NDC president Chishimba Kambwili says the PF top leadership are a bunch of scared rats who asked police in Eastern Province to cancel his scheduled rally.

And Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu is merely ranting over Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) because “despite threatening to take action against the mining firm, the Head of State is secretly eating with them”.

On Saturday, Kambwili was scheduled to hold a rally at Mpezeni Park in Chipata but the police cancelled it despite initially issuing the party leadership with a permit.

Police sealed off Mpezeni park as early as 08:00 hours and when Kambwili met Eastern Province Police commissioner Luckson Sakala, the police chief insisted that the rally was cancelled because police were not informed that the NDC leader would be one of the speakers.

After the meeting, Kambwili told journalists that “there were many ways to skin a cat” and he would address his supporters via Breeze FM and Feel Free radio stations instead.

“They have cancelled our rally, they have said the rally can only go ahead if I leave the province. We have a permit here which allows us to have a meeting, and the permit is very clear; it says people to address the rally are members of the central committee which I am also a member. But they have refused totally. But we know that it is not the fault of the police, they have just been instructed to make sure that I don’t address people in Eastern Province. However, they can stop me from addressing people but there are different ways of skinning a rat (sic). But when you are dealing with dunderheads as government, this is the result. So there is no problem, I am going to the radio station, just tell the people to listen, I will be there for two hours and I will speak what I wanted to speak at the rally. So where does that leave you [Stephen] Kampyongo and President Lungu? Because I am going to address the people through the radio station. I feel very sorry for this government because they are scared like rats,” Kambwili said.

But later, information emerged that police had surrounded the two radio stations where he was expected to appear.

Reacting to this, Kambwili stressed that the PF were a bunch of scared rats who think for their pockets only.

“The provincial executive here did a fantastic job, they applied for a permit and it was duly authorised by the police. Now, one wonders what has changed from the time they authorised the permit and today. But you, PF are a bunch of scared rats who only think for their pockets,” Kambwili said.

“And anybody who wants to explain to the people of Zambia, the failures of the PF, they don’t want to allow such a person to have public meetings. You are aware that for the past two years, nobody has been allowed to hold a meeting and when they gave this permit for Eastern Province, I thought maybe things had opened up. But I know, after the Roan election, they are so scared of Imbwili but I must tell them that I will never be intimidated, but I will be a law abiding citizen. If I wanted, I could have forced matters to go and address the meeting because we have got a permit. But because we are law abiding citizens, and because we don’t want this nonsense of police coming to teargas people, using live ammunition; because that’s what they want. They want when they cause confusion and kill somebody, they want to say Kambwili has killed a person, so that they can arrest me, charge me with an offence and send me to prison so that I do not participate in the 2021 elections. But I am very ahead of them, and I know their plans. I want tell Edgar Lungu that my brother; listen to what the people are saying, listen to the discourse of the country and do the right thing.”

He warned the officers that their actions would backfire on them.

“I know all they wanted was for me to say ‘no, we are going ahead with the rally’, but today I don’t want to sleep in police cells because I left my mosquito net. I will not play in your hands today, good luck to the police; I don’t want to blame the police because I know that they are working under very difficult circumstances. What happened in Sesheke still lingers in the minds of the police, they do not want to be fired. But I want to warn the IG, and his two assistants that your days are numbered. You are expected to be professional, this fear that you are instilling in provincial police commissioners on behalf of Edgar Lungu, will backfire,” Kambwili warned.

“And I feel sorry for you, because when I look at the quality of the cells where you are going to go yourselves after Lungu leaves office, you better clean them now because you are very good candidates of prison. We want to say that we don’t want to flog a dead horse, we decided that since they have cancelled the rally, I go and appear on two radio stations, they have cordoned all the radio stations; police have surrounded all the radio stations so that I don’t appear there. Thank you very much President Lungu and Kampyongo, but when we were growing up you are the people we used to refer to as ‘ba mbuli’ (dull people). Because you can cancel my rallies today, but you are not going to cancel the general election. Just like in Luanshya, you prevented me from meeting people before elections but when elections came, I addressed the people and we beat you pants down.”

And Kambwili said President Lungu was merely ranting over KCM because he was “eating with them secretly”.

‘I know that when I talk, you run, when I talk, you act. Just like when I went to Chingola, you have now rushed to the Copperbelt and cheating the people that ‘no, KCM must pack and go’, behind, you are eating with KCM. We know what’s going on. But I want to tell the people of Chingola is that don’t follow that ranting by President Edgar Lungu; there is absolutely no action that is going to be taken on the issue of KCM because this government is compromised,” Kambwili said.

Kambwili said President Lungu was likely to resign before 2021 because he had run out of ideas.

“Continue mobilising the grassroots of the party here. You know that this man has got no message today; the Treasury is empty, they are not able to pay a good number of institutions their salaries such as RDA, UNZA, CBU, council workers and many others. So this is a total breakdown in the governance of the country and I think the best one can do is to resign. But I can tell you that before 2021, I can foresee President Edgar Lungu stepping down because he has run out of ideas to run this country,” said Kambwili.