… those saying I am going back to the PF are sick in their heads
By Bennie Mundando
I AM ready for the August elections because we formed our party to be voted into office and that is exactly what we are doing, National Democratic Congress president Chishimba Kambwili has said.
And Mr. Kambwili says those who are speaking on his behalf by making insinuations that he is going back to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) are sick in their heads because he does not need anyone to speak for him.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kambwili has revealed that his party has been forced to hold intra-party elections in the bush to run away from the wrath of the police whom he says have been arresting his members each time they try to hold meetings.
Speaking on Diamond TV’s live programme dubbed Zambia ahead of the 2021 general elections on Friday evening, Mr. Kambwili said his party was ready to participate in the forthcoming elections and that if the persecution he was subjected to was the price for him being candid and speaking the truth, then he was ready for it.
“I am ready for the elections. That is why we formed the NDC to participate in the elections. You don’t form a political party for nothing but to be an alternative Government and when elections come, you have to offer your services and aspire in order for people to vote you into office and that is exactly what we are doing as NDC.
“What I have gone through is normal in an African political setting because in Africa, people believe that in persecuting others, is the way to intimidating them and this is not peculiar to Zambia. If persecution is the price which I have to pay for being candid and speaking the truth, so be it,” Mr. Kambwili said.
He however admitted that mobilizing his party had not been easy because the PF was allegedly using the COVID pandemic to frustrate them by sending the police whom he said were abusing the Public Order Act to prevent the opposition from mobilizing yet the ruling party was busy mobilizing.
“Their (PF’s) cadres are having meetings but that is not happening in the opposition. Every time you apply for the permit, to hold the meeting as opposition, you are told that you cannot assemble because of COVID. We have been doing our elections throughout the country as NDC which will culminate into the convention that we are going to have either the last week of February or the first week of March but it has not been easy.
“We have had to hold elections in circumstances that are not conducive. Sometimes you have to go in the bush, running away from the police just to have our elections done. Every time that the people in the PF realise that we are having a meeting, they quickly call the police to come and arrest our cadres,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kambwili said the story about him going back to the PF had dragged on for the past two years and that he will not waste his time trying to clear such baseless rumours.
“I will not waste time on that issue because this thing of saying Kambwili is going back to the PF has been going on for the past two years. So, I will not waste time to discuss an issue that is neither here nor there. If I decide to go to the PF, just like I have decided to work with the UPND, I will come out in the open and say that I am going back to the PF. I do not need anybody to speak for me. You have never heard me speak through proxies. I speak for myself because I am capable of representing myself. So, when you hear other people, speaking for me, just know that those people have something wrong with their heads.
“The problem in Zambia is that we like to make news using other people’s names. Some newspapers, when they have Chishimba Kambwili as headline, they sell very quickly. I don’t know how you want me to clear this issue but I have just told you that this issue of Chishimba Kambwili going back to the PF has been with us for the past two years,” he said.