KABWATA PF member of parliament Given Lubinda says the unveiling of Danny Yenga by constituency officials as aspiring candidate for his seat does not mean that he has been adopted to stand on the party ticket in 2021.
In an interview in Lusaka, Lubinda explained that Yenga, a popular businessman, was just one of the several candidates that were aspiring to stand as Kabwata area member of parliament on the PF ticket.
“…Again, there you go, typical of News Diggers! Who said Yenga is the candidate for Kabwata? What is it exactly that happened in Kabwata? He launched his campaign as an aspirant to be adopted. How can he be my successor before he is even adopted? Do you see the difference? This is the problem with you at Diggers! There is nobody who said he is a candidate for Kabwata. He was unveiled as one of the many people aspiring in Kabwata. So, you should wait until the party adopts a candidate. Nobody adopted anyone in Kabwata,” Lubinda said.
“The adoption of candidates is done by the central committee. There is nobody in Kabwata who said, ‘this is our candidate.’ So, don’t create problems for people to start asking what powers does the constituency have to adopt a candidate? Because they didn’t say, ‘they have adopted a candidate.’ They didn’t say, ‘this is Lubinda’s successor.’ They just said, ‘this is one of the many who are aspiring and we want to show them to you so that you can hear them…’ That is what they said.”
When asked if he was considering re-contesting his seat in 2021, Lubinda, who is also Justice Minister, said he would inform the public at the right time.
“I will not say that to the News Diggers! I will say it to my party first before I say it to News Diggers! I will say it not at the behest of News Diggers! I will say it when the time is right and who is going to determine when the time is right or not? It is me! So, you better wait, just wait,” Lubinda replied.
And Lubinda claimed News Diggers! misquoted him on his reaction to the ruling of the Constitutional Court that all former ministers should pay back within 30 days.
“I want to talk first on how you report stories. I gave an interview to some journalist; one of your ladies was in attendance over the issue of paying back. I said very clearly that, as a law abiding citizen, I was going to pay [on] the judgement date and I said that I was contemplating asking my lawyer to go the courts and [request] so that I pay in instalments because I can’t afford to pay that amount of money in non-instalments. I ended by saying that, ‘I am sure that the court will listen because I don’t believe it is the intention of the court to come up with that amount and the decision to pay within 30 days to make us starve.’ What did your newspaper say instead? ‘Lubinda says, if he pays, he will starve!’ I didn’t say anything like that. Are those two stories the same? So, is it fair for your newspaper to write things, which they know are untrue?” asked Lubinda.
“It is not fair for your newspaper just suppose what I say to put in a way that suits your editor’s agenda? That is very shallow journalism! As much as your newspapers have the right to ask people for their comment, you should also know that people have their right not to grant you interviews. You must not think that people are very excited when you write about them? I am not excited to be written about. I have the right to refuse to grant you an interview whether in private capacity or in official capacity. I am sure that even with this story, your editor might choose to put words in my mouth to suit your newspaper’s agenda. This is the reason why I insisted that I record this.”
On December 8, Lubinda told journalists that his family would starve if he was made to pay the money he owed the state within 30 days.
“Well, all of us, or let me say the majority of us who are involved in the matter decided to give up the legal battle when we asked our lawyers to ask the government to ask the Attorney General to make their assessment and tell us how much we are owing. Then now that we have been told the figure, obviously, we are obliged to pay, except, speaking for myself, I don’t know how I will manage to raise all that money within 30 days. That is far beyond my monthly earning. There is no way that I can raise that kind of money within 30 days except for me going to borrow at high interest rate. So, from my person prospective, I am still reflecting upon making an application to the court to extend the period in which I can pay this money because I don’t think it is the intention of the court to starve me and my family for the next two months. I am sure the courts would like us to pay without unnecessary stress and push. So, I am still reflecting upon and I think in a few days time, I will decide on how to handle the matter,” complained Lubinda.