Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

28 January 2013

Zambia: Death Threats On Lubinda?

opinion

Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubinda has been undergoing intense pressure that will lead a rethink to the future of his political career as well as reflect on his association with the PF.

The charges bordering on treachery allege that he has been leaking information to the opposition and the media. The party's disciplinary committee has since found him guilty placing him on the edge of PF's exit door.

The charges are believed to have been orchestrated by PF national secretary Wynter Kabimba who seems determined to use his position to create or pave his path to succeeding President Michael Sata after eliminating his potential rivals such as Lubinda.

In this case, Kabimba's scheme has been, to a larger extent, aided by Kabwata constituency chairman David Silubanje and his chibuku thirsty cadres who have thrown all sorts of mud at Lubinda to tarnish his image and reputation in the PF.

Silubanje in concert with Kabimba have sustained a vicious campaign against Lubinda demanding his exit from PF.

However, Lubinda has not spoken his mind on the issue after opting to remain passive and he has been facing a barrage of accusations and wild allegations.

Unfortunately, some senior PF members are now afraid for Lubinda's life. It's been over a month now that Lubinda was found guilty and his case record has since been handed over to the Central Committee. So far, the judgment on his fate has been dragging raising further questions on the legitimacy of the case.

A senior party source, who is afraid to be the next target, has explained that the background to Lubinda's case comes from far back. The source said during the 2011 general elections, President Sata had ordered Lubinda to contest a parliamentary seat in Keembe, Central Province and not Kabwata.

The source said this move was meant to allow President Sata's son, Mulenga who is now deputy mayor of Lusaka to contest in Kabwata as way of grooming him. The source said Lubinda defied President Sata's order and insisted on contesting the Kabwata seat and this was not well received by senior party leaders.

Since then, President Sata has been hatching a smooth exit for Lubinda from the party. The source said the party later found a ward where Mulenga could contest as councilor, which is Kabulonga where he is right now.

"If you noticed, Hon Lubinda was very much sidelined at some stage and that is how he was moved from the position of spokesperson and replaced by Kabimba. So these calls for expulsions have a long history that touches the heart of the President himself. At the moment, it appears the Central Committee is delaying to expel Hon Lubinda, which is the ultimate punishment, anyway.

"The President who is supposed to endorse the expulsion at the Central Committee meeting has been trying to show reluctance in taking the action to create an impression that he is not interested. But I can assure you that he has made up his mind to do away with Hon Lubinda."

"So Kabimba is just being used to create space for Mulenga to become more visible and follow the footsteps of his father's political career. I am sure you know what happened recently when President Sata appointed the Lusaka deputy mayor in diplomatic mission to pave way for Mulenga. Infact the ultimate goal was for him to be Lusaka Mayor but the leadership thought the strategy will be too exposed and that is how they settled for the deputy position.

"All the councilors that had interest in the deputy mayor position were intimidated and that is how Mulenga went unopposed because if he had a challenger, he could have lost."

It appears Lubinda's case is some kind of sacrifice that the PF are making for the benefit of President Sata's family.

"Actually the President is very determined on this issue such that even after Lubinda is expelled and tries to re-contest the seat on another ticket, he will now face the danger of being eliminated. That is how serious the issue is. They know, Mulenga cannot compete with Lubinda and win, so the best way is to kill him.

"The PF will not allow the situation to cool down. After people have forgotten about everything and then you will hear that Hon Lubinda has died in a car accident or some other strange way. That is why I fear for Hon Lubinda because he is in a very difficult position. It can cost his political career, later on his life. Where power is concerned; the President can do anything for his son even at the cost of life for an intelligent person like Hon Lubinda. I just pray that they will spare his life."

The PF Central Committee has set February 23 to determine Lubinda's fate but it is all clear the Kabwata MP will be expelled.

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