PF vice-president Given Lubinda says he is aware that some PF members are in hiding because of what they did while they were in power.
And Lubinda says it is difficult to tell who is loyal in the party, lamenting that while others are trying to rebuild the party, some are creating factions.
Meanwhile, Lubinda says it is painful to let power slip off your fingers.
Addressing party officials in Solwezi, Thursday, Lubinda said maybe it was God’s will that PF lost the elections because maybe the country would have been on fire had his party won.
“I know a lot of our members who are in hiding, it is not that they are hiding because they have money, some of them are hiding because of what they did and they are fearing that ‘ulya ilya day I went and troubled him balanjipaya’. That is what I am saying that maybe it was just God who said ‘iyo, PF seleniko (move away) first because ngamwawina (if you win), this country would be on fire. Bonse (you all) you go to church and you know that God has his own way of doing things. Sometimes he replaces good people with bad people so that people can learn. If God planned for Zambians to see the value of your party, because people are telling us all sorts of things ‘nabeba’, ‘nibakabolala’ (they stole, they are thieves). Maybe God has just decided that for five years, let me remove ebo mulelanda nibakabolala (those you are calling thieves), let’s see what you will do so that Zambians can know. So please my dear brothers and sisters don’t lose heart. Instead become firm,” Lubinda said.
And Lubinda said he wondered if the people he sat with in the Central Committee were genuine.
“In here, there are some people who if I told them, tell me truth about me, they would say ‘we don’t even want to see you. You are the most useless person to be vice-president.’ But that is life. At this stage, yes, I would like us to consult everybody but before we take an audit to find out where our people are, who shall we consult? How are we going to do that audit if we don’t have the people? At this stage we don’t even know who is loyal and who is not we don’t know. To be honest, even people I sit with in the central committee, sometimes I ask, is this person really genuine? Whereas we are trying to rebuild the party, others are creating factions. Then you wonder, does this person mean well for the party?” Lubinda asked.
He said he took part of the blame for losing elections.
“As member of the central committee, I want to apologize to all members of the party for losing the elections. We lost the elections because of many different problems. Some of them namulanda mwebene (you have mentioned). I like what all of you have said, let us do a post mortem. The central committee can only be as strong as the ward. I can be vice-president but if the people on the ground are not working, I’m useless. Lesson number two for all of us as we do a post mortem is to first ask one question; what did I do? Nangula ninshi nshachitile (what didn’t I do) which caused this? If you ask that question first and you answer that question, then you are going to have a truthful postmortem. It is very easy for us to say; bad man without asking what about me? As your vice-president I take total responsibility and the only thing I can say is sorry, let’s start again,” he said.
Lubinda said he would have called out people that were involved in wrongdoing in the party.
“I even saw pictures of vehicles carrying bicycles going to be hidden at a person’s house, how do we allow that? I agree with you that the provision of funds, the provision of resources was not done in a transparent manner. When I ask myself, I even blame myself and say the day I said I don’t care to be called a penguin, I should have also said ‘stop what you are doing’ because I won’t go in the street and start lining up people, ‘tantameni’ (line up) I will give you K100, I will not do it. But when I said it, I said it only quietly, so when I look and introspect I say to myself, that day I should have been a bit more angry. I should have mentioned people’s names. I should have said ‘you and you, you are doing wrong things for the party, maybe they should have stopped and maybe the results would have been different,” Lubinda said.
Meanwhile, Lubinda said it was painful to let power slip through your fingers.
“I don’t blame them, I blame myself because I saw it was wrong but I didn’t tell them. When I go to sleep, I am as pained as you, it is painful to work in the opposition for 10 years, you go into government, you deliver so much developments to the country, people are excited about you but power just goes through your fingers. Ifi mwa landa (what you said) is true. Where were the government officers to protect us? Why weren’t they protecting us? Maybe that day when that police officer was slapped by a party cadre, I should have stood up to say make sure this person is arrested because maybe that could have changed the mindset of people, so I don’t blame the person that slapped a police officer, I blame myself, I should have taken action,” he said.
He said President Hakainde Hichilema was worried that the PF was regrouping, also charging that if his party died, there would be a dictator in State House.
“You heard what Hakainde said that they are regrouping. Why is he worried about us regrouping? He knows if we regroup, we will become strong. If he comes to touch Kanyakula, he knows the vice-president will rise, if they touch the vice-president, Kanyakula will rise, that is why he is getting worried that they are regrouping. That regrouping must not only be at the central committee, the regrouping must be at the ward. Start at the ward so that the branches are all organized. The constituency will be strong, then the district will be strong, then the province will be strong. Nga mwalolesha ama party yali mu opposition (if you look at opposition parties in) Zambia, tell me which party can give credible checks and balances to UPND? The party that has credibility is your party,” said Lubinda.
“With 60 members of parliament, we will not allow them to pass any constitutional change which is not in the interest of Zambians. Why do you think baletukonka? Baita uyu, (they are following us, they summon this person) ‘tell us where you get the money from,’ all they want is to intimidate us. Pakutila tutine (so that we get scared), we run away. If this party dies, we will have a dictator in State House. And if you have a dictator in State House, it’s not you who is going to suffer, don’t think about yourself, think about your children.”