Lungu’s appetite for power driving the country into more debt, Kambwili

By Staff Reporter


OPPOSITION National Democratic Congress political consultant Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu’s unbridled appetite for a third term in 2021 is what has pushed Zambia into indebtedness.

During a Diamond TV programme on Sunday evening, Kambwili said the government was irresponsibly contracting loans and then embark on ‘developmental projects’ to appease prospective voters.

And when asked by programme host, Costa Mwansa, about his ideology as a politician, Kambwili said: “my ideology, our ideology as NDC is ubuntu (humanity).”

“[We are] man-centred to make sure that we improve the living standards of our people. The legacy that I want to leave when I die is an improved economy. I want to improve the economy of this country by creating more industries and more jobs…. Zambia has always been a mixture of capitalism and socialism and we will continue with that. I want to tell the Zambians [that] I can change this country. This country is very dirty! Chino ichalo chalilamba sana, chilefwaika ukuchichapa (this country is soiled and it needs to be cleansed), ukuchilungisha bwino sana (it needs proper fixing) so that when I die, people say kwali umwana Kambwili uwashile awamya ichalo chino (there was Kambwili who left this country a better one). Not the way balekasaula ubutungulushi (they are playing around with leadership) because their preoccupation is to put money in their pockets,” Kambwili said.

On why he hasn’t been a regulator visitor to his constituency, Kambwili claimed he had been denied to convene meetings there.

“I have been denied access to have meetings in my constituency; even to visit a ward, they send police. For the past one year, I have never addressed a meeting in my constituency; I have never visited even the markets in my constituency. I tend to get very upset when people describe President Edgar Lungu as a democrat. I’m even upset with SADC to allow him (President Lungu) to be chairman for defence, politics and security Troika when he is destroying the very tenets of democracy in the country where he is a President. You cannot go and clean up a neighbour’s house if you can’t clean your own house….” he explained.

Kambwili, in reference to President Lungu’s type of leadership, noted that any organisation that was led by a person who did not understand why they were in the office was bound to make “so many mistakes.”

“Our colleague and friend (President Lungu) was not ready to be a President, I don’t think he even understands his job as a President,” Kambwili charged.

“The man has just been undermining himself! Nobody was undermining him.”

He commented also on Zambia’s current huge debt burden and recalled that debt did not accumulate before the Lungu presidency because: “Mr Sata was very strict on borrowing.”

And Kambwili said President Lungu’s admission that he did not have any vision for the country had come to pass.

“For instance, our infrastructure development under president Michael Sata or under the actual PF, was phased. We had put projects in phase one, projects in phase two, projects in phase three and projects in phase four. All these projects were planned over a period of about 15 to 20 years. But what has killed the current administration is that they think the only way to develop this country is [through the construction of] roads. Our infrastructure development under Mr Sata was not mainly about roads but all other important infrastructure like hospital, clinics, schools, et cetra,” he noted.

He said President Lungu’s preoccupation to retain power in 2021 was derailing the development agenda for the country.

Meanwhile, on how easy it would be to unseat the PF and whether the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was planning to work with other opposition political parties in that regard, Kambwili reiterated that: “On the issue of working with other opposition political parties, unity of purpose can produce results.”

“I have no problem in teaming up with other opposition political parties to remove this PF before they throw the country into turmoil. If we come together as opposition and the people say, for instance, Costa Mwansa should be the presidential candidate, who am I to refuse? So, I’m prepared to work with anybody but if other people are not prepared, then obviously we will go it alone and we will have to face the elections as NDC,” explained Kambwili.