Justice Minister Given Lubinda says those who are claiming that he has withdrawn from the parliamentary race for Kabwata Constituency must produce a letter where he has announced that.

The Kabwata Constituency leadership yesterday released a least of aspirants who had applied for adoption, and said by close of application date, Lubinda had not shown interest, despite being asked to send his letter.

Some members of the PF and other concerned citizens concluded that the Minister who has already served the Constituency for four terms had pulled out, with some alleging that he may have had challenges with his Grade 12 Certificate.

When asked if it was true that he had withdrawn from the race, Lubinda who was not pleased with the question said if that was the case, he would have announced it himself.

“So, if my name is not there, what is the issue? If you decide to resign from News Diggers! who will announce? Won’t you announce yourself? So, go back to those people and tell them…When I want to announce that I will announce that without News Diggers! asking me…Write the story the way you want it, but I have told you that statement can not be attributed to me so go back to the one who issued that statement to show you where I withdrew. Go and tell them that ‘give us evidence that he has withdrawn.’ What do you want me to say? Go to those people who issued the statement that I have withdrawn and ask them ‘can you show us the letter he wrote to withdraw?’ It is as simple as that. Miles Sampa withdrew as (Lusaka) Mayor who made the statement. Why do you think people must speak for me?” Lubinda, who is also Justice Minister, wondered.

When pressed further whether he was attending the interviews of aspiring candidates, Lubinda said he did not want to be “interrogated.”

“Now, you are interrogating me, that is what I don’t like! Don’t interrogate me when a statement made by other people, you can’t interrogate me. What do you want me to say? What I don’t want is for you to misquote me. I have told you many times, I don’t know what type of journalism you practice. I have told you many times don’t come to me and try and justify statements by other people. Go to them and ask for clarifications. Don’t use me to write your stories. If I want to give you a story I will give it myself,” replied Lubinda.

Meanwhile, explaining Lubinda’s status, PF Kabwata constituency chairman Trevor Ng’andu said Lubinda had not indicated to the structures in the constituency that he would recontest his seat.

“Yes, he is supposed to indicate that he is standing, we reached out to all those that are aspiring, we sent information that all those that are aspiring, they can indicate that they are aspiring for the constituency to be members of parliament of which was communicated to him (Lubinda) as the incumbent. He said that he still wanted to ‘go and consult,’ so he has never gotten back to us. With the process I think you are aware that the application period was only up to the 20th (of March), we never received any application coming through the office. He is supposed to apply to the central committee and then there is supposed to be a copy going to the district, the province and the constituency. Then, as a constituency and an executive, we are also supposed to write a recommendation towards his applications. But we haven’t received that and today (Tuesday) is the day for interviews, that has not been received, so we take it that he is not standing,” Ng’andu disclosed.

When asked if the constituency was aware if Lubinda had filed in his nomination and whether Lubinda was aware of the interviews taking place, Ng’andu said Lubinda did not file in his nomination to recontest the seat and that Lubinda was aware of the programme of interviews.

“He hasn’t filed in his nominations. I think that information has been relayed to him, he is a member of the central committee, he has information about the dates for interviews. So, as a member of the central committee, every information he has. So, if maybe he has taken keen (interest), we don’t know what is going on right now, we are just interviewing the last person, who is Mulenga Sata. If there is any change, I will call you to say this is what has come on board, but we haven’t received anything, there is no communication from anywhere,” replied Ng’andu.

The statement which was circulated and released by the PF Kabwata constituency media team indicated that Lubinda was omitted from the list of aspiring candidates that were expected to be interviewed.

The statement showed five aspiring candidates were expected to be interviewed who included: Emmauel Chanda; Clement Tembo; Gabriel Kibombwe; Mulenga Sata and Danny Yenga.