PATRIOTIC Front national mobilisation vice chairperson Geoffrey Mwamba on Sunday evening chickened out of a live phone-in interview at Pan African radio, accusing the show host of asking UPND-friendly questions.
During the Sunday edition of Pan African Radio’s News Feedback programme, Mwamba charged that the show host Hermit Hachilonde was asking him questions prepared by the UPND.
Shortly after the show started, Mwamba boasted that the Chilubi victory was sweet because the margin was very wide.
And when he was asked to react to allegations that his name was synonymous with violence and that was why there was havoc in Chilubi, GBM said that was UPND propaganda.
“This is just UPND propaganda, they realised they were losing and they knew that when it comes to politics, I am so aggressive, I don’t sleep. So they wanted to find an excuse or to paint a black picture on me that I am violent, but I am not violent. I met their so-called deputy secretary general who happens to be my nephew [Patrick] Mucheleka and he was almost running away, but I called him and said ‘my nephew, come’. It’s me who told him that ‘we are not fighting here, we are all brothers and sisters, despite being in different political parties’. So coming to violence, I think I am not a violent person, except maybe I am too aggressive when it comes to politics and when I am mobilising, I am too aggressive, nothing shakes me, what I want is to win an election like way we have done it,” Mwamba said.
At this point, Hachilonde chipped in, asking GBM to explain what he meant by saying he was too aggressive when it came to winning elections.
But GBM got incensed, accusing Hachilonde of trying to bombard him with questions from the UPND.
“It looks like you have brought me here to come and suit what the UPND have told you to ask me, I don’t want that. Let’s not go into that, let me tell the nation what they need to be told or what they need to know. What they want to know is not about your so called UPND. Ask me another question not about UPND! Let’s talk about what happened in Chilubi. You asked me about violence, I am trying to answer about violence but you so much want to dwell on violence which was not there. There were only two minor incidences which were created by Mr Mucheleka himself and I wasn’t even anywhere near that, so why do you bring it in front of the public? You want the public to think I am violent? Come on, don’t waste your time or people’s time. If you are here with a preconceived mind to say let’s come and ask GBM what is not necessary here, then I am sorry I am not ready for this interview…there are a lot of things which I talked about at the briefing but you want to twist me to talk about [irrelevant] things,” Mwamba said.
Hachilonde then asked GBM to divulge information about who was behind the gassing, since he said he was aware.
But GBM said the information was not for public consumption.
When the host probed further, GBM wondered why Hichilonde was doubting his information.
“Why are you doubting me? I don’t have to tell you. I made it very clear that it is not for public consumption but I can divulge that information to the security personnel, not you,” GBM said.
Asked if he would accept the K250,000 bounty if his information turned out to be legit, GBM said; “no, that is not being a patriotic Zambian. For me if I had to do that, provide information and these people were brought to book, I can tell you I don’t want that money. It can go to people who need it the most and not me so I wouldn’t take it.”
Asked why he kept attacking UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema even though the latter wasn’t fond of responding, GBM challenged his former boss to respond.
“Tell him to respond so that I can also respond. When I say that he doesn’t eat with people do I lie?…so if you are going to speak on his behalf or he asked you to come and ask that question, yes, he doesn’t eat with people, he doesn’t drink with people, he doesn’t sleep with people. So that’s the truth, let him respond, I am also ready to respond accordingly,” he said.
Hachilonde then asked GBM; “You also mentioned at the briefing that whatever you spoke against President Edgar Lungu was just for political mileage, what makes you think that people this time around will not think that you are just speaking against other political parties just to prove yourself to be relevant in the PF?”
But Mwamba charged that Hachilonde was asking questions from the UPND.
“I am not very clear about your question. You see, that’s the problem when these questions are sent to you by WhatsApp by the UPND sympathisers. You are not asking from what you want to ask, from your heart. Can you please be ready next time? Call me when you are ready to ask questions, not what they want you to ask me. I know this is coming those young girls tu Ruth [Dante] and so on and so forth to ask me these questions. But I have answered those questions already. Can we probably change the topic with due respect? I think let us not dwell so much on Hakainde Hichilema, to me I don’t find it to be fancy or important to be talking about Hakainde Hichilema. I think there are better things that Zambians would want listen to, there is poverty, there is a lot of things which is happening in the country, there is gassing and what have you. So I think forget about Hakainde Hichilema and these UPND. Ask me questions, not those that are sent to you to be asked,” Mwamba said.
“You ask me what you think I should answer concerning the wellbeing of our people of Zambia. Maybe about our party, I think I will be so comfortable with that. But it’s like you just want to take me to Hakainde Hichilema. Come on! he’s not important to me. He used to be my boss but not anymore. He runs his own political party and I am in my own political party which my boss President Edagr Lungu runs. So I think let’s move in that direction my dear young man. Let’s not talk about individuals, it’s looks like you so much preoccupied with the HH thing and these UPND people. Sorry to me that is not important.”
And when Hachilonde announced that phone lines would soon be opened to enable listeners participate in the programme, Mwamba said he would not be available for that because he was not informed about interactive part of the show.
“Unfortunately I am not ready for phone lines. I am not ready and I am going for another radio programme in 10 minutes, sorry. We didn’t agree to that and unfortunately I only have another 10 minutes to for you to ask me questions. There is another radio programme which I am going to attend to. But in future please tell those that you invite to come and feature on this radio programme that the way it will happen is ABCD,” said Mwamba, only 17 minutes into the programme, forcing Hachilonde to close the intended one hour show.