NEWLY appointed PF vice-president Given Lubinda says former president Edgar Lungu did not weep even after suffering the humiliation of being booed at Heroes Stadium because he is a strong and tested leader.
And Lubinda says the way some PF officials were not accorded seats at President Hakainde Hichilema’s inauguration ceremony shows the kind of governance that the country is going to be subjected to.
During President Hichilema’s inauguration on Tuesday, Lubinda, Raphael Nakachinda, Samuel Mukupa and some other PF officials were captured seated in a holding room at Heroes Stadium where they followed proceedings on television.
In an interview on what had transpired, Lubinda said PF was not a “cry baby” party and would not complain about such issues, adding that not even Lungu was bothered about being booed.
“The PF is not a cry baby party like other parties, we are not cry babies. You know, even the humiliation of former president Edgar Lungu yesterday, booing him, did you see him weep?” Lubinda asked.
“Did you see him weep because of that? No, because we are tough, tested leaders. You as the Diggers have been insulting us and so on but we never reacted. You were writing very bad editorials about us but we never reacted because we are tested and very strong people. So even if they were going to invite our members of parliament and they tell our members of parliament to sit outside instead of sitting in parliament, our members of parliament are strong enough and they will resist such temptations. We are very strong tested people and we are not cry babies.”
Lubinda said he and other PF officials who were in Lungu’s entourage were kept in a holding room despite having VVIP invitation cards.
“As you are aware, that was a state function [which] was organised by Cabinet. So if you want to seek any clarifications as to what happened, the best is for you to call Cabinet Office and ask them why that was [like that]. You know, that the level of attending that function at the level at which we are was by invitation. We were given invitation cards, for that matter, VVIP invitation cards and we were in the entourage of the 6th Republican President. And as you can imagine, when we got there we were hoping that state protocol will show us where to sit. And it was very surprising that they took us in the holding room where we were drinking tea, drinking coffee and watching the inauguration on television. How that happened, I do not know. I would not have an idea why it happened. We were invited, we were given VVIP cards, maybe that is what they had planned, that we go and sit in the holding room,” Lubinda said.
“If you are invited to my house and I keep you in the garden, would you ask why I have kept you in the garden? If I invite you to my house, instead of putting you into my living room, I keep you in my garden, would you ask me? Not at all. So even me, there was no reason for me to ask any question. This is what they wanted to be done. For me, it is a registration of the kind of governance that we are going under. They have former leaders who are invited through VVIP invitation cards but are kept in the holding room. That is their stance and you cannot ask me. And I would not have any reason to ask them. If you invite me to your house madam and instead of asking me what I want to drink, you just come and give me whatever you want to give me, I will not ask you because maybe that is the only thing you have. I will not ask people their morals. You cannot go out asking people their morals, no.”
And when asked about rumours that he was being considered to take over the PF presidency, Lubinda refused to comment, only insisting that he was a strong member of the PF.
“Have you seen a posting from me? The only question I can answer is if you ask me of my status in the party, I will tell you that I am a strong member of the Patriotic Front and nothing will move me,” said Lubinda.