Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba has insisted that he is not a PF surrogate but he will not be forced to be an advocate of the UPND.
Meanwhile, Kabimba says opposition political party leaders should not expect to draw allowances at the National Dialogue Forum when majority of citizens are suffering.
Speaking when he featured on United Voice Radio, Wednesday, Kabimba vowed he would never be forced to champion the agenda of the UPND.
“Those who are saying ‘I am a supporting PF’, I was on TV recently, and I condemned the attack on Harry Kalaba in North-Western Province by PF! I told them that that was primitive politics! But if you want me to be an advocate of the UPND, I am not one. I have got my own party to run, and it is not UPND, and maybe it will never be the UPND, let me make it clear now. There is a new word now in the dictionary, which everyone now has learnt ‘surrogate’ they don’t even know what it means. You know, you learn every day, so the word ‘surrogate’ sounds good. If you have no good argument, you just have to say ‘this one is a surrogate.’ In the village, if you don’t want to say someone has died of HIV, you just say ‘there is a wizard in the village’ and yet someone was not taking ARVs. And that’s what is happening; they are failing to make good arguments; they are just saying ‘you are a surrogate!’ We made it clear that Felix Mutati, Edith Nawakwi, Sakwiba Sikota, Wynter Kabimba, we are not an alliance! We are a group of citizens of this country that want to project a different view and we are entitled to that,” Kabimba explained.
“But I refuse to be coerced to belong to another political party! ‘Ndakaka!’ (I have refused!) Maybe in the coffin, not when I am alive as Wynter Kabimba. I want to (tell) my brothers in other political parties: ‘try to be civil, try to listen to other views.’ This how you lose opportunities, and this is how you lose allies in the process. Stop being antagonistic; we all have the right to express ourselves in this country, and to do that, we don’t have to sing from a hymn book of one party, that’s why this is a multiparty democracy. I appreciate all of you in the UPND; I also appreciate your anger of failing to win an election for so many times! But please, manage that anger positively, because if you direct it at me, it won’t bring you votes from Roan and Bahati!”
Kabimba, a former Justice Minister in president Michael Sata’s government, lamented that the UPND were dodging the national dialogue process when they were the ones who always complained about political violence.
“The failure of the dialogue process will escalate tension in the country; it will leave us with the Public Order Act, which will continue to be abused by the PF like they have done up to this stage. It will leave us with an electoral process, which always gives rise to contentious matters after each election. So, the general loss will not be to PF, it will be to the country. And this is why for us in the Rainbow Party, we don’t want to see PF in this, we want to see the country at large. I want to go and sit in the same room as President Lungu and look him in the face, and say to him: ‘this clause is what is good for the country, and not you as an individual or me as an individual, but the country as a sovereign territory’,” he explained.
“The UPND are the ones who have been complaining about violence and tension in this country, but then we say ‘let’s sit and discuss’ they turn around, they don’t want dialogue! We want to pin down Lungu to a set of rules, regulations and laws. We want to ask the politicians in the PF: ‘why are you interfering with the application of the Public Order Act?’ We want those questions answered and we don’t want to leave that to those in power only.”
Meanwhile, Kabimba said participating political parties should send their members using their own resources instead of expecting to draw allowances from the process.
“The argument by the Zambian people has always been that these processes seem to have an underlying motive of enriching participants through these allowances, as the majority of the people continue wallowing in poverty. I think, for once, we must show the spirit of commitment and sacrifice, the same way the people in the compounds are sacrificing, that is how the leaders should sacrifice. I think it is unfair to call upon the humble citizens in the compounds to sacrifice, when we, the leaders, the first thing we look for when there is an opportunity, is money in our pockets. I don’t think even the PF slogan, that’s what it means ‘more money in your pockets.’ I think it means more money in your pockets for everybody and not only for the leaders,” said Kabimba.
“So, for those of us who will attend, I am sure government will be benevolent enough to provide tea and I think ‘kama lunch’, so that we are not so hungry and sound unreasonable during the discussion. I am sure those will be there. But in terms of allowances, I think political parties should send their members there out of their own coffers! I will be very sad myself if political parties start blackmailing the process that ‘we won’t come if you don’t give us allowances’.”