Suspended UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba yesterday resigned from the opposition to re-join the Patriotic Front, where no one in the substantive structures of the ruling party was present to welcome him.
Lusaka Province interim committee chairman Paul Moonga, and his interim secretary Kennedy Kamba were the senior-most party officials who received the ‘heavyweight’ political defector, raising questions about the absence of senior members of the Central Committee.
Party Secretary General Davies Mwila, his deputy Mumbi Phiri, National Chairman Samuel Mukupa, or even media Director Sunday Chanda were all suspiciously absent at the welcoming press conference, which is a stark contrast to the reception which PF accorded to FDD’s Antonio Mwanza who was received by Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo, among other senior MCC members.
Nobody among top PF officials was available for an interview on record to explain the snubbing of GBM. But one of the officials who sought anonymity, told News Diggers, “the SG is in Luapula with the Principal, this is politics mudala. Actually you must send a press query to Mwila and ask him about his relationship with GBM.”
Announcing his defection back to PF earlier, GBM who was flanked by his wife Chama, PAC president Andyford Banda and Major Richard Kachingwe among others, apologised to President Edgar Lungu for the insults poured on him when he was in opposition, promising to work hard with PF and ensure that Hakainde Hichilema does not form government in 2021.
“I will be failing in my address if I don’t publicly apologise to President Edgar Lungu for all the disparaging words and insults that I showered on him! Mr President, I apologise in front of the country! I am re-joining PF, I don’t want a position, I want to put this clear; I am coming in as an ordinary member. But I am going to work with you closely to make sure that HH does not form government in 2021. My dear brother (HH), you have not been kind to me, so I won’t be kind to you, my brother. We shall remain brothers, but politically, now, we shall be political enemies,” GBM vowed.
He alleged that there had been a scheme to oust him from the UPND all along.
“This has been a scheme, which has been outstanding for them to execute for a long time, it’s not something that has happened today. So, now, what should I do? I want to ask you people, more especially my supporters, what should I do? There will be three options here: the first one is; ‘should we form our own political party?’ the second one will be ‘should we join an opposition party?’ Three: ‘should I take you back to PF?’ (Supporters erupt loudly in agreement). Being a democrat and who believes in democracy, I will do what the majority want! As I have said, my dear brothers and sisters, fellow countrymen and women, today, GBM and his supporters and sympathizers, we have no option but to abide by what the majority want and that is to re-join the PF! We are re-joining PF with immediate effect! I, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has with immediate effect resigned from UPND,” GBM announced.
He said he had already made up his mind to leave UPND and rejoin the PF even before he was suspended.
“Maybe, it’s a blessing in disguise, at a time when Jesus Christ was being crucified, is the same time they decided to serve me with the suspension. In any case, they are also contradicting themselves. HH claims he is the most intelligent human being in Zambia, I think he did not know what he was writing about or they just wrote for him and he signed it. When you pass a vote of no confidence, what does that entail? What remains is for me to either resign or for them to expel me because those people that I was working with, have no confidence in me, now how do they tell me to exculpate myself, again? Which is which here? HH, my brother, you claim you are intelligent; you are not on this one ‘wailasha mwana’.”
And GBM, the former Kasama Central PF lawmaker, vowed to dismantle the UPND structures so that Hichilema does not succeed to win elections in 2021.
“My piece of advice to you as former vice president of UPND is that if you are not going to change the leadership to remove Hakainde Hichilema, I am telling you the party will never see the door of State House! It may sound as a joke, but it’s not a joke, it’s reality. People had confidence and they thought the next government to be formed after President Lungu’s government, will be Hakainde Hichilema’s government, but unfortunately, with what is happening now, I don’t think that will be possible in the near future, maybe 40 years from now! I hope you (HH) are watching and listening; I have told you that I have got people, now if you underrated me with your Katuka and your Nalumango, you are going to see! First of all, I am going to go into Kaputa, I am going to dismantle the structures there! I really feel sorry for UPND, you don’t know what you have done! ‘Waya kumya ku poll yanshimu!’ (You touched a bee hive!) I want to appeal to all those that believe in GBM, all my supporters; I want you immediately to resign from UPND and re-join PF. We shall start with Lusaka itself; Lusaka, we shall dismantle UPND,” vowed GBM.
He then went ahead to ‘thank’ the treacherous UPND leadership that he worked with.
“Let me also thank all the MPs, you tried all your best to reconcile us, but your president is stubborn and arrogant for nothing! I also wish to thank Nalumango; secretary general Katuka, Mucheleka, Bernard Mpundu and Illunga for being treacherous and for dividing the party, UPND. Let me also take the opportunity to thank all the MNC members, those who voted against me, including HH, because he was part of that! I thank you for giving me an opportunity to work with you closely, it is good for me because I know what UPND is and no one will tell me about UPND!” exclaimed GBM.