NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has advised President Edgar Lungu not to satisfy the demands of some PF party members endorsing him as the sole candidate of the ruling party ahead of the 2021 general elections.
He told the Head of State that if entertains the endorsements, he will sob like Rupiah Banda when he loses the presidential seat.
Kambwili charged that no matter what President Lungu does to protect his presidency, as long as it was against the will of God, he would not succeed in 2021.
The opposition leader said President Lungu should allow the holding of a convention in the party as the members calling for his sole candidature were just enticing him.
“The ruling party must be exemplary in everything that they do and must lead by example. I am so shocked that what happened in 2015 when President Michael Sata died is what you want to bring back. I know this is a PF internal matter but I think as long as PF remains the ruling party, whatever they do is subject of scrutiny by the nation. Why should you start calling for a sole candidate and not to go for a convention?” Kambwili asked.
“If you cannot keep your own constitution, how do you respect the national constitution? That’s why when people assemble kuya balasa teargas (they are dispersed). And look at the people who are calling for PF not to go for a convention and President Edgar Lungu to be a sole candidate! Ni bamwisa bekabeka (outsiders only), ba Ng’ambi, Mwakalombe, Vincent Mwale, Chibanda ku Copperbelt, they are all MMD.”
Recently, PF members of Parliament on the Copperbelt requested the party, through the office of the secretary general Davis Mwila not to go for a convention in 2020 to choose the party’s presidential candidate ahead of the 2021 general elections as they had agreed that President Lungu carries on.
But Kambwili warned party officials calling for a sole candidate were behind Banda’s failure to win elections in 2011.
He said the Head of State should face his fear and call for a convention in order for other opposition political parties to emulate the ruling party.
“Ba Lungu, abo bene bantu ebalengele Banda ukulusa ama election. It’s high time President Lungu you came out and say ‘this nonsense of sole candidate, we are going to the convention and all those who want to stand against me, should stand against me’; be democratic as a ruling party,” he said.
“They cancelled our certificate because we haven’t gone for a convention; how can we go for a convention when PF was born in 2001 and only went to a convention in 2010? NDC has been in existence one year and you [PF] are saying there will be no convention, it’s a straightforward matter. People are just scared because they have lost so much popularity. Keep the democracy as PF,” Kambwili said.
And the former PF Roan member of Parliament questioned the significance of the national day of prayer and reconciliation when some opposition political parties were being harassed by police few weeks after citizens were subjected to pray and reconcile.
He wondered why the Democratic Party of Harry Kalaba was disrupted from holding a political rally in Samfya when it had obtained a permit from the police.
“On October 18, the State claimed it was national day of reconciliation, fasting and praying. Then you go and disperse the Democratic Party rally in Samfya with teargas when they had a permit, which was applied for. Hypocrites! Where are those pastors, bishops who helped PF to conduct those prayers all over Zambia? Where are you? Where is the voice of the church to tell President Edgar Lungu, the PF and the police that you cannot go on this trajectory? It is unacceptable in a democracy,” he said.
“At the same time that the DP was supposed to have that meeting in Samfya, PF in Western Province had a similar meeting chaired by their provincial chairman and the meeting was allowed to go on without disturbance. Where is reconciliation? Where is love for one another? Where is our democracy? This country cannot continue on a trajectory where it now seems to belong to PF and President Edgar Lungu. You cannot continue refusing the opposition to freely have their political rallies and mobilisation. It happened to me in Chipata. Again after mwapepa mwabwekeshapo (again after praying you repeat the same)! For me it’s not about Kalaba because what happens to Kalaba will happen to me. Twamipapata ba President Edgar Lungu kwateniko inkumbu no mutima wa butungulushi (we plead with you, be merciful and have a heart of a leader),” Kambwili said.
Kambwili said said no matter how hard President Lungu fights “tooth and nail” to avoid being ousted from power, when God gives him a second bite to the cherry, he would carry on.
He said if it was not in God’s will for President Lungu to continue, he would be ousted from power.
“Lesa nga na landa ati pa August 12, 2021 mukaya, nangu mucite ifili shani, kuya. Elo Lesa nganaeba ati mukapitilila, mukapitilila. Shikulu nangu mu kanye abanenu ukukwata ama meetings, (even if you destroy the political democratic space, if your time to go is 2021 you will go), nangu Sikazwe akapalamine shani, aleta filya aleta, tapali ifikachitika (no matter what Sikazwe brings, nothing will happen). Nangu mukasambe imipalu, muka sambe fina mulombwa, tapali ifi kachitika (no matter what charms you use nothing will happen),” he said.
“Even disturbing the opposition from having meetings will not help. Please, let’s learn to co-exist and allow other Zambians and opposition political parties to have political space. Mwalipepa, kanshi amapepo yenu yalepelela mu ma kumbi (yu prayed; were your prayers only reaching the clouds?)” Kambwili asked.
Kambwili was speaking after chief resident magistrate Lameck adjourned the matter in which he is accused of calling president Edgar Lungu a ‘dog’ to December 2, 2019.