(By Darious Kapembwa and Andrew Chileshe)
CHISHIMBA Kambwili on Sunday brought Mufulira town to a standstill when his motorcade made rounds in the central business district.
And Kambwili, the PF Roan member of parliament, who is challenging his expulsion from the ruling party in court, says PF secretary general Davies Mwila’s insistence that Edgar Lungu is still the party’s candidate in the 2021 general elections goes to show that there is confusion in the ruling party.
But PF Copperbelt chairman Stephen Kainga says as long as Kambwili continues to attend the National Democratic Congress meetings, his party’s cadres will continue to beat him up. Meanwhile, police in Ndola have cancelled NDC’s meeting.
Kambwili, in the company of NDC secretary general Mwenya Musenge and the new party’s leadership first attended mass at St Lawrence Catholic Church, attracting the attention of parishioners who turned to catch a glimpse of him when word went round that he was attending mass. By the time the church service ended, residents thronged to the main gate where they greeted Kambwili.
Many parishioners bitterly complained and lashed out at the parish secretary, who during announcements at the end of the service could not introduce Kambwili to the congregation, accusing her of being PF.
After a brief meeting in the priest’s office, Kambwili’s entourage went round town centre where people lined up, while raising the NDC symbol with some shouting “Imbwili batushila bashi Chilufya naisa, tulemumona Lungu acilamo bukabolala (the leopard that Sata left for us has come, we will see Lungu; his thieving is too much)”.
Kambwili, who was also accompanied by his wife, visited three markets in the mining district where residents did not hide their admiration for him as his motorcade grew in size as some taxi drivers joined and honked. Business virtually came to a standstill in the central business district as Kambwili’s entourage faced no resistance from PF.
A few youths that were seen in PF regalia helplessly looked on as they were overwhelmed by the response from the public.
And in an interview, Kambwili said the ruling party had no future in Zambia’s politics because it lacked disciplined leadership.
“You can see that there is total confusion, you cannot depend on Davies Mwila to be chief executive officer of the party and expect you to move. You know Mr Sata used to say, ‘if we give Davies Mwila some leadership, he will destroy the party because all he knows is lying’ but you have him as the CEO and Lungu as president; what do you expect for the party? There is no future for the PF with the likes of Davies Mwila,” said Kambwili in a brief interview before he went to address the NDC meeting at the Hindu Hall as a political consultant.
Meanwhile, Musenge yesterday complained that the Ndola police had, without reason, cancelled his party’s meeting scheduled for yesterday in the town.
He said police had initially allowed his party to have its meeting in Ndola last Saturday but later advised that it be rescheduled for yesterday.
“My brother, I don’t know what to do, I really don’t know what these people want. They have withdrawn my permit (for meeting) for Ndola. This is not right, I am spending a lot of money organising these meetings. What is annoying is that they moved it from Saturday to Monday, they said Sunday is a difficult day. Now today Katanga calls me and tells me ‘you cannot go ahead’,”
“She tells me ‘if you want you can appeal or you can talk to the IG’. Is that what it is supposed to be? Now she is not even picking my calls. I really don’t know where to bring out this anger in me.”
Musenge said in Mufulira, there were little skirmishes that did not affect his meeting, which he said was big.
PF tried to disrupt the meeting, which drew a lot of members from the ruling party, but some of them were arrested by police
Kainga confirmed that eight PF cadres were detained at Mufulira Central Police Station after being arrested for attempting to disrupt am NDC meeting at Hindu Hall.
“Yes, they are our members. Eight of them are detained. We are going again to the police to see our members who are in custody. Those are our members that went to Mufulira,” Kainga said.
He further justified the conduct of PF cadres who caused confusion against NDC members on the Copperbelt.
“As long as Chishimba Kambwili continues to attend NDC meetings, our cadres won’t let him be. He can’t continue to claim that he is PF yet attending opposition NDC meetings. So our cadres are not happy and will continue to take him on,”
“Kambwili is causing confusion on the Copperbelt in our structures. He is in Parliament today on PF and we can’t allow this to continue. He should come out in the open and resign or join NDC. But as long as he still claims to be PF but attending NDC meetings, our cadres won’t allow this.”
He said the PF had no problem with Mwenya Musenge, who had formed his political party and said his party’s cadres would not allow any NDC meetings to be addressed by Kambwili.
“Musenge formed his party and we are happy with that because political parties need to coexist. So if he [Kambwili] comes out in the open, we will not have a problem with him. Our cadres will not allow him to do what he is doing now. That is what is making our cadres upset,”
said Kainga, but later phoned saying he wanted to withdraw the statement against Kambwili, claiming that he had spoken to the Roan member of parliament and resolved the matter.
However, Kambwili denied speaking to Kainga yesterday.
“Just tell him that let him go ahead because only amateurs in politics resort to physical confrontation. I will not involve myself in physical confrontation neither will be tell NDC youths to do that. Us we are going to deal with issues that are affecting the people,” Kambwili said.
“And tell Kainga to say that he is very childish following what they did in Mufulira where the entire PF Copperbelt executive followed us to where we were having a meeting; they were the ones who were calling us political nonentities, they called us political mosquitoes, now why are they following the political mosquitoes? Can you imagine when we had a meeting, the entire executive, the MPs came to Mufulira because they saw that we had a mini-rally. And we want to tell them that ukucenjela kwankoko pungwa tasakamana (an eagle is not bothered by a chicken’s tricks).”
He said for him, being expelled from the PF was a blessing in disguise because the God he worships does not sleep.
“Those people became very selfish, they forgot where they came from. None of those people even at provincial level can say they’ve been there for PF; they are just people that joined, most of them in the last two, three years,” Kambwili said.
“Now you know how God works, you cannot go into somebody’s house, remove his children and enjoy staying in that house. [President Edgar] Lungu is a very ungrateful person. After what we did for him, he thought it was very easy, now we are going to show him that it is not as easy as he thought. When we were organising the party, the thought it was him doing it.”
He said time had come for President Lungu to know who were the real organisers of PF.
“And we shall see when he remains with a skeleton but tell him that they should not interfere with our permits, they should not come and cause confusion, being physical because as we are concerned, NDC handling issues that are affecting the people,” Kambwili said.
He said he was not ashamed to be associated with the two-month-old party.
“What should be underlined is that I was expelled and I am in court. Who knows what the outcome of the court will be? So I have every right to associate with any political party of my choice and no one should interfere. Suppose the court rules that I am expelled, you want me to remain in the bush? I can’t remain in the bush. This is the time I am sifting to see which political party I can move to if the worst gores to the worst. And I think in my view, it is the NDC, that’s why I am found with the NDC,”
“But I am PF found with NDC just like Mutati is MMD but found with PF.”