The ruling Patriotic Front has suspended Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubinda for six months, withdrawing an earlier decision to expel him, after realising the decision will cost them a seat in their traditionally strong region.
President Michael Sata was briefed that expelling Lubinda will result into a by-election that the PF will have difficulties winning and its defeat in the urban area will send wrong signals.
After length deliberations during a party Central Committee meeting at State House earlier today, the leadership resolved to suspend Lubinda. This, however, is against the wishes of party secretary general Wynter Kabimba and his backers Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito.
Lubinda, who was dropped from his ministerial position as Foreign Affairs minister, will complete his suspension in June because it is effective December 10.
President Sata has since swore in Effron Lungu as foreign minister. Initial attempts by the Kabimba group was to frustrate Lubinda into resigning but after the Kabwata lawmaker stayed on, the party was scared to expel him.