JOSEPHS Akafumba says the honourable thing for Chishimba Kambwili to do is to give up on the NDC and say “bye, bye; I have gone to PF”.
And Kambwili yesterday attended the PF national convention Mulungushi Conference centre.
Akafumba, the National Democratic Party (NDC) interim president, also says Kambwili should be moving with tags of 1. handle with care, 2. fragile, 3. follow at your own risk, because of his political unpredictability.
There has been bickering in the NDC that has seen Akafumba and Kambwili deposing each other from the presidency of the three and half years old party.
Akafumba has been pulling those loyal to him to the UPND Alliance while Kambwili is stealthily, but visibly, matching into the PF.
“He is gone! In my view, that announcement of wanting now to work with Edgar who, for the last three and half years, he has been calling all sorts of names, means he is 100 per cent in PF. We have known all along,” Akafumba said in an interview at The Mast offices in Lusaka.
“So, the honourable thing for him to do now is to give up on the NDC and say ‘bye, bye; I have gone to PF’. You can’t have two positions – you can’t be NDC and at the same time be PF.”
He pointed out that Kambwili was no stranger to political moonlighting.
“You remember when PF expelled him; in the morning he was NDC, making appointments and so forth. But in the afternoon, he was PF MP. This is what we can’t allow!” Akafumba said.
“Even in the alliance, he wanted to introduce the same thing where he wanted to be vice-president and running mate and at the same time have an opposition party, the NDC.”
He noted that Kambwili was playing Stone Age politics where before his colleagues he waves: “a velvet glove which contains an iron fist.”
“[But] the alliance partners were able to see through the bluff,” he said.
Akafumba added that for now, if he had to have any credibility, Kambwili should gather some ‘leopard courage’ and plainly say that: “I have gone to PF.”
“All of us will say ‘thank you very much. It’s your political choice and we wish you well in your new party, PF’,” he said, adding that a leader must be predictable.
“You can’t have a leader who you don’t know where they are leading you. We have been vindicated [about Kambwili rejoining the PF]. We don’t know what detergent he is going to use to clean the PF.”
He further said since Kambwili markets himself as a political guru, “I’m very sure he will not run short of some chemical detergent to clean up the PF.”
“At the end of it all, all those who called us names, plants by Hakainde, which is unfortunate, paid by the UPND, which again is unfortunate, everybody has seen what we had said,” he noted.
“We have been vindicated that CK (Chishimba Kambwili) in the alliance didn’t mean well and he was just there to destroy the alliance. Now he has gone back to where he claims is his home.”
Akafumba also spoke to those who have remained, loyal to Kambwili.
“I want to believe that they are following him blindly; this is the time to know that he is going to the very people who have caused misery in this country. This business of being a zombie in politics, following without question, is a big issue,” Akafumba said.
“Those who remained with Kambwili should make a choice of whether they want to serve this country or they will be the one to help to bury it. And we’ll never run short of such people (sellouts).”
On Kambwili’s numerous wild claims at his media briefings, Akafumba answered that: “he was Minister of Information and he made us believe that what he was saying about the PF is right.”
“So, if you are to follow him now, he must be labelled 1. handle with care, 2. fragile, 3. follow at your own risk because the fellow can U-turn at the last minute and apologise,” cautioned Akafumba.
“We all believed him and then he turns around and says ‘I never verified such information.’ We must reach a stage where leaders’ word becomes their bond.”
And Kambwili told ZNBC’s Franklin Tembo that his attendance of the PF convention was indicative of political maturity and civility.
However, Kambwili said the NDC would condemn PF if it does something wrong that affects people’s lives.
He said he was in an alliance with UPND but the opposition party did not even invite them to attend their convention.
Told that many expected that he had rejoined the PF, Kambwili said she was flunked by Saboi Imboela, who has been appointed acting vice-president of the party.
He said he was also flacked by the NDC secretary general and chairperson and wondered whether they too were joining the PF.
“In any case if I decide to join the PF, what wrong has it got? It’s my choice. But here we have been invited…people forget that I am one of the five people who started PF and surely to be associated with PF is not a sin,” Kambwili, whose videos coarsely condemning President Edgar Lungu and the PF, calling them thieves and corrupt, have been unearthed, said.
Kambwili said when he seen Green (the PF colour), he reminisces the good old days and wished they could “come back”.
Kambwili said in the next two weeks he would start exposing the people he had been with for whom they are and that when he does that they would never rise on any platform again.
Asked if he would consider any calls for an alliance with PF, Kambwili said no single person in NDC makes the decision alone.
“If the members decide that we work with PF so be it. If the members decide that we go to UPND, God forbid,” Kambwili said.