PF media director Sunday Chanda says National Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili’s “wild remarks” on President Edgar Lungu’s trip to North-Western Province is an indication the he misses being in the ruling party.

Commenting on Kambwili’s remarks following President Lungu’s trip to North-Western Province where the former charged that the Head of State was using COVID-19 as an excuse to ban political parties from mobilizing while the PF officials were freely meeting party structures, Chanda argued that Kambwili’s utterances proved that he missed his former party.

Chanda, however, said that the PF remained a suitable home for Kambwili despite his continued criticism of the Head of State.

“Sometimes, when you have a prodigal brother making all these wild statements it could be an indication that he is missing home, that is another way of looking at it. So, our message to our brother: the doors are wide open. The day that Honourable Kambwili will decide on coming back to the PF, he can be rest assured that he will find a home. This was the first trip that the President was making after a long time, and this trip has come under the new normal. There is no one stopping [them] for as long as there is compliance to public health procedures and guidance that has been given,” Chanda argued.

“The issue should be that our colleagues comply. We have seen schools gradually re-opening; we have seen churches beginning to gather again with adherence to public health guidelines of the new normal. His Excellency was invited to North-Western Province and he was invited to witness the aquaculture in Mwinilunga and he also needed to inspect the developmental projects in the area, but also for a very strong word for membership in North-Western Province. We all know what the party officials got themselves into in North-Western Province; the illegal mining of gold, and we know that arrests have been made to that effect. And the President has a duty to speak to his members and officials that he is not going to allow any member of the party to commit illegalities in the name of the party.”

He urged Kambwili not to be used by the UPND, adding that the NDC was like a province of the PF, which made it easy for most NDC members to re-join the ruling party.

“What is clear is that the UPND structures in North-Western Province are melting away; the UPND structures in Western Province are melting away! We have no option but to co-exist with our colleagues in the opposition and our failure to contextualize and focus on real issues. Honourable Kambwili knows that the kisses that he is getting from the UPND is fake! He knows that for a fact. He knows that the UPND are going to use him and dump him; he won’t be the first one unless he wants to fall for the UPND vice-president…he will be number what? You have a party that changes vice-presidents like underwear; how many vice-presidents has Mr Hakainde Hichilema had? And what will be so special for our brother Chishimba Kambwili to accept that UPND vice-presidency? How long is it going to last? We want to believe that he is intelligent enough to read through the intention behind the ‘Judas Iscariot kind-of-kisses’ he is getting from the UPND,” said Chanda.

“He knows very well if there is place he can call home, it is not the NDC; the NDC is an off-shoot of the PF. He knows very well that with an exemption of some hot heads in the NDC who come from the other political parties some of them used to be in UPND and they insulted UPND and now that they are with him, they want to kiss back UPND. The NDC, we will define it as a province of the Patriotic Front; it is an off-shoot of the Patriotic Front. That is the more reason why the most natural place for any NDC official to drift back to the PF. We have seen resignations from NDC, whoever has resigned from NDC, today, goes back to the Patriotic Front. They don’t go to UPND, they go back to the PF because this is their home.”

Aside from charging that President Lungu was using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to ban parties from mobilizing, Kambwili, the former Roan PF member of parliament, also complained that the Head of State’s action showed that COVID-19 was a hoax in the country because President Lungu was not following government’s health guidelines, which included social distancing.