Monday, February 26, 2024

Race for the PF Presidency – Read Kambwili’s Lips


By Chimwemwe Mwanza

Chishimba Kambwili never ceases to amaze. A deeply polarising figure, he is a person of varying contradictions – making it even more difficult to pin down his real persona. Such is his character trait that one can easily publish a book of encyclopedic proportions about his inconsistencies yet still struggle to put a marker on his ethos.

Other than his determination to fulfilling a self-driven prophecy that he will one day rule Zambia, what does he really stand for? Remarkably, Kambwili holds a very distinct but dubious record which is – he got hounded out of a corrupt government by a corrupt government and then got charged by the same corrupt government for corrupt practices. How low can it get?
Embittered and thrown into political wilderness and seeking relevance, he then accused a sitting President of cozying up to this other unsavory character alleging among other things that the said individual was in fact the President’s financial blesser. How far true this is, only he could prove but anybody that knows a bit about this politician would agree that Kambwili’s tongue is not only deficient in saliva but is rich in bile too.

He is a street-smart strategist that prefers to wrestle in mud compared to boxing smart – a mini version of Micheal Sata (MHSRIP). Ask MMD, he barely loses a fight. Most important, he knows exactly when and how to throw red meat at his base – especially those in the Copperbelt. He assimilates easily with the grassroot and can speak the language of the common man including Jerabos – if he is still not one. This is where it becomes dangerous. Political change in Zambia has always been driven by the grassroot because this is where the crucial numbers come from. In other ways, what ba Kopala want, Zambia gets, ichi chena chishinka.

As we leant in the recent elections and from PF rallies, numbers without strategy counts for nothing and this much he knows. For purposes of context, why is Kambwili the subject of this discussion and why should his character trait matter to Zambians at large? It is simple, he is the front runner expected to assume leadership of Zambia’s largest parliamentary opposition party, the Patriotic Front (PF). As it stands, this hung parliament is the only buffer to sustaining Zambia’s plural politics and therefore leadership qualities of the next PF President do matter.
And PF has a choice. It can can either choose to elect a sober leader who can provide critical but sensible checks and balances to the UPND government much to the betterment of Zambia’s democracy and service delivery or an obstructionist with a self-serving agenda. Obstructionism is destructive and has no record of success be it in the US or United Kingdom or any global political stage for that matter. Look at Chuck Schumer – the democrat’s majority leader in the US Senate, all that his cunning Republican rival Mich McConnell does every day is throw hand grenades in the way of the Biden administration’s agenda.

In the Zambian context, hindsight is the only vindication to the UPND’s hostility to PF’s governance. That the PF as a government was ideologically and morally bankrupt is telling in the high levels of poverty considering the unfolding revelations about their looting spree. You could well argue that UPND had inside information about PF’s looting agenda hence the reluctance to validate PF’s rule by serving as a noble opposition to a corrupt regime. Forget about PF stealing the two Presidential elections which the UPND purports to have won, pillaging state coffers was small change to the PF – this nonchalance by UPND pretty much surmised its attitude to PF.

Back to Kambwili. He is certainly not Edgar Lungu’s preferred candidate for the PF Presidency, but does it matter that Lungu is looking to anoint Given Lubinda to his throne? Maybe not. The former President became irrelevant to Zambian politics and by extention to the PF the moment he lost elections. He no longer has financial means to sustain his networks of patronage which is why his stranglehold on his party has loosened. Lest we be fooled by Kambwili and even GBM’s recent endorsement of his candidature in elections which he lost, this should in no way be misconstrued as a show of Lungu’s strength in PF. Their endorsement was purely transactional politics in play.

And PF’s state of paralysis provides the best opportunity for imbwili to strike. Barring any last-minute hurdles, he is in fact within touching distance of the PF throne and all that his party faithful are awaiting is his coronation. If it pans out this way, could his coronation be the mortal blow that effectively accelerates PF’s journey to Chingwere? Not sure, but what else can one expect from a political party founded on grievance politics and led by a reckless politician?

Even more worrying, the last 3 years of this political nomad’s journey provides a worrying glimpse into PF’s future. Kicked out of the party, he founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a platform he used to rebrand himself. With his political standing in ruins following a highly publicised incarceration, he was released.

Soon after his release, he threw an apology in the way of the former President just so he could cement his bromance with the then number one. With his apology accepted and his PF membership restored, it was his turn to return a favour to the former President. He embarked on a dog whistling campaign disparaging the candidature of the incumbent President with allegations that the then opposition leader was a tribalist that could not be trusted with the Presidency. This gambit only failed because Zambians were just too hungry to feed on his bile.

With his preferred candidate trounced at the polls, Kambwili briefly retreated out of the limelight only to emerge at the doorsteps of a Lusaka court to comment on his acquittal from corruption charges. Addressing a throng of supporters, he strangely accused the PF – a party that he now wants to lead and had vigorously campaigned for a few weeks prior – of concocting bogus charges against him.
It’s what he said next that is baffling. Quoted verbatim, “I would like to thank President Hakainde Hichilema for allowing the Judiciary to work without interference.” Really? Does this riddle imply that HH had a hand in his acquittal or what? How convenient, using your moment of triumph to thank a person whom only a few weeks ago was unworthy of your praise. But this was vintage Kambwili landing a few body blows to the PF while ingratiating himself to HH.

