When the discussion between Patriotic Front national youth chairman ‘Father’ Chishimba Kambwili and president Fr Frank Bwalya arising from a live Radio Phoenix streamed live from my vantage point, I could not tell who between the two gentlemen was running mad.
Of course, there is no record to suggest either ‘Father’ Kambwili or president Fr Bwalya were certified psychiatric cases. But one of the two sounded a sure case for admission at Chainama Hills Hospital. And that did not sound like Fr Bwalya – the once PF darling now labeled mad priest.
The few minutes Kambwili, who is also sports minister, spent talking on radio were enough to send shock waves into my spine. It was like a continuation from Vice-President Guy Scott’s disparaging remarks on South Africa and its President Jacob Zuma.
For that reason, I shudder imagining these are the men we have entrusted with national affairs. Are we really safe? From President Sata to Guy Scott, then Wynter Kabimba onto Kambwili and the least of them Judge Ngoma, seems to be collection of mad people thrust with the responsibility to manage national affairs.
In case you wonder, Fr Bwalya announced his resignation from Zesco as board chairman in a move he said was meant to reclaim his voice in national discourse which had been compromised by the appointment.
And in a space of four days, he went on to announce his readiness to join the political arena seeking the top office. Then came the backlash.
Clearly, the decision by Fr Bwalya has not gone down well with PF, whose members, are baying for his blood. It’s not the blood of the chicken PF members want to drink, it the priest’s blood. Kambwili led the onslaught in an emotionally charged phone call to Radio Phoenix on Friday. Moments later, PF youths – we can only speculate who hired them – stormed Levy Junction in search of the priest-turned-presidential hopeful.
Young PF cadres on social media, who just recently were full of praise for Fr Bwalya, are out guns blazing calling the ‘pulpit man’ corrupt, jealousy, bitter for the sole purpose of opting to hold a different political opinion.
Twenty-four hours later, Kambwili was on another radio programme. This time Crossfire Blogtalk show hosted on the internet with feeds to Zambezi fm in Livingstone and Flava Fm in Kitwe.
Again, he didn’t spare the priest. Kambwili ripped Fr Bwalya apart saying he was bitter, frustrated, over ambitious and unpopular. He added that Fr Bwalya’s decision to opt out of the PF establishment is because he did not get the attention he expected from President Sata in not different ways to Mike Mulongati – former works and supply minister.
Compounding Fr Bwalya’s exit from PF structures, according to Kambwili, is that the priest sued the Movement for Multiparty Democracy government over a certain matter which case he lost.
And the government demanded K800 million in terms of costs but when the PF formed government, Fr Bwalya wanted instructions given to the Attorney Generals’ Chambers not to levy him that K800 million. Is it this the same way President Sata’s allies Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito have benefited through the confusion they have fuelled in the judiciary with respect to the 14 billion Development Bank of Zambia debt? Is Fr Bwalya a less important animal than the M’membes and Nchitos in the PF structures? Yes, it seems.
Whatever the difference Fr Bwalya has with the PF, he has raffled feathers and they are jittery. Like he said, they are “sitting up”. But if you wondered why Zambia is falling apart, Kambwili’s tantrums on Radio Phoenix and his cowardly withdraw from Crossfire Blog Talk Radio is a clear answer.
And excerpt of Kambwili’s statement on Phoenix reads; “Stop misleading the people. Ifyo mulecita ba Father Bwalya fyabupuba (what you are doing is stupid).
“Nawamba ukupena iwe, efyo balandila ati umuntu ngafuma kubupatili alapena (You’re running mad. That’s why people say when a man leaves Priesthood, he runs mad).
“Today, you can even say Lusambo (Bowman) of the MMD is a good man, HH is a good man.
Mulebepa ubufi (you are telling lies) when you are only interested in your own personal interest. Muleumfwako insoni. Umuntu uushakwata insoni pa fintu efyo alecita ninshi taba normal (You should be ashamed of yourself. A man without shame is not sane).
It was not only petty but Kambwili demonstrated the lack of understanding in his position or the role he is supposed to play as minister and politician. Intolerance and arrogance is what is now defining the PF leadership.
What is wrong with Fr Bwalya holding an alternative political opinion? In his shallow thinking, Kambwili even attempted to give some vague explanation regarding the fuel increase.
While his boss, President Sata, was claiming Zambia will save K754 billion, Kambwili said they will save K4 trillion. This brings me to the question of who then is mad between ‘Father’ Kambwili and president Father Frank Bwalya.
If a psychiatric professor listened to ‘Father’ Kambwili and president Fr Bwalya, it will not be surprising if he determined the former showing early signs of lunacy.
Somehow, Kambwili’s behaviour confirms the perception PF is dominated by lunatics who are failing to shape the direction of the country but Fr Bwalya should be left alone to exercise his democratic right and compete for the Copperbelt vote which the ruling party is scared of.