Although many Patriotic Front cadres and civil servants were celebrating yesterday’s news that Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba had been fired, there’s at least one person who was sad to see him go – Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe.
Writing in the editorial section of today’s edition, M’membe mourned the loss of Kabimba, who was seen to many as his puppet as part of the cartel.
“This is the culmination of a long and sustained campaign of lies, malice and all sorts of propaganda against Wynter,” M’membe writes.
“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.”
Although M’membe appeared to strongly defend Wynter, he also appeared to be submitting to President Sata, emphasising that it was his right to fire Kabimba.
“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,” M’membe wrote.
The newspaper editor did however seem to think that one day in the future the “incorruptible” would rise again to prominence, which may be read as a veiled threat to President Sata.
When the succession struggle opened up into the public, the Post was the primary vehicle being used to attack Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, who later gave a radio interview where he directly identified the “cartel” that wanted to usurp power and avoid having to pay a K14 billion debt to the Development Bank of Zambia.