The plot to succeed President Michael Sata has hit full gear with acting President Wynter Kabimba’s polished image being propped on the Patriotic Front website. A profile playing up the credentials of Kabimba has been suspiciously posted on the PF website going some way in confirming the well documented scheme to have Kabimba as heir apparent to President Sata. Kabimba has criss crossed the country the last few months consolidating his position in the party as the ruling party’s candidate.
Below is the profile posted on the PF website:
WYNTER KABIMBA; AN EMBODIMENT OF PRINCIPLES, VALUES
THE memory of a smart, albeit tough talking and assertive youthful man, speaking about this or that municipal issue, always will hit you when you wish to talk about the history of Lusaka City Council, at least if you were in Zambia (and old enough) in the 1990s.
But perhaps what you would remember the most is the footage of this young smart Zambian telling a whole nation – and defiantly telling off a whole establishment and, behind it, the invisible hand of the president – that he had rejected politically motivated attempts to transfer him from Lusaka City Council to Kitwe City Council, seen by many as a demotion, if you take full account of the difference in status between Lusaka, the capital city and Kitwe, which isn’t even a provincial capital.
But for Wynter Kabimba, the most memorable erstwhile Lusaka Town Clerk, it had to be a matter of principle, not rebellion, to disobey a transfer that, according to many Zambians, was being pushed by an entire presidency (of late Frederick Chiluba at the time). This was because the move to transfer Kabimba lacked merit in all facets: whether one looked at it as a moral, legal or political issue or even as an issue of fairness, justice or transparency.
That is just how deep the Minister of Justice can go when a matter borders on principle, and no doubt a stance like that wins you friends, but also foes. If there is a matter Kabimba will not negotiate about, it is a matter of principle. For him principle is a straightforward issue that cannot be coiled or coloured to suit ulterior and other motives.
That is why if there is anything President Michael Sata’s naysayers have to reluctantly acknowledge, it is the fact that the head of state has most definitely shopped for the right man to succeed Sebastian Zulu at the helm of a ministry where principle (and Kabimba’s stance on it) is everything.
Kabimba did not join the Patriotic Front (PF) for fame or fortune. In fact it took quite a great deal of President Sata’s persuasion to finally get his man to take charge of the party’s affairs as Secretary General. And when he agreed, his impact on the PF was immediate. Again it comes back to principle. Wynter (as those close to the man proudly call him) would not have joined the PF if he had not believed in the equally principled, honest, sincere and well-meaning leadership of President Sata.
Birds of the same feathers flock together. President Sata and Kabimba share a common platform when it comes to values. They will both leave you in no doubt about how they think or feel about any issue. It’s called candour! They don’t mince words and, next, they both are disciplined and hardworking – values they will equally demand of you if or when you happen to work under them.
Admirably, the President and the Minister of Justice speak openly and frankly, but at the same time they are extremely tolerant of those who do the same, even those who disagree with them. President Sata isn’t a pushover, and Wynter Kabimba isn’t either. The two do not like dishonesty and if there is a reason they can descend heavily on you, it is that particular one.
On principle alone, Wynter led the onslaught on the PF’s association with UPND because there was a lack of sincerity of intentions. And on principle, the Honourable Minister of Justice refused to join the UPND at its inception because there was a load of tribally inclined connotations at the very early stage and he spotted this when he was invited as one of those to be consulted at a meeting held at late Anderson Mazoka’s residence, Ku-Malende, in the New Kasama area.
So Kabimba joins cabinet with no intentions other than to serve the country he so much loves. He was not in a hurry to get a job from President Sata even when, surely, he was among just about two people who deserved it the most, given his immense contribution to the PF’s victory after the September 20, 2011 elections. But Wynter is not a lesser human, and being the man at peace that he is, he was only excited for the country, not for his own sake. He was content with just having rescued Zambia from a deadly plague of corruption, bad governance and other inequities.
There is only one thing that motivates Kabimba when it comes to taking up any job or responsibility: He believes leadership is a demand-driven responsibility. There was clear demand for his services in this case, banking not just on his vast experience, but also on his strong stance of principles the nation so direly needs at the time when judicial reforms are inevitable.
After winning the 2011 elections, Kabimba continued as the Secretary General of the PF and under him the party has continued with its meteoric growth, even penetrating regions which were in the past thought to be strongholds for other political parties. These include Western, North-Western and Eastern Provinces.
On 3rd September, 2012, President Sata nominated and appointed Mr. Kabimba as a Member of Parliament and Minister of Justice respectively. On June, 20th, 2014, Mr. Kabimba was made acting President of Zambia while President Sata was overseas.