NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili has finally announced that he will work with the Patriotic Front and President Edgar Lungu “in uplifting the welfare of the Zambian people”.
Kambwili said this when he attended the burial of late PF loyalist Chabu Kibombwe in Kitwe yesterday, where he was flanked by PF secretary general Davies Mwila, deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri, Lusaka Provincial chairman Kennedy Kamba and Kebby Mbewe.
And Kambwili told journalists in Kitwe that he has taken the forgiveness by the Head of State with much appreciation and excitement, saying “this is not the time to fight one another but to find solutions to the challenges facing the people.”
He said he had come a long way with the President and it was only expected for them to continue “sharing brotherly love.”
What we need to do now is to concentrate on finding solutions that are going to work in improving the living standards of the people. Politics of wanting to see who is who, I think are long gone. The people of Zambia are suffering and they need us to provide leadership in the political space. So hence my apology, and let me take this opportunity to thank the President for being magnanimous to accept my apology and to forgive me. I am extremely excited. I hope and trust that even my brother Findlay will find it in his heart to forgive me.
Until yesterday, Kambwili had been refuting reports that he was poised to rejoin the Patriotic Front, saying he had no intentions of doing so, and that his silence was merely to give him a break.
Below are some of the key statements that Kambwili has made against PF and President Lungu since he was fired and expelled from the party in November 2016:
February 2019: “Joseph in the Bible was sold by his own brothers so I cannot get surprised that a close friend can do something like that. Money is the source of all evil. My brother’s tyres on the vehicle are finished. Go and see his vehicle, the tyres are finished! He needs to buy tyres on his vehicle,” Kambwili said as he tried to control his laughter at the NDC secretary general. Call him, go and see the tyres on the vehicle. If he cannot even buy tyres, you know what is happening to him financially. So I can only laugh at him and say mulekosa (you should learn to be strong). Politics are not for the faint hearted, politics is for men who can withstand the storm (…laughing).”
March 2019: “People are suffering in this country but he has made much money so easily with his friends and people who are close to him, his family [and] then he wants to tell people that being rich is not a crime. It is a crime if you have ill-gotten wealth, wealth that you cannot explain; you are a criminal. There is no way a person can declare that he is worth 2.5 million [and] one year later he is worth 23 million. That is a crime. So if the man became rich over one year, he should tell us how he became rich? Where did he get the money? What business did he do? How much does he earn per month?”
March 2019: “They have been arresting me thinking that I will be intimidated and stop talking about corruption, but to their shock the moment I am released, I still tell Lungu that ‘you have stolen.’ Because I am not intimidated when I am telling someone the truth. The problem in this country is that we want to be worshiping the president as if he is also God. A president is just a human like all of us, when he errors we just have to approach him without fear and tell him that ‘niwebo pompwe munshibila nsala’ (you are a blatant thief).”
April 2019: “They have been arresting me thinking that I will be intimidated and stop talking about corruption, but to their shock the moment I am released, I still tell Lungu that ‘you have stolen.’ Because I am not intimidated when I am telling someone the truth. The problem in this country is that we want to be worshiping the president as if he is also God. A president is just a human like all of us, when he errors we just have to approach him without fear and tell him that ‘niwebo pompwe munshibila nsala’ (you are a blatant thief).”
May 2019: “This government is a government of drunkards. The president is a drunkard, the minister is a drunkard. So nobody can warn the other. And this is very normal, it’s a tradition in Zambia. The other day I was reading in the paper where the same Finance Minister was saying ‘government is concerned with the rising external debt.’ What kind of nonsense is that? You are the same person who signed for the borrowing and you start saying government is concerned? When you get intoxicated, your mind is impaired to some extent. So how can you make normal decisions when you are intoxicated? It’s a laughing matter.”
July 2019: “So you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that Lungu has got stealing habits because he stole from a lady and it was confirmed by the High Court and he was sanctioned. Does he think before he talks? I wonder. The record is there at the Law Association of Zambia that is why I say this man, Insoni Ebuntu (humans should have shame) but this man has no shame that’s why he does what he does. And if you don’t have shame, then you are not fit to be a human being. The man declared one million Kwacha before he got into office, one year later, he had K23 million. Let him explain what business he does for him to make K23 million in 12 months.”
July 2019: “Abati iyo ba Kambwili balefwaya kubwelela mu PF bakabe ba Vice-President kuli Lungu, mwebamunyinane isabi ngalyachiluka ubwaamba ninshi nalibala naliya tamwakalimone libili iyo (they are saying I want to go to PF so that I can become Lungu’s Vice-President, but my people when a fish crosses the trap then it can never go back again). Ine nalichiluka ubwaamba teti mbwelelemo mukubomba na Lungu pompwe (I have already crossed over and I can never go back to work with a thief like Lungu). Icho ndelolela kwisa mwikata, elo nganamwikata Edgar Lungu nkapanga chi motoka chilya icha ma KG akapite ichalo chonse mukalemutamba ati kabwalala watwibila uyu (the only thing I am waiting for is to send Lungu to jail. When I form government and when I get him arrested, he will be taken round the country so that everyone sees the person who stole their money).”
September 2019: “I told them who the drug dealers are; I told them who has been mentioned in America in the American courts, so why come and summon me? Go and get those drug dealers and ask them why they were summoned in America and why Kaunda locked them up! How do you start an investigation by coming to stage police officers at my residence, for what? The information I gave you is enough and these things are in public domain. It is in public domain that Findlay moves with President Lungu wherever he goes. So, what wrong have I done to advise a friend that be careful with the people you are moving with because they are being mentioned in issues of drugs and that will bring the Presidency to disrepute?”
November 2019: “Lesa nga alanda ati pa August 12, 2021, mukaya, nangu muchite ifili shani kuya bebele. Elo Lesa nganaeba ati mukapitilila, mukapitilila! (when God says on August 12, 2021, you will leave (power), no matter what you do, you will still leave! And if God says you will continue, then you will continue). Even if you stop your friends from holding meetings, you destroy the political democratic space, if your time to go is 2021, nangu Sikazwe akapalamine shani, aleta filya aleta, tapali ifikachitika (even if Sikazwe comes near and he brings what he brings, nothing will happen). Nangu mukasambe imipalu, muka sambe fina mulombwa, tapali ifikachitika (even if you bath in charms, nothing will happen).”
January 2020: “You know how I’ve been treated by PF, I’ve been treated very badly. I am in court all the time, they have destroyed my businesses, how can you reconcile with such people, that have destroyed your business completely, they are taking you to court for unreasonable charges, how do you reconcile with such people? Because I have said and I want to say it again, you see, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. You are saying you want to reconcile with somebody but you continue doing atrocities against him, how do you reconcile with such people? Because for me, if squeezing me is the way for taking me to PF, it will never happen. I have suffered for too long, I have endured and I am now used.”
January 2021: “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