16 March 2017

Zambia: Kambwili and His Wars


Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili has been in the headlines again courting controversy. The motor mouthed Kambwili is not one to easily shy away from confrontational politics.

He has single-handedly in the past used his weight to bully the opposition into accepting that the Patriotic Front is the people's choice.

Kambwili has marked himself as a defender of the Patriotic Front right to govern.

Unsurprisingly he was not the most endearing personality to supporters of the opposition United Party for National Development in the run up to the August 11 2015 elections.

He became their nightmare blasting them at every opportunity. To the public, Kambwili became the chief defender of the PF doctrines. But the former Information Minister is slowly becoming an opposition voice within the ruling Patriotic Front.

Kambwili is picking fights with senior members of the PF in public and is pushing the party top brass into a discomfort zone. In the last few months he has been banding around innuendos at the Presidency about weeding out old members.

President Lungu has with recognizable difficulty resisted the temptation to go for a showdown. But Kambwili seems to be taking advantage of this silence.

He has not only made insinuations at the top but has been at war with many of his colleagues.

His favourite target has been Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda whom he has even called wizard. On his list of clashes has been party chairperson for Lands and also a cabinet Minister Jean Kapata, Bowman Lusambo and now State House Minister Freedom Sikazwe whom he called brainless.

He has also routinely become a thorn at ministers' fleshes in parliament choosing to embarrass colleagues with otherwise questions he can quietly seek answers as a senior PF member.

It is unclear where this crusade is taking Kambwili but sooner or later something will have to give.

It may be something people are willing to ignore but with time this is something that is going to explode.

The little scene that saw Kambwili brought before the Disciplinary Committee and cleared was simply a trial run. Sooner somebody will have to face the situation head on.


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