Patriotic Front (PF) Copperbelt second security commander Douglas Chilembi says he owns a gun because he is a farmer who keeps so much livestock which needs protection.
And Chilembi, who is also Former African and Zambian Boxing champion, says since 2015, he has had his military resembling attire which he bought from salaula (second hand market).
Early this week, a picture of Chilembi went viral on social media in which he was clad in PF regalia and some military fatigue with a gun secured on his belt.
But reacting to the uproar that followed, Chilembi told News Diggers in an interview that as a Copperbelt controlling commander, he was a peacemaker who was there to “control all the noise from jerboas”.
“Here in Chingola where we live, there are a lot of illicit activities. People beat each other, burn each other and kill each other here. The Xenophobic attacks you heard in South Africa recently had spread here and there was word that the Jerabos wanted to burn people’s vehicles. Being as a party security, I stood up and controlled the situation and tamed all those Jerabos to stay away from their evil plans. We only have one [shopping] mall in Chingola and we cannot allow any person to demolish or burn the only mall that we have,” Chilembi said.
“There was a motor rally here in Chingola and some white men who came to attend had two vehicles both with South African number plates. So they approached me and told me that they were scared that people would burn their vehicles. So I assured them that nothing of that nature was going to happen because Copperbelt is our constituency and I am the provincial coordinating commander. I assured them that I am a peacemaker. I am the one who controls all the noise in the Copperbelt. If you know Chingola, that’s the area where we have serious savages and I manage to control them.”
Chilembi said he has never threatened anyone with his gun.
“So as we were at the motor rally, one of the boys came to me and asked if we could take a selfie picture together of which I agreed. So I suddenly felt hot and removed the trench coat that I was wearing and the gun showed. And it’s nothing like showing myself off because I have never insulted or threatened anyone. Had I known that the boy who wanted a selfie with me was going to circulate the picture on social media, I would have refused. And my presence at the rally was meant to control any confusion because some boys had come with shovels while others came with metal bars. And seeing that, those white men would not have attended the rally. So, I chased those boys and the motor rally just went well without any interruptions,” he said.
“I am equally shocked how someone would put me like that on social media trying to dent my image. I was there to maintain peace and order. Besides that, my family was also in attendance. I am a peace-maker. Even the police know that Chingola has cruel boys who are causing confusion. So we are there to control them. And when they asked for a selfie with me, I was even about to get in my car when they ambushed me for a picture. Whatever their motive for circulating my picture was, only God knows. I don’t know if they want the PF to chase me from the party so that they can take law into their own hands and start insulting the government. I am full-time PF and I have seen how the PF has worked to improve this country.”
He said he would accept any punishment that the party would give him.
“And I know that the UPND is behind all this. They have tried so hard to get be from PF and I have told them point-blank that my vote is only for PF. At some point, they even came to my house trying to convince me and I just ate their money. They want to destroy me so that PF can get rid of me from the party. I know that I have wronged the party unknowingly and I will accept any punishment from the party,” Chilembi said.
And Chilembi said he bought his military fatigue from salaula.
“And that attire [which resembles that of the military] I just bought it in salaula (second-hand clothes). And you see, I am a farmer and where most of these criminal boys live is near the area where my farm-house is. And living at the farm, I cannot stay without a gun. I keep livestock so I can’t stay without a gun. To be honest I have never threatened anyone with my gun. I am former, two times African boxing champion and nine times Zambian champion. That is why people respect me. I am a public figure and I can’t do anything that would dent the image of my country or my party. I have been with this regalia since 2015 and I don’t know why it is creating so much noise now. What has happened now is first and last. I will eve start refusing to take pictures with people,” said Chilembi.