ACTING PF secretary general Nickson Chilangwa says President Hakainde Hichilema’s failure to govern is giving his party confidence that it will bounce back in 2026.
And Chilangwa says there may be one or two individuals who might be perceived as arrogant and non-repentant in PF, but the party has very humble people.
Meanwhile, Chilangwa says former PF Member of the Central Committee Charles Kakoma’s resignation from the party is understandable because he has been in opposition for a long time.
Speaking when he featured on Diamond TV, Sunday, Chilangwa said President Hichilema’s lamentation that his ministers were failing him was an admission of failure on his part.
He said President Hichilema’s failure was giving PF confidence that “tulebwelelapo” in 2026.
“President Hakainde Hichilema, two days ago he was lamenting that his Ministers and PSs have failed to perform. So if he has apportioned the blame to people he has appointed that they have failed to perform, who is failing to perform? It is him. Is it not him who said the instructions I am giving my Ministers are not enough? They are instead getting instructions from PF on how to make money and so on. It means the workshop was inadequate. So they have gone out there to source for better information and how to do things from other people,” said Chilangwa.
“So I am getting this confidence from President Hakainde Hichilema. It is not the Ministers who are failing to perform, it is him. The buck stops at the President. Why hasn’t he fired them? Why is he keeping them? So he is keeping dead wood at the expense of Zambians? So that is giving us the confidence that the UPND gong’ad [duped] Zambians. So we are getting the strength that he is admitting that he has failed. So we are getting the confidence that tulebwelelapo (we will bounce back in power). The problem is that we have got praise singers who even when things are wrong, they want to sing. Things are not okay.”
And Chilangwa said he didn’t know which party was more arrogant between PF and UPND.
“I think we are very humble people. There may be one or two who may be thought to be arrogant and who may be thought that they are non-repentant, but to be honest, Nickson Chilangwa is not rude and arrogant. Nickson Chilangwa will answer you in a manner that you deserve to be answered. But you know that has got two sides. If I am standing, and you step on my toe, should I say thank you very much? No, I do not think so. In fact, I do not even know who is more arrogant, is it UPND or PF?” he said.
“Have you seen the insults that UPND unleash on social media? Literally, everybody to them is an idiot except he who must be obeyed. You cannot correct them. Even as I speak today, probably on my Facebook [page], what I just get there are just insults. I do not think we are arrogant. If we seem to be arrogant, I am sorry to the Zambian people because all we try to do is push a point forward. But if there is one or two in a house or family or village, it means that not everybody can be perfect.”
Meanwhile, Chilangwa wished Kakoma well, adding that some weak souls could not stand the pressure of being in the opposition.
“Some people came to the PF for a game. Some people joined the PF because of benefits. They thought we are in PF and once we win the elections you are going to have some benefits for your family and so on. But to look at four years from now, to continue waiting in the opposition, I think it is a long time. So we have weak souls, unfortunately, who cannot stand the pressure of being in the opposition and we wish them well,” he said.
“Especially if somebody was in opposition for a long time and when he thinks now it is time to take a break from being in the opposition, the side on which he goes again goes into opposition, it is very understandable. So for us we wish him well, he is our brother and we shall watch the space. But I am sure he will come back in 2026 because we are winning in 2026. PF and its partners are winning the elections in 2026 without any shadow of doubt.”
Chilangwa said he did not agree with certain aspects of the postmortem report.
“Do you know that there are certain aspects of that report that I do not agree with? There is a word that has been misused in this country, the word of caderism. To say PF lost elections because of caderism and there will be no caderism in this country, that word has been misinterpreted. People do not even understand what caderism is. When you have got a section of youths who are misbehaving, and they have always been there if you do not know, you need to understand the history of this country. It is a certain element of youths, I agree we failed to control,” he said.
“There are certain times when your own child becomes ungovernable and you fail to control a child. There are certain times when you are a headmaster of a school you fail to control a certain section of youths in school. The word cadre is not only applicable to youths, it is also adults. I have cadres in Kawambwa constituency, did you hear a single case of misbehaviour? Most of those people who were misbehaving were just youths. We have not zeroed in as a nation on what the word cadre means. So for me even as we talk about hooliganism and misbehaviour, we should just narrow it to a group of youths. It is not only that that cost us an election.”
Chilangwa said the PF top leadership was still scrutinising the postmortem report before it could be made available to all party structures.
“Truth be told, it is not all members of the Central Committee. I am telling you the truth. Very soon as we meet as a Central Committee, every member of the committee is going to have access to that report and they are going to make their comments. Thereafter it will be made available to all our structures of the Patriotic Front. You have a report on Diamond TV on how you must become the best TV station, does it come to everybody on the same day? The answer is no, it does not work like that,” he said.
Chilangwa described PF’s performance in the just ended Kabwata by-election as excellent.
“They were very good results for us, extremely good results. If you go back into history, a party that has lost governance has never performed in the fashion that we performed in Kabwata. So the Kabwata by-elections were excellent. And I want to thank the good people of Kabwata for doing an excellent job despite the many hurdles that we encountered as the Patriotic Front and also on behalf of other political parties. Despite all those hurdles, we still went ahead and did well,” he said.
“We are weighing our options and we are consulting our lawyers. We are going to make a decision in the next few days on the way forward. But I do not think it will be wrong for the Patriotic Front to petition the results after the behaviour of the UPND.”
Chilangwa said all PF members of parliament who did not attend the meeting called by the party leadership had sent reports justifying their absentia.
“It was a campaign committee meeting where senior members asked members to attend the meeting so that we work together to ensure that we do the right thing for the people of Kabwata. Yes, some colleagues did not show up. Some colleagues had reasons why they did not show up. Out of 51, only 15 showed up. I am saying 51 because there is this constitutional thing where nine of our members are not available. Yes, acting president [Given] Lubinda had every right to be upset with all of us because he did not receive information in good time as to why some of our colleagues were not available,” he said.
“I can tell you right now that every single member of our party, central committee as well as members of parliament who were not at that particular meeting, they have given reports why they were not available. Some were in the constituency, some were attending court cases and all sorts of information has come through. But that information did not filter through in good time to the secretariat and to the acting president. All members of parliament actually supported. They sent in money, vehicles and materials.”
Chilangwa also said asking the old leadership to take a back seat during the rebranding process lacked merit.