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NDC will work with UPND in 2021 if Zambians want us to – KambwiliBy Mirriam Chabala on 25 Apr 2019
NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says his party will accept to get into a “rainbow alliance” with the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) if Zambians guide them to do so ahead of the 2021 general elections.
And Kambwili has boasted that he has always known from the time he was in his mother’s womb that the ruling Patriotic Front could never defeat him in any election.
Meanwhile, Kambwili says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) central committee decided to demote embattled party secretary general Mwenya Musenge to the position of chairperson for chiefs and traditional affairs to give him time to reflect on his conduct.
Speaking when he featured on United Voice Radio’s “Add Your Voice” programme, Wednesday, Kambwili said the NDC would accept to get into a “rainbow alliance” with the UPND if that was Zambians’ wish ahead of the 2021 general elections.
“Why should we be advised not to work with the UPND? You think the UPND are not people? You think UPND is not made up of Zambians? All those who are saying NDC should not work with UPND are from PF; they know that the Alliance is a danger to their stay in power, so this shouldn’t come as if they are advising us. For us, we shall forge ahead and work together; if the people of Zambia say: ‘can you go together in government?’ So be it. Those who are telling us: ‘don’t work with UPND,’ they are just scared and I won’t take advice from people who want to bring confusion! They know that we worked very well in Roan with the UPND, so they want to bring confusion, ma jealous fye ayo! (they are just being jealous!), te advice iyo, ma jealous ayo,” Kambwili said in response to a caller who was advising NDC to contest elections in 2021 independently.
“…at the moment, we are an independent political party as NDC and our way forward is to forge ahead, form our structures in the party and at the same time, recognise the 10 fundamental issues that we’ve agreed to work on with the Alliance partners. Our intention is to form government as NDC, but should the people of Zambia tell us that ‘work together, form a rainbow alliance were you can go into elections as one’, who are we to refuse? We follow the people of Zambia because they are the voters. I am not that type of person who has vowed to say: ‘I have to be President at all costs, it has to be me and nobody else!’ If I am prepared to rule, I am must also be prepared to be ruled.”
When asked if the NDC’s victory in the Roan parliamentary by-election shocked him in any way, Kambwili boasted that PF could never defeat him in any election.
“When the PF called for elections in Roan, they challenged me several times to go for elections, but I told them I did not want to waste tax payers’ money. And I said ‘my refusal to go for the elections is not that PF can defeat me in Roan’, it was just to avoid spending taxpayers’ money and also spending money on my personal side. But I knew my standing politically; I knew that PF cannot defeat me in an election. So, to answer your question, I knew from the time I was in my mother’s womb that PF cannot beat me in any election. Our expectation from that election was a win. But at the same time, I felt sorry for the government workers who can’t get paid and yet government was ready to go and spend K4 million on a by-election,” Kambwili said.
Asked about his differences with Mwenya Musenge, Kambwili said the former party secretary general was being used by PF to destroy the party, but added that the party had given Musenge another chance to rectify his mistakes.
“When Musenge and I were expelled from the PF, we knew that things were not alright, and as a consequence, we decided to register the National Democratic Congress as an option to the PF government. And when we formed this party, we agreed that I was going to be the leader. As far as I am concerned, I have no problem with Mwenya Musenge, it’s just a question of choosing money over friendship. So, the only thing is [that] my brother accepted to be used by the Patriotic Front to try and destroy the NDC,” he said.
“But NDC is bigger than Mwenya Musenge; NDC is bigger than Chishimba Kambwili. NDC is here to stay and no single person, whether Registrar of Societies, Minister of Home Affairs can destroy NDC. We’ve had seven meetings with Mwenya Musenge trying to reconcile, but my brother just doesn’t want to make things right. I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that my brother is not acting alone, he has been influenced. I was in government so whenever he meets PF, most of the people in PF are my friends and they phone me and say: ‘Mwenya Musenge was meeting these people and this is what they are planning’ So, the invisible hand, which is using Mwenya Musenge is President Edgar Lungu. The President, through Kampyongo, is using Mwenya Musenge to destroy NDC! Just look at the way the Registrar of Societies behaved,” Kambwili said.
He also mocked Musenge, who is former Chimwemwe PF member of parliament, saying he would now be dealing with witchcraft in the party’s shadow Cabinet until he reflects on his actions.
“He’s now chairman for chiefs and traditional affairs, we want him to deal with witchcraft and traditional affairs. What we thought was it wasn’t good to have somebody you have worked with to be expelled. As a consequence, we said we want our friend to reflect. But then in an organisation you can change office bearers at any time. Only elected officers may not be changed by the party, but can be disciplined. But what we have [in NDC] is interim. Mwenya Musenge was interim secretary general, and as such, he can be removed at any time just like he has been removed and it is not an offence,” Kambwili explained.
And Kambwili also mocked former UPND vice-president Geoffrey Mwamba for re-joining the PF after calling the party all sorts of names.
“I am strong, nshitina umuntu (I am not scared of anybody). That is why when someone steals, I will just tell them niwe kabolala (you are a thief) because I am not scared of calling people for who they are because nalishipa (I am strong). I am not like these people uwakweba ati bamutenshafye panono, ama businesses yawa (who when just shaken a little or their businesses are tampered with or destroyed) then one week later babwekelamo (they go back to re-join PF). Just last week, some politician was saying: ‘teti njoine tu PF tu kabolala utu. Natonaula ichalo, natuleta poverty (I cannot just join the thieving PF party because it has destroyed the country and brought poverty)’, but one week later, he joins that grouping that he was condemning. That’s what money can do,” said Kambwili.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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