By Jeff Mbewe
IN politics, nothing happens by chance – most of the things that are within the power of political players are calculated, to achieve a certain goal.
The news that Mwenya Musenga announced the registration of National Democratic Congress (NDC) party -from the residence of Chishimba Kambwili- and NOT anywhere else signals that Kambwili is very much part of the new party.
First of all, although Kambwili proclaims himself as a kingmaker in Copperbelt province, what he seems to be aware of is that voters in Zambia are very loyal as such they never easily change allegiance from one party to another at a blink of an eye. For this reason, despite that Kambwili is indeed a “bigwig” in this province, more especially because of his political rhetoric and populism in talk, the Roan MP doesn’t want to let go of his seat, as opposed to fighting in Roan constituency, he wants to fight from court.
The excuse advanced by Kambwili that he is conscious of the cost implication of a by-election is mere rhetoric and hypocritical because the annals of politics indicate that Kambwili has in the past told-off those who had fallen off from the governing party, such as Sylvia Masebo, to fight it in a constituency and not in court.
So why is Kambwili still insisting on fighting his expulsion in Court instead of meeting the PF in Roan?
Simple: Kambwili is not so popular even in his own constituency – he seems to have done this math very well, that if today he went into a by-election, a possible loss gives away the only thing that the Roan MP has in his palms to use in his ambition to climb the radar in the political life after failing off from PF.
Right now, those seeking to oust the PF have come to take Kambwili as a very good ally to fight the Patriotic Front, President Lungu and his minions. Kambwili is on top of things, busy unveiling the “corruption” in the system – whether or not what he says is true, damage is being done to the PF. But for Kambwili, when he says he has opened a punch to punch approach, he is not joking – he is actually doing so to further justify the talk that he holds some undisputable influence in some parts of the country where the Patriotic Front holds much support base as well as in the governing party among those who consider themselves true greens and are disappointed that Lungu has brought in MMD members to take up “their” jobs and business opportunities.
However, despite that he still insists that he is still PF, Kambwili’s talk lately and behavior overall does not depict of someone who has anything good in intention for the governing party. Kambwili is set to ‘destroy’ PF.
When Kambwili talks of corruption of Lungu, it’s not only the President and a few people surrounding him he is hurting, that is if this has any effect. The talk is damaging the PF wholly. This is something that Kambwili knows very well.
The only reason the former information minister is battling it out in court is to buy time – knowing very well that the Zambian judicial system has flaws, with regards to, time frame of attending to such issues.
This tells vividly that Kambwili is not sure of the outcome of a by-election, if it were held today.
In 2016 elections, out of a total vote cast of 19,923, Kambwili gobbled only 11,397 votes against his closest rival Kayekesi, Andrew of UPND who got 5,099. These are not results one can use to claim they are “very” popular in a constituency as Kambwili wants us to believe.
The truth, however, is that the former information minister knows that joining UPND at any given level now is an own goal – the claim that PF has been hijacked by MMD will be directed to UPND that it has been hijacked by PF if Kambwili openly takes up the Veep post in the main opposition party.
Moreover, this is a route that is too deadly for the UPND now – they may drastically suffer the consequences of dumping Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba the same way they discarded Canicous Banda.
Despite these two realities, UPND still needs Kambwili in order to successfully beat PF in 2021.
The only possible option, for both Kambwili and Hakainde Hichilema to go around the the possible perception of UPND being hijacked by PF members and avoid bruising GBM openly, is to have Kambwili register a party in order for the Roan MP to form a pact with the main opposition party.
In this way, Kambwili would be coming not as an individual but as a party.
But for Hakainde, what he is yet to realise is the fact that , whether or not Kambwili forms his own party, his chances to maintain the same support he enjoys today as ‘PF’ is not guaranteed, for the reason already highlighted that, Zambian voters are not loyal to individuals but to a given party.
However, Kambwili may not be underestimated entirely – Zambians are not very happy with a status quo, as such the Roan MP may successfully use this suffering of people to destroy the Patriotic Front party which seems to have very few or none members who can successfully defend President Lungu and the party from the ridicule poured by Kambwili in his ballistic talks lately.
What those in PF media are doing is merely to slander Kambwili, to tell of how many women he is sleeping with – this is not the medicine needed to dilute Kambwili. Kambwili is raising so many important issues bordering around corruption – the very things that led MMD to be kicked out in 2011, despite that economic fundamentals were just very positive!