After 10 months of anxiety, a Central Committee hearing and eventually a six-month ban from the party, Patriotic Front (PF) law-maker for Kabwata Given Lubinda has broken his silence.
Mr Lubinda has accused Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba of ‘incompetently’ handling the hearing which led to his suspension from the ruling party in January this year.
In a letter dated October 15, 2013 addressed to Mr Kabimba obtained by the Saturday Mail, Mr Lubinda, who was later dropped as Minister of Foreign Affairs, said Mr Kabimba allegedly failed to make official communication of the sanctions imposed against him in writing and denied him the right to appeal.
Mr Lubinda said he has been prompted to break the silence on the matter because of the statements attributed to Mr Kabimba that he (Mr Lubinda) received a fair treatment during the period he was facing the accusations.
Mr Lubinda was suspended on allegations of collaborating with opposition political parties against the PF.
“You may wish to know that your failure to make official communication to me on this matter has kept me in the dark on my status in the party.
“This in turn has made it difficult for me to participate in the activities of the party for which I invested a lot of effort, risks and personal resources to help build,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said the PF constitution provides that a member shall have the right to appeal to a higher party organ against any decision and that for as long as Mr Kabimba did not communicate the sanctions imposed against him in writing, he was being denied his right to appeal.
Mr Lubinda is demanding that Mr Kabimba gives him a clear judgment arising from “what you are referring to as a civilised way of hearing a colleague”.
“I demand to know the evidence that was relied upon in arriving at the conclusion of the trial panel. A clear sentence or sanction meted against me with all the terms and conditions of such sanctions,” Mr Lubinda’s letter reads in part.
Mr Lubinda is further demanding from Mr Kabimba a clear statement of the recourse that is available to him in the event that he is not satisfied with the ruling of the sanctions.
He said it has been painful for him to be kept in a “closet” by Mr Kabimba’s alleged failure to do what is expected of his office.
Mr Lubinda said he undertook the awesome task of speaking for the party at a time it was popular for many, including some of his accusers, to pour scorn on him.
“You have made it difficult for me to contribute to the enhancement of the party’s popularity and to defend it from both internal and external adversaries,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said if Mr Kabimba continues with any further “unqualified” utterances or from his associates in public, he will retaliate.
“I, however, ought to stress that any further unqualified utterances from you, or any of your associates in public and your continued denial of a written settlement of this matter, shall force me to react in a similar style,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said he expects Mr Kabimba to respond to his letter soon.
See Mr Lubinda’s full letter in tomorrow’s Sunday Mail.