UPND Chairman for elections and Mazabuka central MP Gary Nkombo says former party vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba was possibly suffering from Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that he says is causing him to imagine things that are not there.

Nkombo was reacting to GBM’s claim that UPND made him acting party president when Hakainde Hichilema was incarcerated, sidelining the substantive vice-president.

The Mazabuka lawmaker explained that the party did not appoint anyone as acting president because Hichilema was still giving them instructions from prison.

Speaking at a press briefing, Nkombo said GBM was telling lies about him having acted as party president when Hichilema was in prison, stating that the former minister of defence was possibly suffering from a mental disorder.

“We have been left with no choice to think that the former vice-president is either a liar or something has really gone wrong with his faculties. Just for the Public to be reminded, on the 9th to 10th of April 2017, when the police came to pick up president Hakainde Hichilema, I met then vice-president GBM who came incognito to the house of the president in a small Toyota Spacio in the company of honourable Lumai and honourable Masebo, he met us, and this was after I was assaulted by the police. During the meeting, a question arose from one of the journalists to the effect that he wanted to know who was going to be acting as president in the absence of president Hichilema; the time was 11:00hrs and that morning the vice-president (GBM) had escaped; he had declared himself a fugitive. When I called him at 8:00 or somewhere there about, he told me that he was in Johannesburg, but in this newspaper article, he alleges that I advised him to run away, together with honourable Jack Mwiimbu; something that is totally incorrect,” Nkombo said.

“The vice-president then just ran away because of cowardice. But now, aside from cowardice, he has engaged into blatant lies and if it is not lies, I would just like to imagine that probably he is suffering from a mental condition which one may call Schizophrenia, where one is imagining things that are not there. Mr Mwamba should be reminded that his recent ranting have not received any response from any of us, it has been deliberate because we are very sure that Zambians are not gullible as he thinks, and we think that sometimes it is wise not to argue with a certain person of a certain caliber, because people will not know the difference. This time around Mr Mwamba decided to pick my name up, and I found it necessary to give him a personal response.”

He charged that GBM always uses his money to suppress the people he is leading.

“Do not think that your selvage value is going to lift up simply because you have a little bit of money more than all of us, because that has been your token of trying to suppress people that you have money and everybody else doesn’t have money. This is a clear case of where somebody and his money are not thinking alike. Mr Mwamba should be reminded that at the time of him being a fugitive, the party continued running under the leadership of our chairperson (Mutale Nalumango), and she was leading this party as a chairperson and not as acting president because there was absolutely no need for anybody to be put in that position because we were getting instructions from prison. My role during that 4 months debacle was simply to coordinate visitations for those who wanted to see and sympathise with president Hakainde while he was in prison, together with the party and the prison authorities,” said Nkombo.

“We have tolerated you for all these years, I think we have done a good job of high maintenance of yourself for more than 3 years. At least you did not behave as badly as we all know you while you were in the PF, to a stage that even the PF told us that ‘you have inherited a problem.’ And now we agree that the problem was indeed inherited. Go ahead, do your thing, but stop bringing other peoples’ names into this matter. But for now I think it’s time for you to be advised that we will not watch you abuse people in our party, you have left, go in peace. Take a leaf from educated people like Dr Canisius Banda. Dr. Banda has gone, he has found peace where he has gone, take a leaf from there.”

And Nalumango accused GBM of practicing politics of hate.

“What you are doing is not part of humanity, we don’t do politics of hate. For the last 4 years we worked together, you probably realised that some of us are not even concerned with positions. We did not know that you wanted the presidency this much, if we knew, we would have told the president. Now since you left, you have just been complaining that you were never given an opportunity to work closely with the president. Who was acting as vice-president whenever you left the country? When our president was arrested, I was called for an interview at Muvi TV and they asked me about who was running the party, I said; of course we don’t have the president in office, but our president is not going to die, we knew that he did not commit any crime, we knew that he was coming back and we hence we left that position vacant. We refused to appoint anybody,” said Nalumango.

“Did you even inform me as chairman of the party when you were going out of the country? We were just hearing that ‘no, he is in India, he is in South Africa’. Even when they were asking me about you, I told those people that ‘do you want to arrest him as well?’ I shielded you from the ridicule that you created for yourself for having left the country whilst your friend was in prison. Now today you want to lie that Nkombo was vice-president. I said it on TV that as chairman, I was in charge, but I never declared myself as president. We also didn’t replace you when you were in South Africa because we believed you were still one of us.”