PF Legal Committee Chairperson Brian Mundubile says there is nothing wrong with him being appointed boss to a senior lawyer like Kelvin Bwalya Fube.
In an interview with News Diggers! Mundubile who is also Northern Province Minister said even Attorney General Likando Kalaluka who is the head of the Bar was admitted less than 15 years ago, yet he was KBF’s boss in the legal practice.
He however said he respected KBF’s decision to decline being his deputy, adding that the issues he raised in his letter did not concern the legal wing of the PF Central Committee.
“I will give you an example. For instance, the head of the Zambian Bar is the Attorney General. You realize that the Attorney General, yes has been at the Bar for that long but there are other lawyers that have been at the Bar for much longer than him, but he remains the head of the Bar. So for me really like you said, it’s his own opinion. But like the example I have given you, the head of the Bar is the Attorney General who has been at the Bar for less than 15 years but there are other lawyers who have been at the Bar for 40 years, they still fall under the Attorney General,” Mundubile said.
He said there was nothing wrong with KBF’s refusal to accept the appointment.
“I got that response and he is indeed my elder brother, so I will find time to engage him. We belong to the same association which is the Law Association of Zambia and clearly the legal fraternity of the Law Association provides bonds on how to engage a fellow lawyer. So what remains the truth is that I had invited him on the legal committee and he declined that position. I respected the position of fellow counsel Fube Bwalya. He happens to be my brother, we have been friends for close to 20 years and on principal he declined that position and I don’t think there was anything wrong really, because that’s how he felt,” Mundubile added.
He said the issues raised in KBF’s refusal letter did not concern the committee but instead concerned the party members whom he previously worked with.
“So I think for purposes of my committee, what involves us was that he declined to take up the position. There may have been other things in the letter but those did not really affect or concern the committee. So am sure even for you read through, you will realize that the only part that concern the committee was that he declined to take up the appointment. So there could have been other things which have been said to which I may not be necessarily competent to comment, because he was commenting about other party members whom he had a relationships with, within the party. I believe that maybe that was not meant for me. What was meant for me was the fact that he had declined to take up the position,” said Mundubile.
On March 14, KBF wrote to the PF Central Committee, refusing to accept his appointment as Mundubile’s deputy, saying that it was an insult to expect him to be under a junior lawyer and to offer him a position while disregarding the concerns he had raised in the party.
“I regret to inform you that I cannot accept the above captioned appointment. I have decided to remain an ordinary member of the Patriotic Front party over being the deputy chairman of the legal sub-Committee of the Central Committee. For I remain humbled by your consideration and remain cognizant of the one true appointment for the following reasons; whereas you are Chairman of the legal committee are a lawyer just like myself, and without intending any disrespect to you whatsoever, I was admitted to the Bar in the year 1986. In being asked to be your deputy, the President being a lawyer admitted to the Bar earlier than myself knows how I must feel professionally and how this sits with certain legal norms. Purely on professional standing I must decline,” KBF wrote.
KBF further said he could not figure out why the party condemned him for merely suggesting a party indaba to resolve intra party wrangles.
“I recently mooted the idea for a party Indaba; the closest thing I got from the leadership’s thoughts on the indaba was the deputy Secretary General of the party Mrs Mumbi Phiri calling me a nonentity. I have never received an apology nor has a correction ever been made. I am at loss as to why I am fought for my thoughts. When President Micael Chilufya Sata died in 2014, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu called me to help him. I simply worked with him and did so without placing demands on him. I simply worked diligently, and dutifully out of loyalty and love for the party. I provided whatever resource was at my disposal; chaired meetings of the Central Committee members and guided them during a very difficult time. When we had chat on National Development where I put forth my thoughts, the National Development and Planning Ministry was born. Therefore, I neither complained nor refused to keep working for the party,” he added.
“When I was appointed Elections deputy Chairperson, I accepted the appointment not because I was desperate to be on some structure but rather because I believed my party and my president needed my expertise as the party’s foremost authority on elections. That is why, though I knew I would have torrid time serving, I bit the bullet and went to work in the middle of the storm created by my fellow senior party members, only because I believed it had to be done and I had to do it. Subsequently, when the Justice Ministry appointment-fiasco happened following the 2016 election, I did not complain and I continued to be available for the party because I believed that man will forever be mad and God forever be God. I believe in serving from the heart because I believe that is the best way to serve.”
He asked the party to give him a little more respect than what he was getting.
“I have served the Patriotic Front at very senior levels and earned my stripes with both presidents. I therefore ask for little more respect than has been shown to me. I have never complained when various opportunities to serve and contribute have been frustrated without further or subsequent communication being given to me. I have always gotten up to serve the Patriotic Front when I have been called upon. However, it is not only unhealthy, but also grossly unfair and inconsiderate to dangle any appointment having not previously engaged to iron out the so many issues that have happened between some senior party officials and me. It cannot be business as usual when so much has happened publicly and continues to happen,” stated KBF.
And KBF apologized to President Lungu for any wrong he may have done.
“Kindly allow me to impose upon you to personally impress upon the President my sincere apology for whatever wrong I may have done to him in my dedicated service to him, though I remain unaware of my specific transgressions and do further impress upon him that following the last elections when some colleagues went all out to bury me politically and I trusted very few, he told me to trust him and I did so because that is who I am. It has however broken my heart that despite him knowing the trust about so many malicious allegations against me by colleagues, he has never come to my defense. This has broken my belief and resolve to trust the administration,” stated KBF in the letter.