A number of prominent Patriotic Front members have threatened to leave the party should President Michael Sata fail to take action against Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba who has been making disparaging remarks against fellow central committee members and ministers.
They are particularly angry that President Sata asked Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe to promote Kabimba, in what they believe to be a succession pact.
The split in PF is so deep that only Education Minister John Phiri, Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and Christopher Yaluma of energy were in Parliament yesterday while others were reportedly meeting to strategise.
Most of the officials are concerned by the direction the party has taken in associating with individuals in corrupt activities.
They cited the Chikopa Tribunal, the Judiciary standoff with acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda as among other reasons for the disenchantment in the party.
Officials within the ruling party have alleged that Kabimba had drawn up a list of party officials and Cabinet ministers he wants suspended from the party by President Sata as soon as he (Sata) arrives back home from New York where he went for the United Nations general assembly.
It is believed that among the ministers earmarked for suspension are defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba, Minister of Sports Chishimba Kambwili, mother and child deputy minister Jean Kapata and Lusaka district PF chairman Robert Chikwelete for having openly refused to support Kabimba’s presidential ambitions.
Efforts to get a comment from Mwamba and Kambwili by press time failed as their mobile phones went unanswered while Chikwelete asked to be called back later as he was busy at the time.
The officials have revealed that following the revelations that President Sata would keep Kabimba, most of the Cabinet ministers and central committee members had been having a series of meetings in Lusaka.
President Sata had directed his Cabinet ministers and central committee members at the joint cabinet/central committee meeting at State House to defend Kabimba because he was being attacked left right and center by party members but none of the ministers have come out to defend the Justice Minister apart from Vice-President Guy Scott.
The annoyed Cabinet ministers have revealed that they were not ready to serve the interests of Kabimba and would be ready to remain mere members of parliament than belong to a government where the Justice Minister and President Sata were allegedly brokering succession deals between them.
The officials have revealed that a named PF member of parliament from Luapula Province was spearheading the revolt and that the booing that the Vice-President suffered recently in Mansa was part of the plan to resist the anointing of Kabimba.