The Post Newspaper owned by Mr. Fred M’membe is seen as a sympathizer of Mr. Wynter Kabimba former Justice Minister. Mr. Kabimba was fired from his position as minister and Secretary General of the party on 28th August 2014 by President Michael Sata. On 29th August The Post carried a thought provoking editorial and we would have a copy here so that we can refer to it in future.
The dropping of Wynter Kabimba from his positions as secretary general of the ruling Patriotic Front and Minister of Justice seems to have come as a big surprise to the nation.
Many people were phoning us yesterday, asking what is happening in Michael Sata’s government and the Patriotic Front. Their shock is understandable. But this did not come as a surprise to us because it is not an isolated incident.
This is the culmination of a long and sustained campaign of lies, malice and all sorts of propaganda against Wynter. It is a continuation of the campaign that we saw last year being waged against him by well-known elements. At that time, we concluded that Wynter was under attack from corrupt and tribalistic elements and deserved the support of all Zambians of goodwill. They paraded a coffin with his name on it on Cairo Road with impunity. It reached a point where Wynter was not ready to take it anymore and offered to leave.
It was clear at that time what forces were at play and what was propelling them.
There are times in life when evil triumphs over good. But the triumph of evil is always a very short-lived one. In 2008, Rupiah Banda and his corrupt clique triumphed in the contest for the leadership of the MMD and the country. Where are they today? Where has that victory taken them? What has that victory brought them? Corrupt and tribalistic elements have gotten their way and are today celebrating over Wynter’s removal from government and the key leadership of the Patriotic Front. But this victory will not last any longer than the light of a candle lasts under a storm. “History as a whole,” Lenin observed, “is always richer in content, more varied, more multiform, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even the best of parties.”
Michael has every right to drop Wynter. It is his party, it is his government and he has the right to choose whom he wants to work with and discard those he doesn’t want anymore.
Michael also has the right to choose between the honest, the incorruptible and the dishonest and corrupt. But there are always consequences for the choices one makes.
We have been asked what to expect from these changes. Our answer has been: ‘We don’t know.’ However, one can make some simple guesses. You judge where one wants to go or where one is headed by the type of people one picks to accompany him on his journey.
If one picks dishonest and corrupt elements to accompany him, then the ending is not difficult to foresee. And nobody feels sorry for snake-charmers or wild animal tamers who get bitten, and nobody will feel sorry for you if you run around with dishonest, crooked and corrupt elements and get involved in their wrongdoing.
For these reasons, we advise against being jealous of the successes of dishonest, crooked and corrupt elements; you don’t know what kind of disaster is in store for them. Don’t take pleasure in the things that make dishonest, crooked and corrupt elements happy; remember that they will be held guilty as long as they live.
As for those who want to do the right things and serve their people in an honest, just and fair way, they should be prepared for times when they will be put to test. They will have to be sincere and determined. They will need to keep calm when trouble comes and accept whatever happens to them. Even if they suffer humiliation, they should be patient. Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation.
As for Wynter, we believe he has discharged his duty with sufficient honour and integrity and there is nothing to worry or feel humiliated about. The positions he was holding both in government and in the Patriotic Front were not his – they belonged to Michael. Wynter was serving in those positions at Michael’s invitation. He was invited to be secretary general of the Patriotic Front by Michael. He was equally invited to be Minister of Justice by Michael. Of course, it took over a year for Wynter to accept a position in Michael’s government. Wynter did not seek or want to be minister. He resisted being a minister for more than a year. It was his respect, loyalty to and trust for Michael that made him eventually accept to serve as minister. Today, Michael has decided to do things differently. Why should that be an issue? And why should Wynter be hurt by something he didn’t seek, he didn’t want, when it is taken away from him?
Through the use of lies, deception, conditions were every day being created for the imposition of an apparatus for the serving of personal ends which would eventually move out of the way the most honest, the incorruptible.
These things happen. They have happened in many political parties and to many progressive people, individuls the world over. Wasn’t Chris Hani expelled from the African National Congress to later become the chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe and a hero of the ANC, second only to Nelson Mandela in popularity and people’s trust? We have no doubt Wynter is an honest, incorruptible, progressive well-meaning man who deserves respect. Of course, this is not to say Wynter is indispensable. No one is indispensable.
All will one day go. We believe that neither the history of countries, nor the lives of nations, should be dependent on individuals, on personalities. But we should not destroy those leaders who have prestige. What happens if we destroy them? Then, unfortunately, when difficult times come, the people do not have anyone in whom to believe. The more voices we have that speak with authority, so much the better. If we have one leader, two, ten, with prestige, we should have more leaders with prestige.
What has happened, what is happening is not a product of oversight nor is it unconscious, but rather it is deliberate and conscious. Some people have simply allowed themselves to be blinded by personal ambition, greed and vanity. And as a result, they are creating a series of problems. In a word, they are creating veritable chaos.
We have no doubt a lot will be said about this issue. Many questions will be asked seeking honest answers. Will honest answers come? We doubt it!
As for Wynter, our advice is let these positions or appointments that were creating a lot of problems in his long relationship with Michael go. But they should not in any way destroy his long friendship, brotherhood and comradeship with Michael. Rather, the removal of these positions should now free him from all encumbrances and allow him to enjoy a more free relationship with Michael anchored on loyalty and principles they share. Loyalty and firmness of principles should never be traded for positions. It is advised that “never abandon an old friend; you will never find a new one who can take his place”.
However, in the final analysis obligations and commitments to the people, the nation, the homeland should take precedence over obligations, commitments to individuals, friends, comrades, relatives.