I have a right to discredit opposition parties, Kabimba
By Staff Reporter
RAINBOW Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says while his party is amenable to a political alliance, it cannot form an alliance with the UPND that believes that Zambia’s national development can be attained by foreign investors or the NDC that has no policy framework but just anchored on “insults and Bemba proverbs.”
And Kabimba says National Democratic Congress (NDC) political consultant Chishimba Kambwili is a comedian whose “college of insults” he (Kabimba) would not want to enrol.
Meanwhile, Kabimba has reiterated that unlike the Socialist Party, the Rainbow Party does not believe in socialism that divorces itself from religion.
Kabimba, who featured on Prime TV’s Oxygen of Democracy programme on Monday night, started by explaining why the Rainbow Party did not field a candidate in the Chilanga parliamentary by-election set for June 5.
“We have not put a candidate in the Chilanga by-election for the following reasons; firstly, we have raised certain fundamental issues with the Electoral Commission of Zambia which have to do with the management and administration of elections in our country. These are issues that have been outstanding from 2016 and I’m surprised that our colleagues, both in the ruling party and in the opposition, have decided to gloss over these issues,” Kabimba, a Lusaka lawyer, said.
“The first issue that we have is that we want to be convinced as Rainbow Party that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has the capacity to manage a free and fair and a violent-free election. So far, they have failed tremendously in winning the confidence of political parties as stakeholders, especially those of us in the Rainbow Party and I’m sure many [other] stakeholders.”
Asked by programme host Kalani Muchima why it was easy for a governing party to win by-elections, Kabimba linked that to vote-buying.
“I was looking at the various analyses after the last elections; I was looking at the euphoria in PF that they had 12 out of 16 [ward by-elections]! I was saying to myself why don’t people learn from history? Elections like the ones that took place last month are not necessarily indicative of your strength on the ground – they are not indicative of your popularity on the ground. They don’t guarantee you a clear message that in 2021 you may win the election. We saw this in MMD and yet when 2011 elections came, MMD lost to PF 43 per cent to 36 per cent – I was just looking at the figures this evening. So, there is a lot of bribery and corruption that goes on; there is a lot of buying of votes that goes on. You have something like 20 vehicles of ministers concentrated in one small ward for one week….”
On why he seemed to have a soft spot for President Edgar Lungu but remained stiff-necked to fellow opposition leaders, Kabimba pointed out that he had a truth-oriented disposition.
“Firstly, I want to tell you that my character [is that] I stand for the truth and if the truth that I stand for favours even the person that I don’t like, so be it. Secondly, there is no coalition or alliance amongst political parties – I have never attended a meeting of opposition political parties where we have said ‘these are the commonalities of national issues where we should speak with one voice.’ Each one of us is canvassing their own issues the way they see them. So, on that account I am at liberty to disagree with PF and to disagree with any other political party in the opposition. I have got the right to say the policies being canvassed by the UPND or NDC or FDD or indeed whatever political party, cannot get this country out of the poverty doldrums in which it is. Now, by saying that I’m not attacking HH (Hakainde Hichilema), I’m not attacking Kambwili – I’m marketing my party to the Zambian people. So, where does the soft spot lie?” Kabimba explained.
He added that the Rainbow Party stood ready to go into a political alliance with any party that was addressing the issues of Zambians.
“If you want to see me and my comrades in the Rainbow Party in an opposition political party alliance, we want to get there with people that are discussing serious issues that are of benefit to the Zambian people. For example, I don’t agree with the policy by our colleagues in the UPND that this country’s development framework can be successfully be driven by foreign investors. We totally disagree! The logic is simple; if that were true, the Copperbelt Province today has more foreign investors than any other province in this country. Is it any more developed than Muchinga Province? The answer is no! Is it any more developed than Southern Province? The answer is no! So, my elementary economics tells me that the only way you are going to successfully design a development framework that can serve the Zambian people’s interests is by making Zambians themselves the catalysts of that development. So, I have given you an example of one policy fundamental that we disagree with as Rainbow Party from UPND,” he noted.
“From the NDC, there is even no policy framework – there are just insults and Bemba proverbs. I have never seen how Bemba proverbs can develop a country! ….I will not attend Mr Kambwili’s college of insults – I can’t be his student! There is no school where you get a degree that you insult more in Bemba than anybody else – there is no college like that. So, I will not join that kind of comedy.”
Asked if his portrayal of the NDC meant that Kambwili was bent on insulting, Kabimba answered: “Oh! Come on; he is a comedian, I’m sorry to say. I have never heard any issue from him.”
“I’m glad [that] today somebody took him on a radio programme where he was saying ‘these Chinese have compromised the government’ and somebody said ‘but you were a Minister of Labour for a year.’ What the hell did you do? You still worked with the same Chinese! He still got contracts from the same Chinese. So, how can you turn around today because you are not eating with Lungu from the same plate and you want to be a hero? I refuse that kind of heroism!” Kabimba charged.
He went on to say if the UPND convinced him and showed him just one country in Africa out of the 54 countries that had developed through foreign investors, he might agree with them on their sustained policy on foreign investments.
“They have to show me not two countries but one country. They have, for example, to convince me why Nigeria with all its oil resources is just as poor as Zambia which has no oil! They have to show me why Angola, which is third or fourth [largest] oil-producing country in Africa is just as poor as Zambia! They have to show me why South Africa which has had a very strong economy has the same unemployment rate as Zambia! So, I’m at their beck and call,” Kabimba stressed.
On whether or not he could work with the Socialist Party whose 2021 presidential candidate is Dr Fred M’membe, Kabimba said: “The answer is the same; this is not about Fred M’membe, this is not about HH [but] this is about a principle. We don’t believe in the socialism that divorces itself from religion – that is the socialism they (Socialist Party) believe in. They believe that to be a socialist you must not believe in God –you must be an atheist. Like Karl Max said, man is nothing but matter and is not part of God’s creation; that religion is the opium of the people.”
Reminded by the programme host that he once cordially worked with Dr M’membe in the Rainbow Party, Kabimba responded that there was nothing wrong with changing.
“What is wrong with changing? There is nothing wrong bwana with changing – it is part of the evolution of human beings,” he said.
When asked if Dr M’membe used to fund the Rainbow Party, Kabimba answered: “Which party?”
“How come the Rainbow Party is here one year after M’membe is gone? I have heard those stories; people were going round bragging ‘I’m the one who is financing the Rainbow Party. Without me you will see that there will be no Rainbow Party.’ [But] the Rainbow Party is still here without them! So, can’t you prove that this is just people’s egoism?”
“The Rainbow Party is funded by its general membership. If you go to our Website, you will find our appeal to members at provincial, district and constituency levels to make contributions. You don’t need a lot of money to mobilise a political party – what you need are men and women of conviction and will.”
Meanwhile, on whether people with a questionable sexual orientation, believed to be prospective financiers for the Rainbow Party, were being brought in by Dr M’membe, Kabimba responded: “Ideally, yes! They knew him more than they knew me and I could see that they were very uncomfortable with me because me I talk the way I talk to you….”