WYNTER Kabimba yesterday laughed at what he described as the ‘fast-track disintegration of the Patriotic Front’ when he learnt that President Edgar Lungu had appointed more opposition members to his inner government. President Lungu on Tuesday appointed former Solwezi MMD member of parliament Lucky Mulusa as his special assistant, who immediately declared to journalists that he was Rupiah Banda’s man, and also nominated Christopher Mvunga as member of parliament and further appointed him deputy finance minister. Last month, President Lungu appointed Chipangali MMD member of parliament Vincent Mwale and his Mwandi counterpart, Michael Kaingu, as sports and education ministers, respectively. After his election in January, the Head of State made piecemeal Cabinet appointments that left out Bwanamkubwa member of parliament Emmanuel Chenda, Nchanga’s Wylbur Simuusa, Mpika’s Mwansa Kapeya and Bob Sichinga, who was nominated member of parliament and Minister of Commerce. Commenting on the President’s decisions, Kabimba, who is Rainbow Party leader, said he felt pity for the loyal PF members of parliament who helped President Lungu ascend to power and later faced dejection. “It is clear that all the decisions that have been made within the party, within the government are decisions that have gone to favour the MMD and not the PF members,” he said. “Where does Edgar place those loyal MPs that supported him in all the illegal activities leading to the Kabwe general conference and after? Why has he discarded them? We also know that MMD has lined up candidates in constituencies held by sitting members of parliament of PF. So at the end of the day, PF will be completely swallowed by the MMD, with Rupiah Banda at the helm. Is this the legacy of Michael Sata that Edgar preached about around the country? Is this how old PF members should be treated in their own party that they fought for for 10 years?” Kabimba advised PF members to stand up and stop Rupiah Banda’s MMD from swallowing the PF. “To borrow from Chinua Achebe’s character Okwokwo in Things Fall Apart, ‘Where are the men in this village?’ Where are the men in PF who are allowing themselves to be trampled upon by the political party which they defeated? Why don’t they rise up to this challenge and claim ownership of the party which they worked for for many years? They were ridiculed by the same people that have taken over the party today,” he said. “PF members must start debating all these issues. It doesn’t help them keeping quiet when they are being swallowed by the MMD, which they defeated in 2011.”
Kabimba said President Lungu’s decisions were in total reverse of Sata’s vision and PF policies. “Michael Sata must be turning in his grave 10 times, in all directions. From my experience of dealing with Michael Sata almost on a daily basis, the last thing that he could have envisaged PF to be is the complexion that it has adopted today arising from the alliance between President Edgar Lungu and former president Rupiah Banda, an alliance that is completely changing the structural foundation of the Patriotic Front,” he said. Kabimba urged President Lungu to tell the nation if he had decided to merge PF with MMD. “Has there been a decision by the PF central committee that it must merge with the MMD? Because what we have seen in the past is that both Nevers Mumba and Rupiah Banda are tagging along with Edgar Lungu. Is this an alliance or is it a merger? Question number two: what is the role of the PF central committee in the decisions that are being made by President Edgar Lungu?” he wondered. Kabimba said according to the PF constitution, members of parliament were also members of the elective party general conference, and wondered how opposition members of parliament would participate in the selection process of candidates ahead of the 2016 general conference.
He also said President Lungu had abandoned the candidates’ adoption policy that Sata left. “We are seeing the policy which was standard in the Patriotic Front, that a losing candidate who wins an election petition automatically becomes the candidate for the subsequent by-election. That has not been the case in Masaiti, where we are told that the PF candidate is the former MMD candidate who lost the petition. That is not the case in Senga Hill, that is not the case in Chawama,” Kabimba said. “In fact, in Chawama, the PF candidate is a complete outsider. This has been to the exclusion of the PF candidates that had put forward their names to stand. Where is the PF central committee, which makes sure that the policies of the party are followed to the letter?” He, however, said President Lungu was deliberately destroying the PF because he had nothing to lose. “It is a deliberate move by Edgar Lungu to destroy the PF, because he does not care about the PF, he used Sata’s name and it delivered an election for him, so there is nothing more for him to lose,” Kabimba said. And Kabimba said it was President Lungu’s disregard for loyal PF members that was forcing them to jump ship and join the Rainbow Party. “What we have seen in the last few months is a completely new phenomenon in the politics of our country. PF members are refusing to be part of the handover of the ruling party to the MMD. They are rebelling against the swallowing process that is taking place by the MMD. They are also looking for good leadership. They want order and discipline for once,” he said. “The clarity in the ideology of the Rainbow Party has attracted so many citizens and residents of this country. They want to be part of the crusade to eradicate poverty and better the lives of the Zambian people.” Asked if the Rainbow Party was capable of dislodging the PF next year, Kabimba said he was an experienced mobiliser who knew how to win an election. “I can claim to possess the formula of winning an election in this country. I know how an opposition political party can debase a ruling party. I know and I can tell when people are discontented with the ruling party. This is what they seem to be now with the decisions that Edgar Lungu is making in State House,” he said. Kabimba encouraged people to take interest in the Rainbow recruitment process ahead of the general elections next year. “We don’t have a recruitment process where people just stand on an anthill and declare that ‘I am a Rainbow member’. You have to be screened by the party officials in your ward, in your district and province and you can also fill in application forms online. This is not to mean that you have to be academically qualified to be a member of the Rainbow Party. We just need to know all our members, where they are and what kind of help they need at any time,” he said. “Our recruitment officers or community stewards will be moving from village to village collecting this data with membership registers and application forms across the country. That is how deep-rooted this party has become. Tell me, which other political party in this country ever took interest to know each and every member, by name, location, occupation, qualifications and needs?” He said he was humbled by the support that other leaders and members of Rainbow had given him. “Rainbow leaders are men and women of high integrity. The screening process is intense for you to be called a ward chairman, for you to be called a district chairman or secretary, including me. So I am humbled to be a leader in the party and to see the number of people who have joined us and have trusted our leadership. I have never felt such humility in my life and I would like to thank all our members as we prepare to redeem this country in 2016,” said Kabimba. – See more at: http://postzambia.com/news.php?id=6364#sthash.11Pd6w1A.xVBgSO6E.dpuf