Unless PF decides to stage manage another show of hands disguised as a convention, Za yellow stands no chance in a pool of mud with imbwili. Unfortunately, Zambian politics desperately need Kambwili’s ilk to keep the governing UPND on its toes.

This author wants to make one thing clear; he is apolitical and his record of articles on this platform backs this stand. The only thing he supports is Kabwe Warriors and Liverpool. He remains nothing but a patriot. For now, he is no longer taking feedback.


  1. The PF as an institution is dead, unless they appoint clean, honest, visionary people even if they are yet unknown to Zambians. I end here.

    • The late PF should float names that are sober minded like Brian Mushimba, Sylvia Chalikosa or Sydney Mushanga, PF requires sober minded people, the names being floated for now are corrupt, proven tribalists and have no leadership qualities

  2. CK the PF president? Absolute guarantee that the party will disappear into oblivion like MMD and UNIP. Or GL? Same result, Zambians have learned their lesson, lies and corruption never win! Bye bye CK!

  3. For as long as good people don’t stand up to offer themselves for leadership, we will continue to have the like of Kambwili on the political scene longer than necessary. Is it surprising that even Nkandu Luo thinks she can take over fro ECL? That’s how low the leadership bar has been brought. One day Obvious Summerton Mwaliteta will challenge for the UPND Presidency and we shouldn’t be surprised. Don’t just write lengthy articles, get out there and challenge him else shut up

  4. Kambwili is an untrustworthy noisemaker whose politics are incoherent and opportunistic.Avoid him like the crocodiles.

  5. This is an abnormal creature that can plunge the country into chaos. I’m still buffled on how and why the then opposition were falling over each other to get him after he was expelled from PF and even more when the PF welcomed him with a ref carpet.

  6. Findley suddenly holds a lot of cards…….

    He can condem CK to the rubbish bin by sueing his ass broke………….

    and can also have lungu looking at jail and return of no less than $40 million of stolen money………

  7. The author claims he is apolitical. After writing an article like this, that sounds rather daft. He probably means to say “non-partisan” but that is something else!

  8. Please not Kambwili, there is absolutely no leadership in the man and obviously because he overrates himself he cant learn but again not Given Lubinda, the man exposed himself last week on radio when he said that one of the achievements of the PF was raising salaries for civil servants, how can that be an achievement on any day. Achievements must be things like industrialization bringing manufacturing to life and creating jobs which is the biggest calamity this country is going through, even if you raise civil servants salaries by one million percent, you are not achieving anything, And who said all Zambians are civil servants. No to Kambwili please

  9. Kambwil said if I go back to PF I am crazy, so who would like to consider any self confessed crazy person to the position of leadership

  10. PF has very sober minded people to lead the party, look at how composed, confident, articulate and stead fast in the way unsung heroes like Sylvia Chalikosa applied themselves when they were ministers with no corruption dent. How honestly can one even float the name of noise makers like Kambwili

  11. Very disorganized fellow this Kambwili chap, he is chucked out of PF after Edgar Lungu said some ministers were corrupt, he goes to form NDC, he abandons NDC to shackle himself out of impending jail and possibly paid to campaign, he misleads Zambians that if UPND formed government it will be tribal in its appointments, HH comes to power and has a very balanced cabinet, Kambwili does not apologise and claims he has more than 70 properties and cant suffer, the toothless anti corruption as usual moribund and ineptitude does not move in

  12. Kambwili is supposed to be drinking tea in England…he shouldn’t be allowed in Zambian Politics….use him at your own peril….if he becomes PF President then that’s the end of PF

  13. This guys name was subtly all over Joe Biden’s speech at the UN, he is in that league, the league of the fire tenders, using force to get contracts when in government, inflated prices and other vices and claiming to be a clean business man. May God deliver you

  14. Nice piece of wring Chimwemwe. Some well ariticulated and colourful words well used. I mark 10/10. Now indeed imbwili can be trounced nicely by any politician at the polls. Imbwili has shot himself in the foot several times and using his own words to decampaign him cannot be difficult. I dont think Zambians can ever trust such a man of no fixed aboard. He himself does not know whats best for him. And thats why you have seen him jumping from any tree to another. He has no principals. Let them (PF) choose him as their next leader then UPND will not need to compaign but just walk into the next elections with hands down but still win the match.

  15. Nice piece of wring Chimwemwe. Some well ariticulated and colourful words well used. I mark 10/10. Now indeed imbwili can be trounced nicely by any politician at the polls. Imbwili has shot himself in the foot several times and using his own words to decampaign him cannot be difficult. I dont think Zambians can ever trust such a man of no fixed aboard. He himself does not know whats best for him. And thats why you have seen him jumping from any tree to another. He has no principals. Let them (PF) choose him as their next leader then UPND will not need to compaign but just walk into the next elections with hands down but still win the match.

