CHISHIMBA Kambwili says those saying President Edgar Lungu is the preferred candidate for the 2021 general elections are bootlickers.
Meanwhile, Kambwili has called Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba a fool.
Briefing the press at his residence in Lusaka this afternoon, Kambwili, the former information minister, said he would not leave the PF because he had suffered for it.
“Today (yesterday) online, I am seeing some people saying that I should leave and form my own political party. Let me say this again, mwaloba ilyauma. I will never leave PF. I have suffered, been imprisoned and lost my businesses over PF. How many times have you been in prison yourselves to tell me to leave? I was arrested five times when we were in opposition. It is you who should go and form your own political party. Us we formed a party and came into government. I have been through thick and thin for the PF. Join PF and let us work together. You are destroying PF. I was fired and the reason why I was fired is not known. If President Lungu wants to tell me, he can tell me but if he doesn’t want, he can’t. I am PF inside out. I will never leave PF. I am not a political prostitute,” Kambwili said.
“How can Kennedy Kamba go to the press and warn me? Surely, can Kamba warn me? A provisional youth chairman warning a member of the central committee and we are watching! That is indiscipline. He is too junior. The only people that can scolf at me are the President, the Vice-president, the secretary general and the chairman of the party and I cannot answer back. Not Sunday Chanda to ask me to leave the party. When you allow small boys to insult senior members of the party…that is indiscipline. Kamba, mwaiche wandi, you must learn. This is what you used to do when there was Wynter Kabimba but when he left, you came to my office to plead and I spoke for you. You don’t learn mwaiche wandi. Life is a lesson. Don’t insult others. Even Stephen Kapyongo, warning me? Using which powers? He is not superior to me in the party.”
He said there was indiscipline in the PF.
“It must be noted that we formed the PF as a pro-poor party to serve the people of Zambia. Now I am extremely concerned that instead of serving the people of Zambia, we are spending more time insulting one another, attacking one another and working against one another. I want to call upon all members of the PF to avoid squabbles because squabbles will not take us anywhere. Those talking about 2021 are bootlickers and bootlickers don’t go anywhere. There are a lot of issues that we need to attend to in government that are extremely urgent to improve people’s lives. But I am so worried that instead of concentrating on serving the people, we are concentrating on talking about issues that are not important,” Kambwili said.
“For instance, the debate on the 2021 presidential candidate for PF…I find it very unnecessary. Even the endorsements that are going on in the country are unnecessary. If you follow events in the country in Zambia, these are issues that bring divisions in the party. President Lungu was only elected eight months ago. I think he needs to be given enough time to settle and deliver to the expectations of the Zambian people. I do not find it necessary for anybody to start endorsing President Lungu as the sole candidate for the PF in 2021. That is being irresponsible because every organisation has its own constitution. As Chishimba Kambwili, I have been very consistent on issues concerning the PF constitition. When president Sata died, there was a suggestion that the central committee would meet to choose the presidential candidate and I said no to that proposal. I am still saying no to any attempts to veer off the provision of our constitution.”
He said the PF constitution was very clear and that he did not expect anyone to go against it.
“The constitution does not say that when there is an incumbent president, there will be no elections in the party in the coming five years. Let me make it very clear that PF will never entertain the issue of sole candidacy. Nobody, not even central committee, will say that. We are not against President Lungu, what we fear is for us to be undemocratic and introduce tendencies that have potential to destroy the PF in future. What we want to do is what we did in 2015 by electing the president by the general membership. I find it very unreasonable for anybody to start talking about 2021. What we need to do as a party is to concentrate on service delivery. Once the party performs…and it’s not about an individual…it’s about the collective effort of the party. When it comes to 2021, we will just look at the performance of the party. We can say those who want to stand can stand but I think the general members can say ‘no President Lungu has worked so well, we are re-electing him’,” Kambwili said.
“All we are saying is there must be an election after five years. Those who think that they can drive an agenda of sole candidacy in PF, they are free to join the UPND where there are elections. We don’t want that to happen to PF. When people give divergent views, let them not be viewed as enemies of the party because this is what brings divisions in the party. What is happening in PF today, if you speak against the thinking of few individuals, you become an enemy of the party and what will follow is disciplinary action. This is becoming undemocratic and worrisome. I want to advise my colleagues in the PF that let us not stifle divergent views because it is dangerous. I don’t understand why people don’t learn from what has happened in Zambia. When all Zambians changed that they did not want Dr Kenneth Kaunda, a few ministers continued misleading him that all was well but what happened?”
He said Fredrick Chiluba who started very well was also misled by some people to start propagating the third term issue which ended up badly.
“This is what happens when a few individuals, bootlickers want to mislead the sitting head of state. Rupiah Banda was also misled into making wrong decisions and he lost elections. As PF, we must learn lessons from what happened in the past. We need to love and protect one another. People are enjoying telling lies about others in the party. Surely, you expect me to go and sponsor jerabos to destabilize the Copperbelt so that President Lungu loses elections and I take advantage of the situation to become president? That is a lot of nonsense. Where are we going? I beg those who just joined PF not to destroy it but build it. Bootlickers have never meant well. They speak for their pockets. A few ministers are going to private companies where I do business to cancel the contract and say they should not work with me because I am not in good standing with the party,” Kambwili said.
“I have been in business before I started politics, why do you want to destroy my business? I have been in business and dealing with the mines since 1993. The bible says he who rises by the sword will fall by the sword. Do unto others what you would like them to do unto you. I have tried to see the President to explain to him what his ministers are doing to my business but I have failed. Why should it take Bowman Lusambo to go and tell companies that they should not deal with me? Young man Lusambo, let me tell you; the direction you are taking is wrong. That is not the way we run PF. We have never squeezed anyone’s business in the PF. Leave Mwamona Engineering alone! You don’t know where the company has come from. I don’t want PF to fall in the ditch.”
He said it was sad that PF members were scared of telling President Lungu what was happening on the ground.
Kambwili said it was indisputable that the increase in electricity tariffs had been received with a lot of anger by Zambians but that no one had told President Lungu the truth.
He also said he was sure that some PF members were feeding President Lungu with lies that he was campaigning to be PF president.
Kambwili, however, said it was not wrong for one to have presidential ambitions.
“I cannot waste time to start positioning myself for 2021 now because we will cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili has called Kabimba a fool.
“Kabimba recently said I should not complain because I was in Cabinet. I said I will not answer back because people may not notice the difference. There is a saying in English that ‘if you argue with a fool…’ and I think like I said, he is political a nobody and I wouldn’t even want to talk about him. He is the worst politician this country has ever had. When I was fired, nobody celebrated. When he was fired, the whole country celebrated. He can’t see the difference? He can’t compare himself to me. He should not talk about issues he doesn’t understand,”
Kambwili said in reaction to Kabimba’ s statement last week that the Roan PF member of parliament was not strong as he was seeking sympathy from everyone after his dismissal from government.
He also dismissed Kabimba’s allegations that he did not have a car when he joined the PF.
Kambwili bragged that he had started driving when he was young and that he had worked hard for all he had.
And Kambwili jokingly told journalists not to take pictures of his new house saying that he did not want to be followed and accused of corruption.