PF national mobilisation vice chairperson Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has insisted that NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili should return to the ruling party, saying President Edgar Lungu still wants him back.

And Mwamba says he was just politicking when he used to accuse Patriotic Front leaders of being thieves.

Meanwhile, Mwamba has charged that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not a better person to lead the country and that come 2021, the PF will ensure he retires from politics.

Speaking at the PF Interactive Forum, Sunday, Mwamba said Kambwili contributed a lot for PF to form government and that President Lungu still wanted him back.

He added that the Head of State had no grudge against anyone as he was “a humble person”.

“Chishimba Kambwili did a lot in his own way to make PF form government. Fortunately, our President, President Edgar Lungu, doesn’t forget his friends. He still wants him back. He has no problem whatsoever with that. If he can accept us, those who called him names, what about Chishimba Kambwili? He will also be accepted. The President has no grudge against anyone. He is a very humble person. Today, if you gave me Edgar Lungu here and HH, not because those people (UPND) hounded me out, I went there and I gained some experience from HH, and the experience I got there is to hate people. But the experience I am getting from President Lungu is to love people. The NDC president is more than welcome. We still need him. In fact, after this [forum], I will call him so that I tell him to come to PF. He is our brother, he is not our enemy,” Mwamba said.

He said he was just politicking when he used to call PF leaders ‘thieves’ while in the UPND.

“You know what happens, when you are in the opposition we say a lot of things. You always want to discredit the government in order to win popularity. I was doing that in order for us to win popularity in the UPND but I didn’t mean it. PF has done quite a lot in terms of infrastructure development, but did I ever say that they have done well? I never said it. But deep down when I was alone, I said ‘kwena na ba bomba bafikamba aba (these people have really worked)’. In short, I was merely politicking. They are not thieves. What evidence did I have even if I said they are thieves? There is no evidence, but I was just trying to discredit them. Have you ever heard any UPND supporter, or even HH himself, praise the government for what it has done? Let’s give credit to PF, naibomba (it has worked),” Mwamba said.

He reiterated his apology to President Lungu for the “abusive words” he used to say against him while in UPND.

Mwamba said the experience he got from UPND was a bitter one as he was only there to be used and not to be consulted.

He charged Hichilema was not a better person to be President of Zambia.

“I was vice-president of UPND, and I worked very closely with president HH. What I can tell you is that the experience that I got from there is nothing that I would like even to think about because I will start hallucinating. It was a very bitter experience. You are only there to be used, not to be consulted. I was never consulted. I can assure the Zambian people, that is not a better person to be the President of this country because he has something behind his back. I think he is not ready to rule this country. If it was probably Gary Nkombo or even Jack Mwiimbu, probably they would be good leaders. But not himself Hakainde Hichilema. And his party will not go anywhere under the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema because he has told me that ‘he is UPND and UPND is him’. How do you run a party like that? I would tell you, even though I resigned, in real essence I was hounded out,” Mwamba said.

“There I think twaile mukwangalakofye (we just went there to play). Here (PF) is where some of us belong. And with that attitude of his, where he wants to be the only one to run the party, he doesn’t want to give chance to anyone to tell him what he doesn’t want to hear, he is not going anywhere. In fact, in 2021, we will make sure that he retires from politics. Even in his so-called stronghold, we are coming for him. He has lost grip. 2021, we will just go through.”

He charged that Hichilema was bitter.

“What’s wrong with putting up a smile? Someone who doesn’t eat with people? I have never eaten with him. How can you be a leader if you eat alone, when you come from campaigns, you go and lock yourself in a room and start eating,” Mwamba alleged.

He further said he could not refuse a position in the PF.

“I have always said I am not in PF for a position. But you see, due to circumstances, why should I say no if the President, the Central Committee, the people of Zambia say ‘GBM should be placed in this position, we feel he would do better’ why should I say no? If circumstances allow, why not, who am I to say no?” Mwamba asked.

He said PF was here to stay as it had now learnt the art of politics.

“Sweet victory in Chilubi. You have seen the margin? The opposition are saying that our popularity is diminishing. Is this what you call diminishing? And we will make sure that come 2021, we will thump them out. Even if they petition, surely with this margin [in Chilubi], more than 10,000 plus? We have done exceedingly well. We had a strategy and this is the strategy that we will start applying from now onwards. So they (UPND) will have no chance in 2021. PF…is here to stay, we have now learnt the art of politics. Not violent politics, but systematic politics,” Mwamba said.

Meanwhile, the former defence minister said the price of mealie meal would fall drastically by June this year because inputs were distributed in good time and that there would be no more load shedding.

Mwamba said President Lungu means well and does not want to see people suffering.