  16. Though Given Lubinda is by far better than Kambwili and possess some elements of decency, Kambwili, Luo, Given Lubinda , Nakachinda should not come anywhere near the leadership of PF, and even worse to put people like quarrelsome Nakachinda to be the face of the party. Decency must be name of the game going forward, if you did not know, as PF we annoyed the Zambian people so much, even when we lost elections instead of being magnanimous we started spewing labbish saying things like the elections were not free and fair, insulting the many youths and Zambians that voted freely and unfairly and unfairly because PF stopped the opposition from campaigning and only campaigned themselves using partisan Zambia Police

  17. You brought back this BUFFOON now he will torment you…he is a coward and a thug I dont see him respecting anyone now Lazy Lungu is out of the way.

  18. My humble submission is that the writer is simply saying whatever your opinion is of kambwili, you cannot ignore him as far as Zambian politics go. Believe me, he can be destructive.

  19. Kambwili’s politics are not consistent. He likes attention too much. Many people have lost faith in him. PF have got no presidential material at the moment. So this will be a failed project.

  20. Who says Kambwili can not be ignored. Kambwili is excess baggage and does not add any value to any party that associates with him. Even Sata failed to find value him and shuffled him among three ministries in the infancy of his government. He cant win anybody any elections, the last elections are a clear testimony to this.

  21. The tragedy of Zambia is calling people like Kambwili leaders, there is nothing anywhere pointing to Kambwili as being a leader, the language, tone, actions, uncontrolled mouth, dishonesty, dubiously acquired wealth disguised as clean business, unstable jumping from party to party, contradictory statements, always fighting with young people like Nathan, Chungu, Kamptyongo and others. This guy has absolutely nothing to offer

  22. SPAKA (18)

    You are such a disturbed soul, who is angry with life, frustrated and basically rides on hate. You turn up 24/7 vomiting garbage and glued to Lusakatimes none stop. Go and find a job and do something worthwhile to do in life. You seriously need help psychological counselling
    HH has won and we are happy that he did so after we put in a tough campaign fight. He is the president for all Zambians including PF Supporters. We are not to come here to call other Zambians… Rats, Hyenas and Monkeys. You do this week in and week out.

  23. Well written article Mr. Chimwemwe (rated 10/10). It may be incomprehensible that there are Zambians out there who are admirers of CK, but that’s a general human nature & not only a local phenomenon. History provides us with many obnoxious “leaders” such as “Emperor”: Jean-Bedel Bokassa, “General” Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler etc. who had a lot of admires from their locals

  24. It will be nice if they choose CK so that PF cement their grave. That’s a welcome move please please choose CK as PF President

  25. Opposition is absolutely necessary to keep government in check, you cannot kill opposition , the opposition do tremendous job in government , all you can see is the opposition who had a part in service delivery without them nothing can work.

  26. This is an easy one for the PF, just put in your constitution that only those with a visible neck can contest at the general conference, this clause only will help you sort out a lot of pressure

  27. #25  Geoffrey Khumbula

    Now you feel what it is like when it is you wearing the shoe ????

    Ypu PF rats deserve more until you resend for the suffering inflicted on Zambians……

    Until the new GRZ starts properly sacking and jailing you PF theives and murders , the streets and cyber space will not be content……..

  28. Another example of Lazy Lungu and SG Mwila’s appalling leadership…this man will do anything to lead then when does his mouth will put him in trouble and he will auction the party to save is fatty skin.

  29. There are credible leaders who can be in opposition. Anyway, i am sure even people like CK are learning that Zambians are not docile. The man was admired at one point but this time around, i am one of those he can never fool.

  30. SPAKA (30)

    I expected that from you. I am UPND and I have worked hard to campaign for HH. The president wants good governance where all are respected under the same law and not dehumanising other people. That’s why he is bringing unity to all Zambians

    In 2014 we had WANZELU ranting day in day out on Lusakatimes. His real initials are LM, a Scientist based in UK. It took HH to say enough is enough can someone tell LM to stop this constant negative online vitriol on LT. Today you call people that kicked out PF rats when they helped in big numbers to eject Lungu and PF. We are to be more mature and not reduce our selves to the nasty comments. Who really are you working for? We don’t need this nonsense in UPND. A lot has been said within high hierarchy of UPND in the last one month…

  31. Chimbwili for PF President + Mama Luo for Vice PF President. Perfect partnership! stop being haters mwebantu. They are both Zambians, PF members, and the most important attribute the share if tribalism and their hate for Tongas.

  32. Politics and leadership is highly polarized in this country. The situation is even getting worse. For some of the regions, the space of influence and participation in governance and freedom are likely to shrink very rapidly. CK may prove to be the SAVIOUR. PLEASE SUPPORT HIM before it is too late. He is the only hope there is. Others are COWARDS.

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