SHOW YOUR SKILLS…you were telling us ‘Bally
Will Fix It’ – Kambwili

By Kombe Mataka

CHISHIMBA Kambwili has described as foolishness suggestion that he cannot be trusted to lead PF because he is in the habit of joining and ditching parties.

And Kabwili has reminded President Hakainde Hichilema that, “You were telling us ‘Bally Will Fix It’. You were voted to fix things that have gone wrong…We were supposed to tick. Now we are ticking hike in fuel prices, of goods, the dollar is also currently mad. Even here they told us ‘I am a businessman’. Show us your skills.”
Kambwili, a long time PF member and a former cabinet minister, once led the National Democratic Party (NDC) before ditching it to rejoin the then ruling Patriotic Front ahead of last year’s elections.

Kambwili, who has declared his intention to run for PF presidency at the forthcoming convention, explained that he did not leave PF out of his will.

“I do not change. People are saying I was NDC…I am a politician. I am not a priest. My job is politics. I was chased from the organisation (PF). Now can you just give up and quit politics? I refused to leave because my blood is PF. Among the five people that founded PF, I was one of them. I was chased from PF by people who didn’t mean well, people who feared me. Those who did not like me. I did not leave on my own. I am a politician. I have to practice politics. So that is why I formed my political party (NDC) so that I tell people about my ideologies that I would lead the country with and change people’s lives,” Kambwili said when he featured on Radio Mano in Kasama on Tuesday. “People came and asked me to go and clean PF because my blood is PF. I went back. So for those saying ‘Kambwili is not stable’, it is foolishness. Everyone knows that I didn’t leave people. I said I was going to be the last man standing. Chileshe (host) I have only joined two organisations in my life. I was UNIP. I served as secretary general of students’ affairs the whole of Copperbelt. When UNIP lost, I did not believe in MMD. So if people are saying I will jump to another party when elected as PF president, those are lies. I made NDC because I was chased. I didn’t have where to belong but even when I went to UPND I still felt PF in me. I found what the president [Hakainde Hichilema] was saying was not practical.”

He said if he loses his bid for PF presidency, he would try again after five years.

“If I am not elected it does not mean it’s over for me. We have elections every five years. When they choose another one, we will give them time to work and see where they lead the party. If they do well, well and good for all of us in the PF. If they win 2026 for us well and good. If they fail, I will come back but you can’t force people to work with you. If they do not want, I will take a back seat,” Kambwili said.

He said what happened on August 12, 2021 had provided vital lessons.

“What happened last year has taught us a lesson. What Chibesa, the late Glorious Band member said ‘talking is easy but walking the talk is difficult’. If you don’t have experience of working in government, running a business and the country are not the same. We were told ‘I am an economist, I will come and change things’. Now as an economist you are busy saying ‘they have destroyed’,” Kambwili said in reference to President Hichilema.

And Kambwili said he wanted to strengthen the PF.

“I want to get it back to the pro-poor ideologies. To help the poor and not leaders helping themselves,” he said. “You are an economist, fix it. You were telling us ‘Bally Will Fix It’. You were voted to fix things that have gone wrong… We were supposed to tick. Now we are ticking hike in fuel prices, of goods, the dollar is also currently mad. People are suffering. When choosing leaders, analyse. The leadership experience is better. You cannot just come from nowhere and say ‘I want to be president’,” he said. “That is what happened to [Donald] Trump. Trump came from business. What did he do to America? He destroyed America. Even here they told us ‘I am a businessman’. Show us your skills!”

And Kambwili speculated that the government would pay the 30,000 teachers and 11,200 health workers from the IMF’s $1.3 billion special drawing rights.

“They have said ‘we are employing 30,000 teachers and 11,000 medical personnel’. Where are you going to get the money? From special drawing rights of $1.3 billion from IMF? Will IMF be giving you this money throughout? If this $1.3 billion finishes where are you going to get money to give them? We are happy for our brothers and sisters who will be employed but we want them to be on a sustainable programme but using drawing rights, is it sustainable? That is question,” he said. “Introducing free education very good idea. Our children who were failing to go to school will now go to school. We will now go to school but where are we getting that money we are using for grants? What if it finishes? What will happen to the schools? They are saying they want to ramp up production of copper. Is it their money? We don’t own mines. We just get taxes. We refused to get straight tax which is calculated on production and of all we want to deduct from profits. Where are you going to get money? Mining companies are not ours.”

Kambwili appealed to the UPND to find a way of running Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines by way of making them belong to the government.

“So that profits we will be making will be ours. Then the programme of employing 30,000 and 11,000 will work. If you prioritise the mines, we will lose out on revenue. There will be no money to pay teachers after two years…when we were in government UPND was saying we were spending 50 per cent to pay salaries. ‘It is carelessness. You cannot allow a government to use 50 per cent on personal emoluments and salaries when we have come to reduce this 50 per cent’. Now to this 50 per cent they have added another 40,000.”


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