NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says his 20 trucks are just parked at his Luanshya house because the PF has made it impossible for him to conduct business in Zambia.
And Kambwili says PF is stage-managing defections to hoodwink people into believing the party is still popular.
Speaking on Hot FM’s Hot Seat, Thursday, Kambwili observed that only PF supporters and sympathizers were able to conduct business freely in Zambia.
“What PF has done is something that has never happened in politics before, today if you don’t support PF, you will never do any business with government. This has always been the norm but to a very small extent. Yes even MMD used to do that but it wasn’t so much of a thing and I will give you an example, for me, I used to supply valves to the mines and the cocoa that the miners used to drink before they go underground and I used to supply mine bread. During [Levy] Mwanawasa’s time, the MMD guys went and told Mwanawasa that Kambwili is making money with the mines, he supplies mine bread, he supplies maheu to the mines and the same money that he’s making is the same money they are using to organise PF. But Mwanawasa asked them ‘what do you want me to do?’ they said ‘no you have to tell the mines to stop dealing with him’. But Mwanawasa refused saying ‘I cannot sink so low. That man is an entrepreneur, that business he’s doing is contributing to the GDP of the country, he’s creating employment for people and because of political expedience, I will not go to the mines to stop dealing with him because that will affect the economy of the country. If you feel that Kambwili is making that money, you go and compete with him’. That is how a reasonable President is supposed to behave,” Kambwili said.
“But look at what they have done to me, I cannot do business in this country. If you go to my yard in Luanshya, my 20 trucks are parked. What happens is, for instance at one time we went to some cement a factory and we signed a contract to ferry their cement from Copperbelt to Chipata. We did one trip, the following day we went there we were told ‘no this trip has been suspended’. But I was like ‘how have you suspended the route when we just signed the contract?’ So we went and packed our trucks. When we investigated, we found another trucker was given the contract and the guys told us that ‘no it’s pressure from government we have been told not to do business with you’. So all these defections that you are seeing, people saying they support PF, deep down of their hearts they don’t supporting PF, they are being intimidated, economically they are strained. PF has lost popularity, what they have is cosmetic support. You will see what is going to happen towards 2020 in the middle of 2020, that is when the true picture of the PF people perceive is going to come out. And I feel sorry for some boys in PF.”
Kambwili insisted that it was unfair for the PF to treat Chinese better than locals.
“Traditionally, this country has been developed by our own indigenous Zambians running the shops and the Indians and Asians. These are the people that we have been with since independence, in fact, we always had second class trading areas in all the towns especially in the Copperbelt. Those trading areas we were calling them kuma Indians, Kwa Mwenye because these have been our traditional trading partners, friends in terms of retail and wholesale business and most of them are Zambians who may not even know where Bombay is. They’ve living in Zambia all their lives, they only go to India for holidays and we trust them but today, the business is being shifted, you are neglecting the Indians and the Zambians who have built this economy in preference for Chinese. And these Chinese have got cheap money, borrowing their money from their countries at 1% 0% and you want them to come and compete with the Zambians and the Indians who are getting the loans at 42%, you are killing the people of Zambia and Indian and Asian businessmen who have been our all-weather partners in developing this country,” he said.
And Kambwili observed that PF was staging defections.
“The defections you are seeing are stage-managed defections, the people that have been announced, especially the senior members that have been announced that they have defected from NDC into PF. Some of them have told us and I have got recordings, when I speak to them I do record. One of them just said that ‘look, they (PF) threatened that they were going to transfer my wife from Mansa into Lunga where there is not even a house and there is not electricity if I don’t join them. So they told me that they would punish me and make sure my children grew up in a rural area, because the NDC is messing up PF’. So that’s how they offered him some money to defect, do you think that is a genuine defection? Because that man up to now is still NDC and he give us a lot of information. Another person who was running a business in Luapula, they went and threatened him, closed his business and a few contracts that he had with government they canceled them. He was running a University, they frustrated the University… so it’s just intimidation, people are not moving willingly or because they have found something,” said Kambwili.