Sata to chair PF central committee indaba today

Emmanuel Chenda -left

THE ruling Patriotic Front (PF) central committee has moved its scheduled routine meeting to this morning instead of tomorrow as earlier planned, party deputy secretary general Bridget Atanga has confirmed.
The party indaba, expected to be chaired by President Sata, will discuss various issues but the proverbial elephant in the room according to insiders are the petitions that have been drawn up in PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba, who has dominated national news headlines in recent weeks.
The other issues to be discussed today according to Mrs Atanga are the adoption of a candidate for the forthcoming Mansa Central by-election.
She added that the party, “may also discuss other issues should they be raised…I can’t tell you anything concrete right now apart from confirming that we will be meeting for the purpose of adopting our candidate for the Mansa Central by-election, among other things”.
“But if people have other issues as any other business they will come out. They will raise them and then we will deliberate on them and come up with decisions,” she said in an interview yesterday.
And the Zambian Voice has appealed to the PF’s central committee to respond to the issues recently raised by the party’s members to promote intra-party democracy.
Executive director Chilufya Tayali said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the meeting should provide an opportunity for the PF to show intra-party democracy by dealing with the petitions that have been submitted by lower organs.
“We are happy that the PF are going to hold a central committee meeting. They should bear in mind that they are there because of the people, so they must respond to the voice of the people,” Mr Chilufya said.
“People have submitted petitions with demands. It is the central committee’s responsibility to answer to the people’s voice,” he said.
On September 27, member of the central committee Jean Kapata petitioned the party leadership to immediately discipline Mr Kabimba for allegedly bringing the party into disrepute through utterances against the party.
Ms Kapata cited media reports attributed to Mr Kabimba in The Post newspaper publications of September 25 and September 26, 2013, which had stories headlined A tribal clique is financing PF cadres and Chishimba Kambwili is part of the tribal clique.
Ms Kapata also charged that Mr Kabimba’s remarks, as quoted in the Daily Nation of Wednesday, September 25, 2013 branding the PF as the most indiscipline party in Zambia, require that the central committee punishes him for breaching Article 15(g) and 29(h).
On September 29, 2013, party representatives from all 10 provinces met and petitioned the central committee demanding the removal of Mr Kabimba for allegedly failing to run the party.
On October 7, 2013, member of the central committee for Arts and Culture Mrs Winnie Manenga Kamayoyo Oyat petitioned President Michael Sata demanding the removal of Mr Kabimba as both secretary general and Minister of Justice.
She cited eight reasons for the demand, chief among them being Mr Kabimba’s alleged disloyalty, betrayal and treacherous conduct against the party. She accused Mr Kabimba of forming numerous parallel structures.
She also demanded Kabimba’s removal for his public utterances against the party, where he branded the party as tribal, corrupt, and indiscipline.
The party might also consider the revelations that Mr Kabimba and former assistant secretary general Sikwindi Situla formed parallel structures and initiated the formation of a party, the 4th Republic Party, to push for Zambia to become a federal party.
Both deny involvement in the party.
The 4th Republic Party’s interim president, Lameck Kamalo, quit the position and in his letter of resignation dated October 9, 2013 to Mr Situla and copied to Mr Kabimba, he thanked the duo for their confidence in entrusting him with the responsibility of propelling the formation of the party.
He charged that on March 2, 2013, he met Mr Situla, who allegedly disclosed to him that Mr Kabimba had directed the formation of the party, which would be an answer to the Barotse question.
Mr Situla, who also allegedly publishes a newspaper called the Barotse Times, allegedly disclosed that the 4th Republic Party would draw most of its members from the PF.
Mr Situla has admitted to the ideals of the Fourth Republic Party but has insisted that it was expected to be an NGO and not a political party.
In December 2012, Mr Kabimba – while dispensing his duties as secretary general – charged Kabwata MP Given Lubinda with treachery and associating himself with the MMD or UPND.
Earlier this year, President Sata dropped Mr Lubinda as Minister of Foreign Affairs and he duly served a six months suspension starting in March.
It is unclear what the outcome of the indaba will be today but whatever happens, the ruling party is expected to come out a stronger entity and maybe move away from the recent divisions on the same page.
It is also unclear whether Mr Kabimba will be present when the MCC meets because he is reported to be out of the country.