BARELY three weeks after asking, ‘Would I be foolish as GBM to go and join a sinking titanic called PF’, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba yesterday rejoined the ruling party saying his time in UPND was hell. Mwamba, who vowed to dismantle the UPND, apologised to President Edgar Lungu and PF for calling the ruling party leaders thieves.
“When you are hurt you can say anything. If they were thieves they would have been caught by now, so they are not thieves,” he said.
On April 4, Mwamba said his inactivity in the UPND was as a result of his ailing wife.
He added that there was no one who was going to “shake me.”
“I have no reason to resign. Why should I resign? Where am I going? Unless I’m going to form my own political party! But they are saying he is joining PF; tukabolala natuleta insala elo nje mukucita ntwane (damn thieves, they have brought hunger and I go and do…)” Mwamba charged.
“Sooner rather than later, they will be out of power. Look at the misery they have brought among Zambians! Would I be foolish as GBM to go and join a sinking titanic called PF? Let’s be serious, Zambians. I don’t want that nonsense again! People of Zambia, I want to assure you that I’m not going anywhere, I’m still vice-president of UPND. There is no one who is going to shake me and I’m not going to go because I’ve seen how much Zambians are suffering. There is no way I’m going to join PF.”
And Mwamba, an ex-defence minister, laughed off the US $50 million ‘thrown’ by the PF to ensnare him.
“The speculation is that they gave me $50 million…. Come one, guys! Even those who were writing that story are stupid! They don’t know what I’m worth? I’m worth more than $50 million. How can I go and get a paltry $50 million from those guys? In any case, do they have that money?” he wondered.
“The treasury is depleted; baliiba indalama shonse shili ku China (they have stolen all the money and it’s in China). Please, remain united as a party. We are still intact as your leaders; there is nothing that will divide me and Hakainde Hichilema, no matter what you say. Those detractors who think that they are going to break UPND, mwailasha (you’ve fired a blank).”
But at a press briefing yesterday, Mwamba charged UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was stubborn and arrogant for nothing, who would do well to abolish the position of vice-president because it was irrelevant.
“I have gone through hell in our party UPND. In the UPND you are supposed to align yourself with Hakainde Hichilema and if you don’t, then there is a problem. I was also not even allowed to speak to MPs. If an MP came to my house they should be reprimanded,” Mwamba said.
He lamented that his position as vice-president was ceremonial as the party was about HH and the secretary general. Mwamba accused Hichilema of holding kitchen cabinet meetings where he sidelined his vice-president on most occasion. He said his relationship with Hichilema had gone sour adding that the UPND leader and himself would no longer trust each other. He said he had been left with no option but to rejoin the ruling Patriotic Front, vowing to dismantle UPND.
Mwamba said the fear of the UPND leadership was that he would have challenged Hichilema at the party’s convention this year. He bragged that Hichilema did not do him a favour when he appointed him running mate in the 2016 presidential election. Mwamba said the opposite happened owing to the numbers he brought to the UPND as well as the improved performance in the Bembaland and the Copperbelt. He lamented that Hichilema dissolved branches in Kasama, his ‘bedroom’, without his knowledge.
“He should thank me. My brother has got a short memory but I forgive him, there is a lot going on in his head. He dissolved branches in Kasama without my knowledge. If he had respect for me, he would not have dissolved branches without my knowledge…can I go and dissolve branches in Southern Province without his knowledge? I cannot trust HH today and he cannot trust me, we cannot work together,” Mwamba said.
“Utu utuma amateur politicians…why they doing this to me is because of the convention. They think I will challenge him but what should I do? I am asking my supporters.”
Mwamba, who was in the company of some PF officials at his Luanshya road offices, said he was a democrat thus wanted to ask his supporters on his next move having been hounded out of UPND.
Before he could even finish his question on what to do next, his alleged supporters started flashing the PF symbol.
“Kubwelelafye uko twafumine (We will just go back where we came from),” chanted the supporters.
“I will ask since I believe in democracy…should we form our own political party? Should we join another political party or should we go back to PF? I believe in democracy, so I will do what the majority want,” Mwamba asked the crowd that was already flashing PF symbol and singing dununa reverse.
Mwamba also advised the UPND to change their presidential candidate saying maintaining Hichilema would not see them win any presidential election.
“If you are not going to change the leadership of HH, the party will never see the door of State House, maybe 40 years from now. I feel sorry for UPND. You do not know what you have done…Balasa kuchipo cha nshimu (They have struck a beehive).”
Mwamba further instructed his supporters to resign from UPND while vowing to dismantle the opposition party.
“I do not want any position in PF but I want to work closely with everyone to dismantle the UPND. You have not been kind to me so I will not be kind to you,” said Mwamba.
On his part, Hichilema thanked GBM for his services and wished him well.
“We would like to thank our former vice-president Dr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba for the services he rendered to the party in our quest to run the country better,” said Hichilema.
“We wish our brother, GBM, all the best in his new journey and future endeavour. Further, we appeal to our party members and the nation to respect our brother’s (GBM’s) decision as it is his democratic right.”