National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili says he is willing to work with other opposition political parties in order to unseat the Patriotic Front in 2021 because becoming President is not his preoccupation.
And Kambwili who also Roan PF member of parliament says he is upset with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for appointing President Edgar Lungu, a non-democrat, chair of the Defence security and politics troika organ.
Speaking when featured on Diamond TV’s Costa show on Sunday evening, Kambwili said he was willing to enter into a pact with other opposition parties.
“Unity of purpose can produce results, and for me I have no problem in teaming up with other opposition political parties to remove this PF before they throw the country into turmoil. And I have said, if we come together as opposition and the people that will come together, choose someone else to be the Presidential candidate, who am I to refuse? Because this it not about myself, it’s about what the people will tell us to do or what they will choose. I am prepared to work with anybody, but if other people are not prepared then obviously we will go into it alone and we have to face the elections as NDC,” Kambwili said.
And Kambwili said he was unhappy about SADC’s decision to appoint President Lungu as Chairperson for defence and security of it’s troika organ.
“I really tend to get very upset when people describe President Edgar Lungu as a democrat. And by the way, I am even [more] upset with SADC for allowing him to be Chairman for defense, politics and security troika. How can he be allowed to assume that position when he is destroying the very tenets of democracy in the country where he’s President. you cannot go and clean up a neighbour’s house if you can’t clean your own house. If you want to introduce cleanliness in every organisation, first it must start with you. You must lead by example, but our President, our dear friend has not lived the democratic tenets in this country. Look, I have been denied access to have meetings in my constituency. Even to visit a ward [ in my constituency], they send police [for me],” he said.
“For the past one year, I have never addressed a meeting in my constituency, I have never visited even a ward in my constituency or a market. But the police give permits to the honourable member of parliament for Luanshya, honourable Steve Chungu to go and address meetings in my constituency. For one year, I have applied for police permits and I think this permit I have brought here (showing the permit to the show host0 should be the 15th or 16th permit that has been denied. But under normal circumstances, a member of parliament doesn’t need to apply for a police permit but just to show them respect, I have always applied for permits which they don’t approve.”
Meanwhile, Kambwili explained his vision for Zambia and the legacy he wanted to leave if elected as President.
“Once NDC comes into office, the first thing that we are going to work towards improving the living standards of citizens. My ideology, our ideology as NDC is ubuntu. So we will make sure that we improve the living standards of the people. The legacy that I want to leave when I die is for people to remember me as someone who improved the living standards of people. Levy Mwanawasa fought corruption, President Chilumba brought democracy, I want to improve the economy of this country by creating more industries and more jobs. People have just been talking about job creation but they miss a lot of important issues in the creation of jobs, people are saying ‘we want to diversify in the agricultural sector’ for instance… look the annual budget for Ministry of Agriculture for instance, 50% is to pay salaries, 30% is FISP. FISP to me is only household food security because they give four bags per farmer. But what can a farmer grow in four bags for him to remain with something to feed his family and sell the excess?” asked Kambwili.
“Then you have only 20% for other agricultural programmes, you cannot grow the agricultural sector under those circumstances. What we need is more money pumped in the agricultural sector, more money put where you can realise benefits. When it comes to the manufacturing sector, how can you improve the manufacturing sector when everything that you use in the country comes from abroad? So the legacy that I want to leave, and I want to tell the Zambians, I can change this country. This country is very dirt, it needs to be cleaned so that when I die, people will say ‘there was a Kambwili who cleaned up this country’, not the way they are playing with leadership today. Imagine if we had put $15 billion into the manufacturing sector, into the agricultural sector. For instance, the $377 million that they are wasting on the airport. If we took it to establish farms like the Mpongwe development farm [in Luanshya], which is employing about 18 to 20,000 people, how many Zambians could have been employed? So what has been happening is wrong priorities and when I come, I will do the right thing.”