Edgar Lungu turns heat on Scott, Wynter

President Sata, David Phiri, Edgar Lungu

BEFORE the dust can settle from one of the longest Central Committee meetings the PF has held since assuming office in 2011, Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu has turned the heat on Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba and Vice-President Guy Scott.
Mr Lungu said divisions that have cut through PF like a hot knife through butter can only be stopped by Mr Kabimba and Dr Scott.
“In my view as chairperson of discipline in the party, member of the Central Committee and Home Affairs minister,” Mr Lungu said, “only Wynter and Vice-President Scott can stop this stand-off and help President Sata make a decision on the way forward”.
Speaking a day after the Central Committee deferred the hearing of some petitions and complaints against Mr Kabimba, the Home Affairs Minister said Mr Kabimba – with the support of Dr Scott – made their bed of nails and now they must sleep in it.
“As a humble Home Affairs minister and chief of police, I would like to help if they have evidence of corrupt officials. I will gladly send our gallant men in uniform to talk to the corrupt,” Mr Lungu said, “ the same applies to the allegations of indiscipline and tribalism…Mr Kabimba and Dr Scott have stoked this fire and, therefore, they must hand the list of the indiscipline and tribalistic elements so that we can deal with them instead of unnecessarily placing the pressure on the Central Committee and his Excellency the President as well as arming opposition with firepower to annihilate us”.
Mr Lungu said it is because of the allegations made by Mr Kabimba and Dr Scott – of graft, tribalism and indiscipline – that the Central Committee took so long to close on Friday having started at 14:00 hours and ending just about 18:00 hours.
“The Wynter Kabimba issue was the most discussed issue outside the agenda as far as I am concerned,” Mr Lungu said, “we spent almost the entire meeting discussing the Wynter issue but the President [Sata] did not feel it was right to proceed with action in his [Wynter’s] absence…that’s the issue every member had something to contribute to at length as it was the only elephant in the room. It just couldn’t go away”.
Mr Lungu said, without disclosing the details of the meeting because he has no authority to do so, President Sata promised that he would handle the matter once and for all soon.
“But even as we await Presidential action,” Mr Lungu said, “the buck stops on Mr Kabimba and Dr Scott to excuse themselves from the pack called PF which is corrupt and tribalistic because you can’t hunt with the fox and play with the hare…PF members are dirty and corrupt and they [Kabimba and Scott] are clean, so they must make a choice on whether to stay in or out. You can’t eat your cake and still have it as far as I know”.
He said even after the meeting closed, anxieties remained among members who are infuriated at being labelled corrupt, tribal and undisciplined.
Mr Lungu said with the labelling coming from top members of the party, the PF has become a punch bag for the opposition.
“The opposition is now having a field day punching us based on statements from Wynter and Dr Scott and it is hard to defend such attacks as they come from inside without naming names,” Mr Lungu said.
Meanwhile, Mandevu member of Parliament Jean Kapata has raised a red flag at what she calls distorted media reports on proceedings of the Central Committee.
Ms Kapata, a member of the Central Committee, has described as “gross distortion” reports suggesting that Mr Sata refused to discuss internal petitions against Mr Kabimba.
“The report is a gross distortion of the meeting and doesn’t reflect the truth, the spirit and content of the discussions held and has been twisted to suit a very well-known agenda,” Ms Kapata said.
“I will not delve into the details of the meeting and will not disclose the essence of the discussions,” Ms Kapata said, “however, in light of the distortions and twisted facts in the media report, it is important to state that during matters arising, many members of the Central Committee urged His Excellency President Michael Sata to help resolve the divisions that have rocked the party and also urged the meeting to resolve the petitions so far raised against the secretary general [Mr Kabimba).”
Ms Kapata said this in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday.
She added: “This matter was settled by His Excellency who assured the members that it would be resolved and the sad chapter this has created in our party would soon pass.”
Ms Kapata said, “as a petitioner and as a member of the Central Committee, it is the desire of all of us that this matter is resolved so that our party must remain united and concentrate on our resolve to deliver on our mandate.”
She has since appealed to the media to help Zambia by reporting on national matters factually, accurately and truthfully so that they can help build and unite the country and not to be preoccupied with the pursuit of a private agenda.
And Lusaka district PF members have welcomed President Sata and the Central Committee’s decision to address issues raised concerning party Mr Kabimba.
Acting Lusaka district vice-chairperson Julius Komaki said the district stands firmly by its petition which is before the party’s highest organ to have Mr Kabimba removed from his position as party’s secretary general.