There has been no proper cabinet meeting from the time president Michael Sata was evacuated to Israel.
Most cabinet ministers have been refusing to take part in a cabinet meeting chaired by Wynter Kabimba whom they believe is acting as president illegally.
Instead, only six ministers have been willing to meet.
But a seasoned civil servant with vast experience with cabinet matters has told the Watchdog that a cabinet meeting can take place even without the majority of ministers. The seasoned civil servant explained that, under the Zambian system, ministers are only advisory to the executive president who in this case is considered to be the cabinet itself.
He said there is no law in the Zambian constitution or cabinet manual that requires a quorum to be met for cabinet to sit as long as the president is in attendance. This is the legacy of Kenneth Kaunda’s dictatorship.
The civil servant said that this is one of the anomalies that were supposed to be rectified in the new constitution.
This would be probably okay if the president was in attendance or there was proper handover to the acting president or if the country had a substantive vice-president. But the issue now is that some ministers believe there is no acting president.
On Monday 23RD June 2014 three days after President Sata was evacuated, cabinet meeting could not take place as ministers Chishimba Kambwili, Edgar Lungu, Ynfwa Mukanga, Nkandu Luo and others told Kabimba point blank that they do not recognise him as acting president.
‘They just came here to quarrel and after fighting most of them left, leaving Kabimba and his five supporters to strategize, a contact said.
Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, even though he loathes Kabimba is said to be trying to restore order in the regime.
The source named vice President Guy Scott, Gender Minister Inonge Wina, Home Affairs Minister Dr. Ngosa Syambikyula, Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda and Local Government Minister Emmanuel Chenda as the ministers on the side of Kabimba.
Information minister Joseph Katema was sick again that day so it is difficult to know which side he is.
Other deputy ministers such as Miles Sampa are backing Kabimba but do not sit in cabinet.
Secretary to the Cabinet Dr. Rowland Msiska also attended the meeting.
“This week the number could have improved because of reports of the President leaving the hospital. I think others have started fearing that in case the President comes back, then trouble,” the source said.
Kabimba is probably the most unlikeable person in Zambia, politically. He is hated within the PF, few people like him in cabinet and the majority of PF cadres have no kind words for him.
Even in his family he has problems. His father is not juts a staunch UPND official but is a UPND official in their village in Mwembeshi.
Kabimba is a nominated MP (not elected), he is an appointed (not elected) Secretary General of the PF. And now he is a questionable (not elected) acting president.