Minister of Justice Given Lubinda yesterday pulled a prank on his fellow MPs in Parliament by taking a back bench to provoke debate after a letter purported to have been written by him went round suggesting that he had resigned from his position as Justice Minster.
This prompted Cheembe Member of Parliament Sebastian Kopulande to raise on a point of order, asking why the minister who earlier sat in the back bench following his resignation had moved to sit with other Cabinet Ministers.
“There have been recent events concerning the attack on the honourable Minister of Justice and yesterday a letter extensively authored by the said Minister of Justice went viral on social media. We come to the house today, Honourable Speaker, and the said minister is sitting on the back bench while the letter authored by him states that he has resigned from government, Your Honour. I believe that matters of government are matters of high seriousness. Is the leader in government business in order to remain quiet and not advice this house on the status of the said minister of Justice who has now come to sit next to me in the back bench when he is supposed to be in the front bench I seek your serious point of ruling, Mr Speaker,” said Kopulande.
In his ruling, the Speaker said: “My ruling is that normally when changes of this sort are made, I am one of the first addressees and for those of you who have been affected in the past, you know how promptly we make changes especially sitting arrangements. So I can confirm that where the Minister of Justice is now currently sitting, that is the right place.”
Earlier in an interview, Lubinda told News Diggers that the resignation letter was not authored by him, saying the day he will resign, the press will be invited.
“When I have a statement like that, I will invite the press. The press will not follow me. And I don’t get involved in rumor-mongering. Leave the rumor-mongering to those who enjoy rumor-mongering [and] writing stories which are fake,” said Lubinda.
The fake resignation letter quoted Lubinda resigning on grounds that the beating ordeal in Kabwata has troubled his personal and political life.
“I wish to tender my resignation from my ministerial portfolio as Justice Minister. The events of the last few days have left me deeply troubled both in my personal and political career. I have deep reflected and after consultation with my family, I have made this conscious decision to tender my resignation from government. I remain a very loyal Patriotic Front party member of parliament serving the people of Kabwata Constituency. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity you afforded me to serve the people of Zambia in that very demanding portfolio. I wish to thank my fellow cabinet colleagues, MPs from both the ruling PF and the opposition. May I also take this opportunity to thank the members of staff at the Ministry of Justice who we developed a close working family together. I thank my God almighty for my life and service to the nation. Your humble servant, Given Lubinda, MP, Kabwata Constituency,” read the fake letter which bore a forged signature.