THE twists and turns in the Patriotic Front (PF) differences that have pitted secretary general Wynter Kabimba against some grassroots members and even other top members continued yesterday.
As the plot thickened, a scheme in which Mr Kabimba has threatened to “spill the beans” and practically break the ruling party up if he is expelled as demanded by sections of the youth has emerged.
Part of the elaborate scheme allegedly being hatched by Mr Kabimba involves “arm-twisting” district commissioners from Western, North-Western and Southern provinces whom the secretary general allegedly met shortly after the official opening of the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly on September 20 in Lusaka to give a pep talk.
Mr Kabimba allegedly told the DCs that they were “expected to be loyal to him” as he played a big role in their appointments.
“I could be down but I’m not out,” Mr Kabimba is reported to have told the DCs in reference to the differences he has been having with other top party members and the grassroots.
“I made you to become DCs,” Mr Kabimba allegedly told the DCs.
At the hastily-organised meeting, Mr Kabimba also apparently showed open discontent towards President Sata, whom he feels has betrayed him in preference for “enemies” within the party who are telling lies about him in order to get rid of him.
Mr Kabimba allegedly urged the DCs to ensure they remained loyal to him even in the eventual demotion or expulsion, warning that the party was likely to break up if he was fired or removed from his position due to the influence he wields.
“If I go, you DCs should be ready to go with me,” he is quoted to have demanded.
He also expressed worry that he was being fought by an alleged tribal clique and wondered why “his people” were not supporting him by rising against the voices speaking for him.
But Mr Kabimba declined to comment on the allegations when contacted via phone yesterday by the Daily Mail.
The DCs expressed shock at Mr Kabimba’s action.
They said, however, that much as they like and respect Mr Kabimba as the party chief executive, their loyalty remained with President Sata since he is the only elected national President of Zambia.
They said while the secretary general could have played a role in their appointment, they could not risk their jobs to support an unknown cause.
The DCs insisted that they would support whoever President Sata decides to support if it ever got to that.
The DCs recognised that the PF was stronger than any individual and did not agree that it could break up if one particular individual was disciplined.
They said the party has gone through similar internal debates and emerged stronger.
The cadres have accused Mr Kabimba of promoting divisions, and losing touch with the party lower ranks, including down right arrogance.
They have also accused the secretary general of failing to raise funds for the party but he has denied all this.
Mr Kabimba was also accused of forming a party called Fourth Republic Party, through PF second deputy secretary general, Sikwiindi Situla.
Mr Situla, who also runs a publication called Barotse Times distributed from Godfrey House on Longolongo Road in Lusaka, has reportedly been persuading senior PF members to join it.
Acting President Alexander Chikwanda and founding republican President Kenneth Kaunda have condemned sentiments based on tribe, saying they are divisive.