It is said that facts are threatening to those invested in fraud.
 
And we are told in Proverbs 29:11: “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”
Denial, panic, threats, anger – those are very human responses to feeling guilty.
 
We say this in the light of Patriotic Front threats to Chishimba Kambwili that his decision to take on Edgar Lungu “punch for punch” until he addressed the living standards of the Zambian people will make him regret and “cry like a baby”. Edgar had earlier referred to Kambwili as a “kapala (worthless person)” who thought people liked him. This was in response to Kambwili’s criticism that Edgar’s government had failed to resolve the dispute between Mopani Copper Mine and Copperbelt Energy Corporation that threatened jobs of over 5,000 miners. Kambwili said he would exert pressure on Edgar until he pulled up his socks. He said pressure made people do things that they did not want to do.
“For you Mr President, be prepared for more pressure. It is [now] punch for punch until the living standards of our people improve. So, if you expect that I’m going to keep quiet because you are calling me a kapala, you are thinking in a wrong way because what makes Chishimba Kambwili is to speak out. You went to the Copperbelt yesterday and said some of the people we worked with them in government and we know that they just use their government positions to get lucrative contracts and businesses from mining companies. [But] I want to challenge you President Edgar Lungu: tell the people of Zambia how many contracts I got from the mines when I was a minister. To the best of my knowledge, my contracts with the mining companies have been running since 1993…It is shameful that a President of the sovereign Republic of Zambia can go and stand in front of cameras and mislead the people that Chishimba Kambwili got lucrative contracts as a minister. I have never,” said Kambwili.
“So you lied to the people of Zambia that I got lucrative contracts when I was in government and when you see a President telling lies, then know that he has either failed to govern or he is feeling the pressure. Those who know Chishimba Kambwili know that I can exert pressure and I have started exerting pressure on President Edgar Lungu so that he can wake up, pull up his socks and start working for the people of Zambia other than travelling every time. You go to tell people that this kapala is saying I’m travelling a lot but travelling is part of my job. Yes, we know it’s part of your job but it’s not mandatory. I was a Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr [Michael] Sata travelled less than five times in his one year in office as a President. He was sending Dr Guy Scott and others to go and represent him [because] it’s not mandatory for the President to continuously travel.”
 
But Patriotic Front media director Sunday Chanda advised Kambwili against taking the route he had chosen of criticizing Edgar.
 
“Kambwili’s challenge to take on Republican President Edgar Lungu ‘punch for punch’ will make him regret. His ‘punch-for-punch’ strategy will leave him as the major political casualty. We would like him to take this as a kind reminder before he can cry like a baby. Like in boxing, my brother Kambwili will get a good whipping for his big mouth…”
 
Menachem Begin said, “He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are willing to listen only to rational arguments.” It is said that as fire when thrown into water is cooled down and put out, so also is a false accusation when brought against a man of the purest and holiest character, boils over and is at once dissipated, and vanishes and threats of heaven and sea, himself standing unmoved.
 
The Patriotic Front’s continued pursuit of intolerance, tyranny, a desire to stay in power at any cost and abhorrent human rights practices pose one of the greatest threats to peace and stability in this country. As long as anger, paranoia and misinformation drive our political debate, there are unhinged souls among us who will feel justified in turning to violent remedies for imagined threats.
 
If you look at great human civilisations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.
 
Still, corruption, intolerance, repression and abuse of state institutions are far too common threats to our multiparty democracy and plural society. Corrupt regimes are usually very intolerant and full of threats. It is no longer in dispute that this PF government of Edgar is making the corruption of Rupiah Banda’s regime and that of Fredrick Chiluba look like child’s play. Under this regime of Edgar, there is corruption in all deals you can think of – fertiliser, maize, oil, roads, and so on and so forth. For instance, US $2 million is being collected in bribes every three months from shipments of oil. There’s increasing displeasure about this corruption in the Ministry of Energy. There are differences over the sharing of money from crude oil shipments. Companies they are awarding government construction contracts are building for them houses, apartments, and so on and so forth.
They have auctioned this country to the highest bidder. There is nothing this government can say to any of these corporations that have gotten government business through corruption. They can’t even cough.
 
These are the issues Kambwili is raising, questioning or challenging. And these are things over which he will be made to cry like a baby. It’s this corruption that is making them very intolerant and wanting to stay in power for as long as they can and at any cost, including rigging elections, destroying the opposition and silencing critical voices.

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