Political analyst Mbita Chitala says Patriotic Front (PF) secretary-general Wynter Kabimba should resign or be “excused” from the party to save it from more damage.
Dr Chitala says it is evident that unless Mr Kabimba leaves the management of the PF, the ruling party will suffer more damage and could deter further foreign investments in Zambia.
Mr Kabimba could not be reached for a comment because his mobile phone went unanswered after several attempts to contact him.
In recent weeks, however, Mr Kabimba, who is also Justice Minister, has been quoted as saying he would not quit and that those demanding his removal are a clique of tribalists promoting anarchy in the party.
But Dr Chitala says for the good of the party and the country, Mr Kabimba should not be at the helm of the governing party.
“We who helped form this government are only hopeful that this instability can be quickly stopped by either Mr Kabimba himself excusing himself as has been demanded by PF cadres countrywide or the PF Central Committee should live to its mandate and excuse Mr Kabimba so that peace and harmony can return to the PF and that the PF government can successfully execute its development programme of our country,” he said.
In a statement to the Sunday Mail yesterday, Dr Chitala, one of the founder members of the MMD in 2001 and a supporter of the PF in the run-up to the 2011 elections, said events in the PF have potential to scare away investors.
“No clever investor will come to a country where there appears to be an insurrection such as the events in the PF appear to show now. It is obvious that many PF members do not want Mr Kabimba to continue,” Dr Chitala says.
He reckons the rebellion by PF members against Mr Kabimba is self-made and self-induced.
“He has been too drunk with power and forgotten about the virtues of being modest and grateful to colleagues in public affairs. All his work however good comes to naught for not appreciating the contribution of others and being too self-centred,” Dr Chitala says.
The former minister and diplomat says that by claiming that some PF leaders are corrupt and tribal and threatening to spill the beans, Mr Kabimba is committing an act of “self-preservation”.
“(It) appears to be an act of blackmail, which should not be tolerated. This is the same cry we have heard from many Africans when they fail in their good-for-nothing schemes,” Chitala said.
He said Zambians will always be united and thanks must go to patriotic nationalists who united the country.
Dr Chitala said the creation of parallel structures without the consent of the party is like instituting a creeping coup.
“Events in the PF are a good reminder that those of us who serve the public must always respect the people that voted us. And if people feel unhappy with us and demand our removal, however wrong or unfair they may be, we must oblige. We cannot force ourselves on them.
On Wednesday, President Sata called for an end to the infighting in PF and to instead concentrate on developing the country.
The following day Vice-President Guy Scott was quoted by the press saying Mr Kabimba is “here to stay because he is not expected to be removed as secretary general of the PF”.
There have been ceaseless demands that Mr Kabimba leaves the position. Party representatives from all 10 provinces met in Lusaka recently and resolved that for the good of the party Mr Kabimba steps down.
A member of the party’s central committee, Jean Kapata, put the demand in writing that Mr Kabimba be disciplined. This was backed by former PF Lusaka district information and publicity secretary Wellington Musonda.