Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says his party is not a surrogate of the ruling Patriotic Front and is proud to have been part of the National Dialogue Forum (NDF), which he believes produced “a very positive document”.

Speaking on United Voice Radio’s Add Your Voice Programme, Wednesday evening, Kabimba said the NDF was meant for the good of the country and advised those who are against it to criticize with respect.

“I am surprised that my friends are raising issues which clearly do not border on the spirit of the NDF. What NDF tried to do is actually reduce the cost of elections in this country. We supported proportional representation so that if MP X dies, then the party that held that seat would go to their list and pick the next on the on the list, no by-election, no violence. We supported the idea of a coalition government so that we don’t go for a run-off which is very costly, and not only that, this is a country where we are running our democracy using the finances of others…and we are saying that we want to be an independent country and have a system where we can be proud as Zambians to run our own system and finance it and people are saying NDF is a sham, NDF is moribund…those words sound nice and bombastic on the radio like my brother George Mpombo, you need a dictionary to read his article,” Kabimba, the former justice minister, said.

“As the Rainbow Party, we are bound by the letter and spirit to the resolutions of the forum and we will not walk away from those resolutions. So let’s not mislead people, if you don’t understand, ask. And like I have said, there is nothing wrong with criticizing, we didn’t provide a divine document but ask with some level of understanding, that’s the problem that we have as Rainbow Party. And somebody says we are working with PF, we don’t work with PF but we also don’t insult PF, we don’t think that is our politics. So if those that insult PF are the people that you think are not working with PF, we are not part of that culture, our constitution of the Rainbow Party says ‘respect a fellow member of the party and also respect non members of the Rainbow Party’…”

He wondered why those speaking against the NDF resolutions were the very people who shunned the gathering when they were provided a platform to contribute to the resolutions.

“Let’s debate in a civil manner so that we are able to understand one another. If you want to know the character of the Hippo, ask the crocodile and not the chicken. So it’s surprising to those of us that attended the forum that this barrage of criticism is coming from those that consciously decided that they would not attend the forum…We have even seen on social media, and even in terms of pronouncements, people just rubbishing everything about the forum. Surely, even if the forum was constituted of dull human beings as they are trying to depict us, and we met for 16 days, are you telling me that there is nothing good that came out of the forum?” Kabimba asked.

Meanwhile, Kabimba questioned the genuineness of UPND members of parliament who attended the forum and later apologised for “going against the wish of the party”.

“Like I said earlier, you can’t take a position in politics that ‘if it is not my way, then it won’t be, then there is no way’, you can’t enter with that attitude. So because of that attitude within our colleagues in the UPND, you have some members that decided that this is a national dialogue process and we shall attend in the interest of the nation…and if that process was skimmed as we seem to understand now, when we listen to their allegations, sure we would have been the first ones to say that our party was right and we are sorry that we went against the wishes of the party because this thing was skimmed in favor of one political party or one political organisation,” said Kabimba.

“The impression has been created that those who are critical of this process are the majority, in fact you read things like ‘the people of Zambia are against this process’. The number of people that attended the NDF are more than any other grouping that we have seen in the aftermath of the forum that have gathered to criticize this forum…”