Former Minister of Justice and opposition Rainbow party president Wynter Kabimba says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is full of emotions and will make a worse leader than President Edgar Lungu.
On Saturday, Hichilema reacted angrily when the Rainbow leader accused his party of abandoning its Chilanga MP Keith Mukata who was recently sentenced to death, saying if Kabimba wanted to rejoin the Patriotic Front, he was free to do so without saying “crap” against the UPND.
But speaking when he featured on Pan Africa’s ‘People’s Debate’ program yesterday, Kabimba charged that Hichilema’s debates lacked civility.
“Our colleagues in the UPND have no capacity to debate. The capacity they have is to insult. And they are frightening citizens out there if they don’t know. This is the political party that has insulted everybody. They have insulted the police, the Judiciary, government and scholars. I was really disappointed listening to HH on radio Phoenix referring to what I had said on Hot FM as ‘crap’. Now, you don’t use that language as a leader. You don’t rise to those levels of anger as a leader even if you didn’t agree with what I said. The language was intemperate, the language was lacking civility of a person who wants to assume that high office. The man was full of anger and I’m glad that the interviewer quickly cut him short because he was going to embarrass himself more. The point that I was making on Hot FM was that I was discussing leadership values. I was discussing the issue of how they should forgive one another,” Kabimba said.
“And he says that I was uninformed, maybe he is right. So if I’m uninformed, if I’m ignorant because I’m not within UPND what you do is give me that information and say ‘you are wrong because the facts are as follows’. And if he says to me that I’m wrong, I would be the first one to apologize. But to insult me by saying that everything that I said was crap means really you are not prepared to engage in any debate. And you are not prepared to listen to a divergent views.”
Kabimba said Hichilema had been spoiled by his members who regarded him as their demigod.
“You have been spoilt by being glorified by those around you that think that you are ‘demigod’ and you commit no wrong and you commit no sin, so what you say is final. This is a democracy. The sooner those of us that want to lead the people adjust our mindset and hear things that you do not want to hear from others, the better. They may belong to the political party that you lead or they may not belong to your political. That is what cross pollination of ideas is all about. But when you say everything that Wynter said is ‘crap’, how do I answer back because that’s not an argument. That’s just emotions. So you are just a guy pumped up, full of emotions and anger. Anything small the volcano of anger in you elapses, so how can you lead? If you are showing those traits, how can you tell me that you will be better than Edgar Lungu tomorrow, you will be better than Micheal Sata, I can’t believe you. You will even be worse than what you are saying about Edgar and Micheal Sata,” he said.
“HH called Micheal Sata a dictator. He is now calling Edgar Lungu a dictator but he himself doesn’t want to listen to any view apart from that those which glorifies him. So I was extremely disappointed by that. But I want to tell you that the kama UPND propaganda machinery cannot bring me down. Its too small. Others tried that in PF, they failed. So a small group of chaps, sited somewhere, trying to delve into my parentage trying to put some story there about myself will not bring me down. I’m a citizen of this country and they will hear from me many times saying what they don’t want to hear.”
Kabimba however clarified that he had nothing personal with the UPND.
“There is nothing personal. Sometimes they misunderstand me that I support PF, I don’t support PF. But if you are showing traits that are as bad as those that you are picking out in Edgar, how do you convince me that you will be better than Edgar? I refuse. Because intolerance of ideas means you are a dictator or you are a potential dictator except that you haven’t been given more power than what you have now. And I want to make this very clear, there is nothing personal between HH and myself or between anybody in UPND or between PF and myself,” he said.
Meanwhile Kabimba suggested that the death penalty be scrapped off from the Constitution.
“Society must not be vengeful. Society must not avenge the death of one person by taking the life of another person. Studies that have been conducted about the death penalty have actually proved that the death penalty has never been restraining. There is one study which was conducted in France many years ago to determine whether or not the death penalty discourage people from committing murders. What they discovered was that the death penalty actually does not discourage people or deter people from committing murders. So if its not a deterrent then why have it on your statutory books? We have declared ourselves a christian nation by Constitution. And if we are, then surely the death penalty must be scraped off from the statutory books. Because we are a christian nation we don’t need the death penalty on our statutory books. Not because of Keith Mukata but even for those that I do not know,” he said.
And Kabimba said the statement circulating that he voted for president Lungu in 2016 was fake.
“I found that write up interesting that in 2016 when I was a presidential candidate, I voted for Edgar Lungu. Even if you are just of average intelligence and you listen to that story that a man like me can be on a ballot paper and between Edgar Lungu and myself, I choose to vote for Edgar Lungu and vote against myself. Surely even if you just went to a basic school, you just can’t conceive that situation. But you see people with a criminal mind are not very intelligent so as they were writing that posting they forgot to see that this will not make sense to anybody,” said Kabimba.