Am my own man-Lubinda

Patriotic Front (PF) Kabwata Member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda has denied assertions that he has been soliciting for the support of the United National Development (UPND) and that he is his own man who would never parrot the views of other people.

Mr Lubinda has challenged Kabwata constituency publicity and information secretary Edmond Lifwekelo to prove that he (Lubinda) had been courting the UPND following a surge of sponsored demonstrations demanding his expulsion from the ruling party.

But Mr Lifwekelo has maintained that Mr Lubinda has been lobbying for the support of the UPND and that a few weeks ago, he (Lubinda) called for a meeting of UPND members where he pleaded with them to accept him and start campaigning because the PF had completely died.

Mr Lifwekelo said Mr Lubinda called a meeting which was held at Garden House and that the people who attended the meeting were all UPND members and that a list of the attendees was available.

He said the Kabwata MP has been telling UPND that he was unable to make a decision because of the prevailing political environment in the PF.

But Mr Lubinda said at no time had he ever courted the UPND with the desire of becoming the member of the opposition political party adding that he had never discussed his PF membership with anyone.

He has challenged Mr Lifwekelo to prove his allegations that he (Lubinda) had been lobbying for support from the UPND because he had fallen out of favour with the ruling party.

Reacting to a statement by Mr Lifwekelo that he (Lubinda) was no longer a factor in the Zambian politics and that the Kabwata MP had allegedly been pleading for support from the UPND as his days in the PF were over, Mr Lubinda maintained that there was no strong opposition in the current political arena and that the PF was likely to be retained in 2016.

Mr Lubinda who is former Foreign Affairs minister said as a member of the ruling party, there was nothing wrong to aspire to be appointed to serve in government stating that such appointments were in fact the preserve of the appointing authority on agreement of the appointee. He said his desire was to be in the ruling party so that he could contribute to the governance of the country and that his view about the PF retaining power in 2016 would not be diminished on the basis of satisfying what he termed unqualified views about the anger the PF had created among citizens.

“That I have been courting the UPND for support following some demonstrations against me is an insensitive allegation that cannot go unchallenged because it is not only vexatious but highly libelous. At no time have I courted the UPND for me to become their member nor have I discussed my PF membership with anyone in the UPND let alone with Mr Lifwekelo. I appeal to Mr Lifwekelo to produce further and better particulars of his allegations within the next seven days of publication of this story,” Mr Lubinda said.

Mr Lubinda said he made the statement that there shall be no change in 2016 because of lack of formidable opposition had received interesting reactions and that he had chosen not to respond because he was convinced beyond doubt that the PF shall be retained in government in the next general elections.

The Kabwata Parliamentarian said in his comment and responses to national matters, he had refrained from attacking individuals and their characters because he believed that national debate could not be reduced to individual feelings. Mr Lubinda said it was unfortunate that some of his critics had gone as far as daring him to resign as MP so that a by-election could be held to test the popularity of some opposition political parties.

“Who in their right frame of mind would want to create a by-election for the sake of feeding such a selfish ego. This reaction shows how some people are allergic to divergent views and how intolerant they are to criticism. Mr Lifwekelo may wish to know that I never seek power and powerful alliances for survival,” Mr Lubinda said. Mr Lubinda said that while the campaigns against him calling for his expulsion from the PF could have injured, they only did so while they lasted but did not change his attitude towards the PF.