VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has declined to respond to Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu’s challenge that he and Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba held the key and power to end the divisive allegations of corruption, indiscipline and tribalism in the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
When contacted by the Daily Mail yesterday for his take on the matter after Mr Lungu singled him and Mr Kabimba as the ones responsible for the impasse that has practically divided the party, Dr Scott said, “I can only talk to you if you talk to me before publishing a story and not after you have published a story.”
Interest groups, however, have received calls by Mr Lungu urging Dr Scott and Mr Kabimba to end the PF stand-off that dominated last Friday’s central committee with mixed feelings
Others, however, contend that the two should remain in the party and expose the alleged corrupt members and subsequently clean the party.
Open Society Foundation executive director Sunday Chanda said in a statement that there should be no sacred cows in the PF when it comes to discipline.
Mr Chanda said the PF must make choices between serving individual interests and resolving perpetual party differences and divisions.
“They [Dr Scott and Wynter Kabimba] must name and shame individuals they have referred to as corrupt, otherwise the PF disciplinary committee under Mr Lungu must step in and let go of the axe on leaders who are blackmailing other party leaders without providing specifics. It is serious indiscipline to pour scorn and negatively label a political party you belong to,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said the PF is bigger than any one individual and should, therefore, not get sacrificed for individual political survival.
He said the PF leadership should help President Sata to concentrate on the mandate of boosting development in the country.
“Why would anyone want to continue belonging to a tribal and corrupt party, unless they are just playing to the gallery when they issue these attacks?
“It is normal for members in a political party to have differences but it does not give anyone the preserve to drag the party’s name in the mud,” Mr Chanda said.
But the Foundation for Democratic Process president Alex Ng’oma said it is unnecessary for anyone to ask Dr Scott to step down for saying there are corrupt and tribal elements in the PF.
Dr Ng’oma, however, agreed with Mr Chanda and advised that Mr Lungu should instead ask Dr Scott and Mr Kabimba to name the corrupt, tribal and unndisciplined members so that they can be dealt with.
“We are in a democracy and Dr Scott’s views – or anyone – ought to be respected,” he said.
Dr Ng’oma said in a democracy, people should be free to say what they want so long it is factual and not innuendo.
Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes executive director Boniface Chembe said a decision by Dr Scott to leave the party or to stay on is a personal one.
“The Patriotic Front must allow self-criticism and promote dialogue. They have a huge responsibility both to themselves and the nation,” Mr Chembe said.
On Saturday, Mr Lungu said divisions in the party can only be stopped by Dr Scott and Mr Kabimba who should supply information on their allegations of corruption, indiscipline and tribalism.
Yesterday Mr Lungu stood by his word saying, “I think we have made it clear that the party ought to move forward in one step and those that feel others are either tribal or dirty must name the members involved instead of labeling the whole party and arming the opposition with ammunition to harm us.”
Mr Lungu said, “This is making President Sata’s work hard and as MCC members, legislators and ministers, we must help him rather than leaving him to clean up the mess…let us show President Sata the mess so that he can clean it up through the laid down channels of the party