National Democratic Congress secretary general Mwenya Musenge says he is extremely excited that his newly formed party already has parliamentary representation through the hard work of Chishimba Kambwili, but insists that the Roan by-election victory will not make him withdraw his demand for the “consultant” to apply if he wants to join the party.

“I am extremely excited as Secretary General of the party that we finally have representation in Parliament. This is the desire of each and every opposition party. So this is really a huge milestone that we have achieved as a party because we’ve only been in existence for a year and some months. What is critical is for us to see how we can build up on this thing that we have achieved, so I want to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues and more especially ba Chishimba Kambwili who led the strong team and the campaign managers who were on the ground,” said Mr Musenge.

“But the constitution of the party has to be respected in everything that we do. It cannot be overlooked simply because we have won an election. I don’t think I have been asking for too much as Secretary General of the party when I say that my brother [Kambwili] should push in an application so that our committee can sit and look at it. Now that we have won the elections, we have to resolve these issues.”

“We” have won the elections? Who is “We”? When police arrest Kambwili, it’s “him”, when PF cadres break his car and threaten to kill him, he is on his own. But when he delivers victory in a by-election, it’s “we?” This level of shamelessness is unprecedented. Surely, there are other decent ways of disgracing oneself than this path of political distraction.

Mr Musenge may consider himself a smart and shrewd politician when he makes such remarks, but Zambians can only hear jealousy, bitterness, treachery and guilt at the same time. This man would have loved if NDC lost the by-election so that the defeat adds thrust to his campaign to prevent the former Roan member of parliament from leading the party. Why he desperately wants to do that, only him and his stomach know.

What we don’t understand is whether Mr Musenge thinks he is a better candidate to lead the opposition party that they formed together with his friend, whom he now considers an enemy of progress. This man lost the Chimwemwe parliamentary seat to an independent candidate, despite all the money and support from the Patriotic Front in 2016. His popularity was challenged at constituency level. So we can clearly see that he is only a heavyweight on the scale, not politically.

In fact, given the current state of affairs, it is Mr Musenge who should apply to join Kambwili’s movement, because at least Zambians can see that the former chief government spokesperson is getting somewhere. If NDC held a campaign rally to thank voters in Roan or indeed anywhere else, we are certain that citizens would cheer Kambwili and boo Mr Musenge, if not pelting him. Even in football, a good player doesn’t apply to join a club; it’s the club that applies through bids to sign the striker.

So the desperation of wanting to see Kambwili sit down, take out his ballpoint pen and write an application to formally join the party, is something that only Mr Musenge’s rumbling belly can explain. He is the only one who is seeing the logic in what he is demanding.

If Kambwili has committed any crime that Mr Musenge feels is bringing the name of the party in disrepute, the police are there to arrest suspects and prosecute them in court. Why not report the matter? Citizens too would be interested in knowing the details of whatever crime Mr Kambwili has committed so that they should not make a mistake of voting for a criminal. It just doesn’t make sense to insist that “the consultant must apply to join”, when the rest of your party members agree that the same “consultant” is your most priced asset.

And if we may ask, where is the contract that Mr Musenge signed with Kambwili for the consultancy services that he has been offering to the party? What was the duration of that contract and how much did NDC agree to pay him per month? If indeed Kambwili has never been anything more than just a consultant, professionally hired to help the party after the registration process, where are the terms of reference of that contract entered into by the two parties? Interested Zambians would like to see that letter of appointment for Mr Kambwili as a consultant, so that they can appreciate Mr Musenge’s argument.

Further to that, let Mr Musenge produce the minutes of the NDC Central Committee meeting that sat to elect him secretary general of the party. Who attended that meeting and who competed with him on that position and how many votes did he get? If he was simply appointed as Mr Charles Kabwita explains, can he name the person who appointed him to that position? Where does he draw his mandate to ask Kambwili to apply to join NDC?

Anyway, it’s an internal battle; we were only commenting because we feel Mr Kambwili has made many Zambians happy and someone is trying to spoil the fun. So we will end here, but with a word of advice for Mr Musenge: The stomach has a very strong historic link to corruption, so it is not always wise to pursue all its demands.