Images of expelled Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili addressing a National Democratic Congress (NDC) meeting Kitwe sent waves of panic in the ruling Patriotic Front circles. They may not have admitted it but a panicky Bowman Lusambo was not taking any chances when Kambwili was an unwelcome visitor in Kabushi Constituency interacting with traders at the gutted Kapalala Market by asking his Roan counterpart through some rowdy youths to leave.
The bad blood between Lusambo and Kambwili was an extension of their near punch up at parliament buildings a few weeks earlier. Kambwili has been a thorn in the ruling party backside with his often unguarded stinging corruption allegations. Kambwili has been raising all this dust whilst claiming total loyalty to the PF. He has gone to court defending his right to remain a member of the Patriotic Front.
The irony in all this is that Kambwili has been bashing the PF on allegations of corruption making it clear that he is not in deed part of them. It may not be the most attractive counsel to Kambwili but if he wants to walk the full mile he has to consider ditching the PF.
Kambwili should decide what he wants to do when there is still time. He must decide whether he still wants to remain I the PF and stick it out with prospective challengers to President Edgar Lungu that are sitting on the fence or go the NDC way where the path has been cleared for him. It will not do for him to insist on being a PF member while on the other hand bashing the ruling party with corruption allegations.
It is not by accident that his incessant attacks have so far earned him a Bowman special at parliament. Kambwili must decide whether he wants to lead a political party. To Kambwili 2021 may seem very far now but it would do him great to get down to work now if his overt presidential ambitions are serious. He must learn from the Michael Sata template where the King Cobra dusted himself in the post 2001 humiliation and got down to work.
Kambwili cannot claim to want to lead the masses when he is desperately clinging on to his parliamentary seat. Why is it so important for him to remain cloaked in PF apparel in parliament but bashing the ruling party at every opportunity? For the man claiming to have the muscle to topple President Lungu (in an election) why should he not be willing to slug it out in Roan Constituency as his first show of seriousness? The longer he hangs on to the PF in parliament the more time it will cost him to freely open up mobilizing strictures under his name not under some pseudo arrangement. It is not meant to be easy and is definitely more than just making noise in some friendly newspapers and points of order in parliament.
To lead Kambwili must be ready and willing to make some sacrifices and hanging on to a ministerial allowance is not one of them. He will have to go back to the trenches and fight and endure even some more slaps. Who can forget that one moment when the late Willie Nsanda disrespectfully dragged then opposition leader Michael Sata from a live Radio Ichengelo program? That was part of the sacrifices that Sata made on his way to State House. Newspaper headlines are only part of the struggle but not the most significant.
Playing cosy to radio stations and newspapers will expose Kambwili for the paper Tiger he seems to realistically be.