JUSTICE Minister Given Lubinda says the ruling Patriotic Front is not moved by the formation of an alliance between UPND Alliance and the Zambia We Want Alliance.
And Lubinda says he is satisfied with his performance as Justice Minister in the last five years, which he says have been years of great success.
In an interview, Monday, Lubinda said the party had won elections in the midst of alliances.
He added that the formation of the alliance was a chance for “small parties” to give coherent comments on governance issues in the country.
“We have seen a lot of alliances. The Patriotic Front has won elections in the midst of the creation [of] alliances of all sorts [and] of all shapes. We have still gone ahead to win elections. We actually would like to encourage the opposition to form alliances so that maybe they can be making comments which are coherent. As a ruling party, we would like to listen to reasons and maybe if these people come together, then they will be able to say things that make sense. Because as individuals, as small little parties, when they are making their comments, they are so inconsistent that we, in the ruling party do not even hear what the opposition are saying,” Lubinda said.
“Maybe if they come together they might make it easy for us, because we like to hear the views from the opposition which we can use in the governance of the country. We value the role of the opposition but the opposition must be seen to be consistent and coherent in what they are saying. So, we would like to encourage them to form alliances. But as far as political strength is concerned, they can form alliances and double their power, we will still not be moved. We still encourage them to form alliances. Actually it is a very good thing and as the Patriotic Front government we are happy that they are forming alliances.”
Lubinda argued that there was no breakdown in the rule of law and that the country was not divided on tribal lines.
He said the formation of the alliance would not have taken place if there was a breakdown in the rule of law.
“In a lawless country can they even form alliances? What does lawlessness mean? That there is rule of the jungle. So, where there is rule of the jungle can they themselves even form alliances? They are forming alliances because there are laws that provide for alliances to be formed. In a country where you have various political parties how do you unite people on the basis of politics? There will always be people who belong to the ruling party and others who belong to the opposition. How do you unite them by forming one party state?” Lubinda wondered.
“I have not known tribe myself. Those who talk about the country being divided along tribal lines are the tribalists themselves. As for me and the Patriotic Front, we don’t see the country through the spectacles of tribalism. We see Zambians as Zambians, first and foremost. They are using tribal spectacles which we don’t have.”
When asked how his experience had been as Justice Minister, Lubinda bragged that he was satisfied with his performance and that he had proven that one did not have to be a lawyer to be a Justice Minister.
“It has been exciting, it has been very fulfilling. I am very satisfied with all the performance we have had in the Ministry of Justice. I am sure that I have proven people like Wynter Kabimba right. When I was appointed he was one of those who said ‘he doesn’t have to be a lawyer to be a successful Minister of Justice’. He was right, he was very right. All those who said I don’t have to be a lawyer to be a successful Minister of Justice, I have proven them right, because I think my five years have been five years of great success. We have passed many laws, many important laws. We have maintained the justice system of the country. We have fulfilled the mandate of the Ministry of Justice. I am delighted that my appointing authority did not see any reason why not to move me. He shifted a few Ministers, he never shifted me. He is the one who had the authority to move Ministers. For him to have let me serve all the five years means that he has been satisfied with my performance. I am very happy that it has been under me that the long standing issues of retirees were addressed. I am very happy,” Lubinda bragged.
Further asked if he was disappointed with the fall of Bill 10, Lubinda said he was not disappointed, adding that he was happy that the Bill did not succeed as it had given Zambians an opportunity to see who meant well for the country.
He said the ruling party would use the failure of Bill 10 in their campaign message for the upcoming elections.
“I could have been disappointed had I not known why it failed. I know that these were cheap politics, so I am not disappointed at all. It was a temporary setback and I am sure that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu after the elections will start the process again, because it is a very important process. I am also happy that Bill 10 did not succeed because it has given Zambians an opportunity to see who means well for the country. It is a very good thing, it also allowed us to have issues on which to campaign. Had it gone through, the campaign issues would have reduced but now we have Bill 10 behind us, the content of Bill 10 is going to haunt those who opposed it. We shall use it in the campaigns so that Zambians can see the intention behind Bill 10. I am not disappointed, I can’t be disappointed on matters like this, I am actually happy,” Lubinda said.
On Sunday, renowned lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) president Felix Mutati and other opposition leaders endorsed UPND president Hakainde Hichilema as presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections.
The other political party leaders who have endorsed Hichilema are Movement for Change and Equality president Kaluba Simuyemba and Zambians Empowerment and Development party leader Ernest Mwansa
Speaking during the formation of the alliance, Hichilema said he was humbled to have been selected to lead the alliance between UPND and “The Zambia We Want” movement in the upcoming general election.