No doubt the political headlines have belonged to Chishimba Kambwili in the last few months. Even the government papers that have anointed themselves as his bashers have had to find something to scribble on him to counter the routine allegations he continues to raise against President Edgar Lungu.
Kambwili has converted from the chief defender of every imaginable government decision to chief critic overnight. His new found man of the people stance is not one that can be credited to principle but one borne out of anger as would be that of a jilted lover. No doubt Kambwili is an angry man after being fired from government.
But the Kambwili case draws parallels with the journey of a certain King Cobra in the unceremonious manner his love affair with the MMD ended. Michael Sata become chief defender of President Frederick Chiluba in the vain hope that should that move fail then he would be the one to carry the MMD ticket. Sata eliminated every possible opponent within the MMD in 2000/01 and engineered the expulsion of 21 cabinet ministers in pursuit of his political ambitions. Fast forward to Chiluba picking Levy Mwanawasa out of the blue and with that the King Cobra angrily exited the MMD and quickly formed his Patriotic Front that barely a few months before the general elections.
Almost everybody had a good laugh at Sata’s project dismissing him as a clown. He was almost what Chama Chakomboka was to the 1996 elections-a comedian. The Cobra never rested in the aftermath of a disastrous election showing in 2001 the rest of the story is well known. Now with Kambwili hitting headlines in the local media could it be that the beefy Roan Member of Parliament is the next big thing in Zambian politics? Or is he just another political clown destined for the dustbin of Zambian politics?
For one thing is certain Kambwili will not easily give up on his ambitions. Kambwili is driven by the belief that he is better than Edgar Lungu just as the King Cobra believed he was better than Levy Mwanawasa. The cobra had a venomous tongue so does Kambwili. So with the cacophony of political noise that Kambwili continues to raise could he be the next King Cobra?