Sunday, March 3, 2024

The beautiful ones will be born – but not in Wynter


By Chimwemwe Mwanza

Out with Rainbow, enter the Economic Front. Just like that, Wynter Kabimba has just undergone a political metamorphosis. Nothing wrong, he has a democratic right to – except the manner he has chosen to dust-off his political cobwebs is intriguing.

His parting shot to the party that he without any coercion christened Rainbow is petrifying. There is also the oddity in his reasoning for disbanding Rainbow – which is that it’s taken him seven years to realise that the Rainbow brand had a disturbing sexual connotation which impeded growth of his party. This is Wynter for you. Driven by a blind obsession to succeed against all odds, he has a penchant for shooting from the hip. He is not afraid to speak truth to power – exactly the leader you need in opposition politics to keep a government in check.

In his piece ‘The beautiful ones are not yet born’ published in Lusaka Times (LT) after rebranding his party, Wynter raises valid arguments regarding President Hakainde Hichilema’s less than stellar-run, five months after the latter assumed the Presidential reigns. To his unsolicited defence, forgive HH. He is a man that is still trapped in his own aura of electoral invincibility. To his consolation, he has plenty time to come back to earth and help his party to change course. As we have come to learn, there is nothing more frightening to a Zambian politician than seeing a disgruntled and jobless youth entering a polling booth.

In the UPND universe, the party has curiously crafted its own dictionary through which it defines corruption, nepotism, and retribution. Think of it this way, the Minister of Agriculture manufactures a crisis that leads to a shortage of fertilizer, he then improvises a solution that picks a sole supplier to fill this void – this in contravention of government’s procurement policy. According to the UPND, this is not corruption but ‘government intervention’. Talk of double standards, how many government officials that served in the previous dispensation are in court for circumventing similar procurement regulations?

Back to Wynter, his bluster in the opinion piece fits neatly into a growing tendency by opportunists to whitewash history for political expediency. Mind you, this is one politician who will stop at nothing to catapult himself to State house. Like the three times that Peter denied Jesus, he deftly sidesteps his role in the rise of the PF while projecting himself as the political messiah that Zambia is still waiting for – pretty much like, ‘Wynter ngatalipo bonse aba nibangwele’.

So, what does he really stand for? His propensity to flip-flop is legendary but doesn’t surprise. On the eve of last year’s Presidential polls, he endorsed the PF candidate, whom he surprisingly describes as a weak leader in the write-up for LT. As the Secretary General of the PF, he was the glue that kept competing interests of PF members in check. A disciplinarian of note, he was ruthless often moving swiftly to quell dissent in his ranks.
To Wynter’s credit, it’s remarkable how PF under his guidance and urged on by Micheal Sata – one of Zambia’s greatest political orators dispatched the then ruling MMD from power. While he initially declined to serve in the PF’s maiden cabinet, Wynter used his position at the PF secretariat to lay fertile grounds to take over the Presidency from the ailing Sata. He proceeded to reward his cronies with key positions in government while others were sent to serve in foreign missions.

As Justice Minister, his flagrant abuse of power literally crippled prosecutorial institutions. How did we get to a point at which a man that so vehemently pontificated his aversion to corruption became one of the first ministers serving in the PF government to be questioned for an oil procurement irregularity? Typical of Wynter, he cried foul and accused the Anti-Corruption Commission of malice.

But who can forget how he hounded GBM out of government? Given Lubinda whom he accused of an unsubstantiated charge of treachery was banished into political wilderness. Was Wynter the architect of panga politics in PF? He knows the answer. Of his many transgressions, the persecution and mental torture that he and the infamous cartel inflicted on former President Rupiah Banda left a terrible but indelible blemish on Zambia’s history.

As Karma would have it and just like Icarus whose story is told in Greek mythology, Wynter flew too close to the sun and got burnt so badly. He got hounded out of the PF, kicking, and screaming his way out. While true that humans are forgetful in nature, you simply can’t erase history with a stroke of a pen. As part of his rebranding exercise, he owes it to himself to reflect on his political trajectory. Does he want to build the Economic Front on a platform of lies? It’s his choice. It goes without saying that Zambia’s politics desperately need him.

But fact remains, when the obituary of the PF is finally written, Wynter’s name will be etched on its tombstone as one of its foremost leaders. We will then wait for the birth of the beautiful ones; you hope they won’t be born in the cold season.

About the Author: Mwanza enjoys reading Political History and Philosophy. He is non-partisan but a passionate football fan. For feedback, email: [email protected]


  1. Very good narrative, married with figurative spices. This is a very mature writing. Indeed fact remains that ”when the obituary of the PF is finally written, Wynter’s name will be etched on its tombstone as one of its foremost leaders.” Our hope, albeit, Zambia’s politics still desperately needing Wynter, is that he will not go into oblivion, just like the Party he helped form Government, the PF. Nevertheless, the style of Politics he seems to have adopted so far may quickly make him to be irrelevant ion the Zambian Political Landscape. The Zambian Political landscape may eject him unceremoniously, just like he was vomited by the PF, to Nineveh- a land where he is supposed to truly serve and show his Political relevance.

  2. Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. A quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. What does it mean?
    Let’s start by defining “ideas,” “events,” and “people.” Discussing people here means to talk about a person, typically in a negative, gossipy way. Discussing events means to talk about the events happening around the world. Discussing ideas means to understand the higher level messages behind an event, to understand human behavior, to look beyond what’s given, and to find solutions to help the world.

  3. Good reminder ! Wynter forgets his past so easily, unfortunately he thinks everyone does. He misread the political wind and supported PF in the 2021 general elections even when it was very clear in his mind that PF was a criminal Party. He did not care about his integrity because wanted a job no matter the cost. I wish he can learn something now – His fights against HH are self damaging.

  4. A Beautiful and prosaic piece of writing. Concise and to the point . You’ve done us proud A Mwanza. A big Tick from me

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