NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili says he has retreated for fear of being found wanting as he cannot afford to have more court cases given the huge legal fees he is owing.

There had been several reports that Kambwili was set to re-join the PF on grounds that his conviction is overturned, hence his retreat from public life.

But in an interview, Kambwili insisted that his silence was a strategy and urged the public to wait and see as he did not want to be given another “trumped up” charge in court.

“I have got a bill with the lawyers, a huge bill. If I am arrested again, what happens to the paying of the huge legal fees? If I am arrested again, I will need a lawyer. Already, I have got cases pending, six cases and I am still paying lawyers. I don’t want to commit another trumped up charge because all the charges I have been given are trumped up! But even in war, my sister, there is a plan and then you kind of retreat, then you attack, it’s a strategy, just wait and see. Wait and see what is going to obtain, but this thing of saying, ‘I am joining PF’ is neither here nor there,” Kambwili said.

“Have you ever heard me saying, ‘that I am joining PF’ or I have issued a statement to say, ‘I am a PF member?’ I am the president of the National Democratic Congress, period.”

He also bemoaned diminishing freedom of speech in the country.

“I have not been critical, it’s actually not being critical, I have said, I issued a statement that I want to reflect on the issues of the country getting involved in this fight. It appears the people of Zambia don’t want to get involved in the affairs of their own nation like other countries and that the few people that have given themselves to fight tend to be suffering a lone fight, and when they find themselves being victimised and persecuted, people are quiet and don’t want to speak out. And what is happening at the moment is that whatever you say is an offence. Just imagine, my sister, merely asking a question of: ‘what business the Head of State has with one citizen’ lands you in court and you are found with a case to answer? What a way to run the country! So, at least people must understand that we need to fight this together, it should not be a few Zambians wanting to fight,” said Kambwili.