By Col Hamwiinde Munamunungu
CHISHIMBA KAMBWILI formed the Patriotic Front(PF) in the company of Michael Sata and was considered his right-hand man. Chishimba Kambwili understood Michael Sata and Michael Sata understood Chishimba Kambwili.
When Michael Sata formed his Cabinet, he made Chishimba Kambwili minister for Foreign Affairs implying one of his senior ministers.
Chishimba Kambwili didn’t last long there because he caused diplomatic mayhem. He was literally driving the diplomats mad because he didn’t treat them as special heads of States in Zambia (hence Presidents of their own countries).
Michael Sata moved him to Labor ministry where again he was now acting like a newly appointed Labor Commissioner trying to find his feet. Later he was moved to Youth and Sports to go and fight with the youths.
When Michael Sata died, Edgar Lungu still tolerated him and gave him Minister of Information and Propaganda. Here he messed it full time. He was now full time minister for anti Tonga as a tribe, and anti Hakainde Hichilema as a person and in his capacity as head of the UPND.
His height of hatred was epitomized in the saying “ even if you put Jesus Christ as your candidate against Hakainde Hichilema in the South , the Tongas would reject Christ “.
When he was dropped as Cabinet member by Edgar Lungu ,the President, Chishimba Kambwili refused to leave the Party despite the strong armed struggle mounted by the PF for him to leave. He stuck to PF for a long time.
To prepare his heavenly mansion Chishimba Kambwili appointed himself as National Democratic Congress (NDC) consultant, whatever it meant, and kept his PF membership card intact.
However an opportunity offered itself up and Mr Speaker received an appropriate opportunity to pounce on Chishimba Kambwili for his expulsion from Parliament. Chishimba Kambwili ranted at this expulsion and went to the courts. Had he vigorously persuaded his court issue he was going to win it.
When he realized that he was becoming a political leper God reminded him that as Minister of Information then, he had broken many hearts of “cuundans” ( southerners) with “his Jesus Christ comparison “ and quickly and cleverly zoomed to “CUUNDU” senior Honorable Chiefs begging for their forgiveness and that of their subjects. All the Chiefs found favor with him but many known Tonga individual hearts forgave him but have not forgotten.
To sound that he was really born again he took on a tirade of personal attacks on President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and went on undressing him at each and every occasion that came his way. Edgar Lungu became his daily manifesto. To some extent this brought him support and popularity in the eyes of the public, especially in Luanshya on the Copperbelt.
This popularity appears was not enough to win him votes for himself or the party , NDC , he hijacked as Leader. When Roan constituency became vacant ( after his expulsion) he tiptoed to Hakainde Hichilema asking him not to field a candidate “ but support me, so that these PF chaps know that I Chishimba Kambwili is a power house.” Hakainde Hichilema unwillingly accepted to lend the United Party for National Development (UPND) support, but he, Hakainde Hichilema , too was castigated by his colleagues in the UPND leadership. Someone told Hakainde Hichilema ,” you don’t know Kambwili “. I am sure that now Hakainde Hichilema knows Chishimba Kambwili better than that day of his cautioning.
What has changed Dr Chishimba Kambwili to mellow down and become a pawn for the PF?
When he was a full time member of the PF serving under Michael Sata Chishimba Kambwili had gotten many government contracts with the mines and other quasi government institutions. This started building the economic status of the man and gaining a strong voice because he had the money, he had the public eye, he was a political heavyweight, he was a confidant of the President, he was a prominent founder member of the party and at one time, he felt being the alpha and omega of that political institution.
He grew up his image because his payments from government were regular and prompt and nobody could block them even when government coffers were running dry. If one followed it properly one would smell his contract payments were processed quickly or paid in advance of supplies.
When he thought he had arrived Edgar Lungu became annoyed and decided to plug off Chishimba Kambwili’s drain plug. Overnight Chishimba Kambwili was broke and became a weak soldier. In addition Edgar Lungu went on a fishing expedition and found a loophole in the records of his company profile of many years ago. Took him to the courts and found him guilty. Now Edgar Lungu was on firm ground to turn Chishimba Kambwili as his agent to penetrate through the bedroom of Hakainde Hichilema , Edgar Lungu’s erstwhile enemy.
“Agree to be his running mate and study Hakainde Hichilema’s weaknesses so that you ditch him especially after you become his running mate. Go on and pretend you’re 99.9% with him on his road to Damascus.” So he was couched by Edgar Lungu middle men.
By the way Chishimba Kambwili was sacked by Edgar Lungu because Chishimba Kambwili talked to his colleagues that he would challenge Edgar Lungu at the convention. He didn’t sack him because of corruption.
Now the whole picture of his betrayal has come out in the open. The main body of the NDC has expelled Chishimba Kambwili and given reasons to believe that Kambwili is “ a very difficult person to work with.“ He didn’t work well with PF, not well with Mwenya Musenge, not well with the Alliance, and not well with NDC executives.
Chishimba Kambwili put an impossible demand on the UPND Alliance of sharing parliamentary seats and of him being a running mate. He says it pains him to hear that Hakainde Hichilema was given the power to choose his running mate from either the UPND or from the Alliance members or from the outside. This pained him because he felt entitled to becoming such a one because “ after all, I have one MP.”
The NDC executives have said it all on social media with audios and I can’t add more.
I am really at a loss what Chishimba Kambwili would now say as a new member of the Edgar Lungu Patriotic Party after all that rubbish poured on their carpet and on the red carpet of Edgar Lungu.
What is next for Dr Chishimba Kambwili and who goes back with him to Edgar Lungu and PF ?
Let us wait and see