him.

"…and I have said to them, 'I have no grudge against anybody'. Some have been saying 'we were just forced by this one' to rise against me," he

And Lubinda said he was not weak by refraining from fighting back his attackers.

"I could have fought back but I sat in silence because I expected the right course of discipline to prevail. My silence was not meant to mean admission of guilt, it was not meant to mean that I am weak. I am not weak, I chose to remain silent because I have always had faith in my party and I have had confidence in Kabimba's administrative ability," he said.

Lubinda said his confidence in having a fair disciplinary action was shaken when Kabimba was quoted in public, saying he (Lubinda) had received a fair trial and the matter was closed.

"My letter was motivated by Wynter's attack on me when he said 'we have nothing to do on Given Lubinda's case' because I was given a civilised way of telling a colleague that I was wrong. I felt really injured because Wynter is the one who charged me; I was not charged by the disciplinary committee. How can the person who charged me go in public and say 'he got a fair trial'," he said.

And Lubinda said he was comfortable being member of parliament for Kabwata Constituency.

Lubinda said his sentiments over Kabimba, were not because he was job seeking, as had been suggested.

Last week, the PF held its central committee meeting where President Michael Sata refused to discuss the petitions against Kabimba's removal.

Sources said Lungu brought up the issue of a letter that Lubinda wrote, complaining about Kabimba.

"But the President said 'Lubinda is crying ubulofwa ebulelenga (it is unemployment that is causing him to cry). If he is crying, don't cry for him also', and he closed the chapter," the sources said.

But Lubinda said he was comfortable being a member of parliament, a position he had held for 12 years.

Lubinda said he was sure President Sata had not referred to him as a job seeker.

"My friends in the central committee have been calling me, telling me please don't take to heart what was written because at no one time did the President say this. And I said to them 'there is no way the President can even say this because the President knows very well I am not looking for a job'," said Lubinda.

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