Former Patriotic Front (PF) Eastern Province chairman Lameck Mangani has accused Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba of peddling falsehoods against him (Mangani) with the sole intention of creating a rift between the people of the region and President Michael Sata.
And some PF officials who have been angered by the dismissal of Mr Mangani are now contemplating meeting former president Rupiah Banda to apologise for having made the wrong political decision to join the ruling party that has since turned against them.
Mr Mangani who was on Friday fired as Eastern Province PF chairperson said the people of the region were shocked by President Sata’s action and his fellow members were angry with Mr Kabimba who had waged a sustained campaign to hound him out of the ruling party.
He said the accusation by Mr Kabimba that he was dividing the ruling party and sponsoring a group of cadres called the Jimbos were baseless meant to poison the mind of President Sata so that he (Mangani) could be removed from his position and the party. The former Home Affairs deputy Minister during the Rupiah Banda administration said he saw the writing on the wall that Mr Kabimba was against his continued stay in the ruling party hence his invention that he was causing divisions in the PF.
Mr Mangani however refused to make further comments on his dismissal and has pledged to issue a comprehensive statement after making consultation with the party in the region.
“There were clear signs that I was not wanted in the PF by Mr Kabimba when I look at the manner he attacked me at a public meeting. He accused me of sponsoring the Jimbos who I found when I was joining the PF. Mr Kabimba has been peddling falsehoods about me so that President Sata could turn against me. The people in Eastern Province are now in shock. It is not about me but the people,” he said.
And PF youths in Eastern Province have accused President Sata and his secretary general Kabimba of completely killed the ruling party in the region by humiliating Mr Mangani who had sacrificed a lot for the ruling part when it was in the opposition. Jacob Sakala, a senior PF security official in Eastern Province said the opposition in the region was celebrating Mr Kabimba’s decision because they had realised that the ruling party would allegedly never win an election in the region without Mr Mangani.
Mr Sakala said what President Sata and Mr Kabimba should know was that the opposition UPND and MMD were not asking for payment to join them and that the dismissal of Mangani was allegedly the final nail on the PF because Eastern Province would never be forgiven for its action.
Mr Sakala said it was disheartening that President Sata and Mr Kabimba had used, abused and rejected Mr Mangani after the sacrifice he made together with the people who joined the ruling party when many people wanted to associate themselves with the party in power then-MMD.
“Mr Kabimba came here to insult Mr Mangani and as the people in the region that loved the PF with all our hearts and strength, it is extremely unfortunate that we have been treated like political lepers. He has been cheating the President and now the opposition is celebrating because they know the PF will never win an election in Eastern Province. Mr Kabimba should know that he has killed the PF and let him be informed that the UPND and the MMD do not charge to join their parties,” Mr Sakala said.
And former Lusaka district PF vice secretary Benja Siwila said the opposition political parties in Eastern Province were celebrating the demise of the ruling party following the dismissal of Mr Mangani whose relationship with Mr Kabimba has always been acrimonious.
Mr Siwila said the dismissal of Mr Mangani had effectively killed the ruling party in the region and that President Sata and Mr Kabimba will have to vote for themselves in the next general elections.