NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) spokesperson Saboi Imboela says she would “most likely” follow party president Chishimba Kambwili if he were to re-join the PF because of the leverage she receives and enjoys from him.
Speaking when she featured on Hot FM’s the Hot Seat programme, Tuesday, Imboela said she trusted and respected Kambwili’s judgement so much that she would follow him if he re-joined the PF.
“It’s not time for Kambwili to re-join the PF. NDC is a party on its own, and trust me, if the president was to say, ‘he is going back to the PF,’ we won’t fold up NDC. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer [on whether I would follow Kambwili if he re-joined the PF]. I would sit and ask, ‘what exactly is there in terms of the elections and many things that I can’t talk about publicly right now?’ One of the main reasons I may follow him is I have a lot of trust, hope and respect for our president. And I know that if he were to go to the PF, it would be because of many considerations and just because of going to the PF for the sake of going back. So, most likely, I would follow him, but it’s not a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ So, with him, you have a certain shield because even the UPND would say, ‘NDC is CK and there is no NDC without CK,’ so if you leave him out, what leverage are you going to have? That’s one thing that they wanted,” Imboela said.
“One thing I will give the PF is that they know how to win elections, they know how to strategize. Of course, they are bad managers of the economy. You find that there is a by-election, you are on the ground and the people are so fed up with them, but they win those elections. They are such great strategists and I have always said that. To beat such a government and a party, you need to be clever; you need to be on top of things and ahead of them because they will mess up things and still win elections.”
And Imboela urged the opposition to carefully strategize to win this year’s elections.
“Some people have been saying, ‘they have been rigging…’ Maybe, the general elections they will do the mathematics. But by-elections, when we go in the bush from the time I started politics, when there is a by-election, I insist on being a polling agent myself. You go in the polling station, 06.00 hours, you start. You are there the whole time and see how people are voting, and you even write down the number of people coming in, And shockingly, you find that the PF has won! So, the rigging that the PF does is mostly outside the polling station. We have fought through this before when the NDC was still a baby with Mwenye Musenge and he didn’t win. So, those who have left will not win. The-then vice-president (Joseph Akafumba) went to the meeting and agreed to the things that the party didn’t want. So, the vice-president of the NDC was sent to represent us and initially he said, ‘he had not signed the agreement.’ That’s what he told the president only to realise a day later that he had signed. And then the president told that group to have a meeting with the NCC, on Saturday, but a day before, that same group held a briefing saying, ‘they had expelled the president’,” she said.
“People would ask to say, ‘what is going on with the alliance?’ And as NDC, we were clear from the onset that we knew that NDC was a bigger party. They have been in operation for a long time so, naturally, we said this is the party that would take the presidency. And you know that when it comes to alliances, mostly they fail because everybody wants to be president. But for NDC, we said we are not going to take the presidency, this is the party that should take it. The only thing we had a problem with was our friends were insisting on the alliance being called the ‘UPND alliance.’ So, our question was, ‘you are in an alliance with who?’ I think this thing of saying, ‘we are the biggest opposition alliance’ I think got to the heads of our friends because you can be the biggest party, yes, but it doesn’t mean you have to take over everything! When they had an alliance, the UPND and the PF, we never heard the alliance called the ‘PF alliance.’ The alliance name was PF-UPND to show that there are two parties there.”
Meanwhile, Imboela charged that the NDC declined to agree to the terms of the opposition alliance because the UPND were too selfish.
“Because if you are the so-called ‘biggest party,’ it means you don’t need an alliance, it means you can be on your own. And you saw that on the press briefing they said, ‘president HH would have the right to choose his own running mate.’ From the onset, they had agreed that it was our president, Mr Chishimba Kambwili, who was going to be the running mate and then they changed and said they would agree on the running mate, which does not make sense because whether you like it or not HH is the biggest politician, choosing a running mate from the UPND is a disservice because there is no one who is bigger than HH, meaning that whoever will be chosen as running mate from the UPND will still eat from that party because they are not benefiting from the alliance,” said Imboela.