18 December 2012

Zambia: 'Given Lubinda Must Go'

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Kabwata Constituency has demanded the immediate removal of area Member of Parliament Given Lubinda as their representative.

In a petition in Lusaka yesterday, Kabwata Constituency chairperson David Silubanji denounced Mr Lubinda accusing him of failing the constituency and that he should be removed immediately.

The Foreign Affairs Minister faces disciplinary action for allegedly leaking party information to the opposition and some media outlets.

PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba gave him a seven-day ultimatum from December 10, 2012 to exculpate himself.

"We have decided to recall and withdraw our support from Honourable Given Lubinda as our MP following reasons that require further investigation so that ultimately, power remains with people and allegiance of members to the party and not a dishonest individual," Mr Silubanji said.

The petition was presented to PF Lusaka District chairperson Goodson Banda at the PF secretariat.

Mr Lubinda is out of the country on national duty and is expected back on Thursday this week.

He accused Mr Lubinda of holding 'dark corner' meetings with MMD and the United Party for National Development (UPND) officials.

He alleged that Mr Lubinda had not been helpful to the party on empowerment programmes in areas such as job creation and skills training. He said Mr Lubinda had withdrawn financial support from operations and management of the constituency.

Other reasons cited, were Mr Lubinda's alleged involvement in manipulating the election of district officials and influencing ward councillors not to respect the party.

"His continued dark corner friendship with UPND, MMD, other individuals and groupings that threatens the confidentiality of our privileges as members of the PF and his decision to include relatives and friends who are not PF officials to go for training abroad at the expense of our members who fought for the 2011 election victory are some of the reasons," he said.

Mr Silubanji said Mr Lubinda had no relationship with PF structures and organs and had refused to attend constituency meetings.

"We ask for divorce to be granted and thank you for listening to us," Mr Silubanji said.

The petition was expected to reach President Michael Sata, Mr Kabimba and the Central Committee.

And receiving the petition, Mr Banda promised to forward the petition through the laid down structures of the PF.

"This should be a lesson to all the MPs that they should be visiting their constituencies. I will take the petition through the laid-down procedure so that it is heard," Mr Banda said.

In a demanding his exculpation, Mr Kabimba last week wrote: "I have received adverse reports against you (Mr Lubinda) from members of the PF including MPs regarding acts of disloyalty to the ideals of the party by you as a member.

"It is alleged that you have been actively working or collaborating with some members of the opposition in the MMD and UPND with the intention of discrediting the party's decisions and policies," Mr Kabimba's letter partly read.

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