NDC political consultant Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu will regret firing Planning and Development Minister Lucky Mulusa when he sobers up.

And Kambwili says President Lungu is a failed project who only wants to surround himself with bootlickers.

Reacting to Mulusa’s dismissal in an interview yesterday, Kambwili said it was one of the many bad decisions which President Lungu when drunk.

“People must not be fired for telling the truth, it is retrogressive. What Lungu needed to do was to go down to the issue and fish out the culprits who caused that miscalculation but I am not surprised because that is typical of Lungu. He doesn’t want anybody who will tell him ‘this is wrong, let’s do this’. Some of us stood up to him and told him we can’t borrow, we told him about corruption and we found ourselves outside the bracket. So I am not surprised, that is Lungu’s leadership.
His advisors are something else, how can you have [Freedom] Sikazwe as an advisor, how can you have Kaizer Zulu as an advisor, I mean, he just has a wrong team altogether. The earlier he learns that these people are misleading him, the better for him. But I think the problem the man has is his drinking problem. Most of these decisions they make when they are drinking at State House,” Kambwili said.

“They drink everyday from about 21:00 hours up to 00 and that is when they make their decisions. I have never seen a President who drinks with parastatal chiefs. The Zesco managing director is always at State House drinking, the chairman of the civil service is always at State House drinking, you cannot understand this man, he has a rare kind of human behavior. I feel sorry for him.”

He advised Mulusa to stay strong because he had the support of the people.

“But I wish to tell Mulusa that he should just soldier on and be brave, he should not feel that he made a mistake. He never made a mistake, he has a lot of support, the Zambian people are able to see and differentiate sense from nonsense,” he said.

And Kambwili said President Lungu should have fired Local Government Minister Stephen Kampyongo and all those involved in the procurement of fire tenders instead of targeting a whistleblower.

“Under President Lungu you will be kicked out for saying the truth but under Mr [Michael] Sata’s government, when you say that, Mr Sata will look at who committed that crime and go and fire those people who committed the crime. It is not Mulusa who should be fired, it is [Stephen] Kampyongo and his people who sat on the fire tender procurement. Even in this case, it is the Zesco engineers and the management from Zambezi River Authority who should have been fired for carelessness. But the whistleblower is the one who has been fired but the whistleblower is the one who has been fired, that is why I am saying this man has no political will to fight corruption because he is corruption number one himself. Kumona fye efyo amoneka. Nga aleyenda kwati balemusunka corruption yalifina muma tumba (You can even tell from the way he walks, as if he is being pushed because corruption is too heavy in his pockets),” Kambwili said.

“Lungu is a failed project. Look at the issue of the Gupta family in South Africa, the state capture, when it was at a heated point, even sitting ministers in President [Jacob] Zuma’s cabinet criticized the state capture but were those ministers fired? They were not fired, up to now they are still working with Zuma because those are advanced democracies where people are free to exercise their right of speech.
The other lesson we can learn is from Brexit. The Cabinet of David Cameron was divided, some were supporting, some were not supporting and in the process, there was an exchange of words, did we see any minister being fired? The answer is no because you have to argue in order to agree or to disagree but to our friend, when you just tell him something he is not happy with, you are given marching orders but that is not leadership. Nobody has the monopoly of wisdom, we have to learn from each other.”

He observed that President Lungu wanted to surround himself with bootlickers.

“You have a president who always wants to work with bootlickers, he doesn’t want people who are clever, who can tell him their own divergent views. I don’t think Mulusa made any mistake. What Mulusa was saying is true. You see, the spillway gates at Kariba were opened without focusing on whether there would be rainfall in the two coming seasons. As a result, they failed to build up the water in the next two seasons. So it is true that there was carelessness on the part of Zesco and Zambezi River Authority. It is not wise to have such a team, immediately Lusambo said he was a bootlicker to the president, he should have been fired. So if he is surrounded by boot lickers, he is going to forever make mistakes. Our friend, like I have said, he acts before thinking. Where I come from they say amino yalubuli yesa nga mwalwa. So that is the problem with Lungu, even when firing, he didn’t think about it but after he is in problems that’s when he is realizing he made a mistake. So even on Mulusa, he will realise he made a mistake,” said Kamwbili.