Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kambwili Abandons Live Radio Program

Sports minister Chishimba Kambwili has this morning abruptly abandoned a live radio programme after being put on the spot to defend the ruling Patriotic Front’s governance record.
One of the presenters, Gershom Ndhlovu, asked Kambwili to explain the governance record of the PF as prompted by Father Frank Bwalya who accused the ruling party of dictatorial tendencies for arresting opposition political party on framed up charges of unlawful assembly.
Featuring on the internet based Crossfire Blogtalk radio show hosted by Mueti Moomba, Ndhlovu and Eric, Kambwili initially had a field day calling Fr Bwalya a “lunatic”, “confused”, a “beggar” whose rentals he paid and a “frustrated” man.
On Friday, the PF National Youth chairman, who is also Roan Member of Parliament, also called into a live Radio Phoenix Let the People programme on which featured Fr Bwalya was the guest called him “mad”, “bitter” and “over ambitious” for quitting after he failed to gain access to State House.
Fr Bwalya was a top PF campaigner who helped garner their votes mostly on the Copperbelt, Norther, Muchinga and Luapula provinces in the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections. He was appointed Zesco board chairman but recently resigned saying he wanted to “reclaim his lost voice” as his position in the parastal body could not allow him to do so.
The Catholic priest has since his resignation offered three live interviews on Muvi TV, Radio Phoenix and Crossfire disparaging his former allies in the PF including President Michael Sata and this has raffled feathers in the ruling party prompting stern reactions from the likes of Kambwili.
When Kambwili’s opportunity to defend the PF on a live programme was offered by Crossfire Blogtalk radio this morning, he failed to stand the heat and sounded emotional before he abruptly dropped the line and abandoned the show.
This was after Ndhlovu asked him to respond to Fr Bwalya’s allegations that the PF had failed to uphold the rule of law and its governance record was poor for breaching fundamental human rights of opposition leaders like Hakainde Hichilema, Nevers Mumba and now Elias Chipimo, all of whom have been arrested and charged with unlawful assembly.
Kambwili’s response was that Fr Bwalya was at Zesco as board chairman and still operated his Get Involved Zambia, an indication of good governance under the PF.
But when Ndhlovu attempted to further challenge him of the governance record, Kambwili retorted; “Listen! The problem with you journalists is that you like interrupting people when they are talking. Let me finish. I don’t like being interrupted!”
Thereafter the line was dead and the program temporarily went numb. The three presenters then attempted to call Kambwili but twice his mobile rung and went unanswered. That was the last Kambwili was heard of.
All the presenters were disappointed Kambwili could not continue to responding to a lot of questions just as the programme was building up but a caller only identified as Miss Bwalya was more candid.
She wondered how a public official would spend more than an hour defending himself and the government but when put on his defence to substantiate the statements he abandons the programme.
“He [Kambwili] was ponting [ranting] for an hour, but when he is asked questions he says you are interrupting us. As Zambian we should tell our politicians that we can employ them and unemploy them,” she said.
During the period Kambwili had an opportunity to talk, he passionately defended the PF
government saying they were doing a good job and surprisingly rejected the party’s latest slogan, seleni tubombeko, which was even posted on the Patriotic Front website by its communications director Chanda Mfula.

He called Fr Bwalya a disgruntled priest who was being misled by “bitter’ and “frustrated” elements.
Kambwili said Fr Bwalya was deceiving himself he was any popular because even when he worked with the opposition before 2011, his rallies and presence of supporters were supported by the PF.
“We are extremely stable and firm on the ground. We have an elaborate political and economic program that we are achieving. The problem in Zambia is even useless people can like the disgruntled priest can cheat you,” he said.
“I have been paying rent for Fr Bwalya. When God wants to bewitch you he confuses you. How can he the Fr deny he was not my friend. I called him a lunatic.
“I have no regret, I am not withdrawing my sentiments and I think the Fr is getting mad. There are a lot of people who have changed jackets and gone mad. He is overrating himself and thinks he wants to be president,” he said.
It is unclear whether Fr Bwalya is giving the ruling party sleepless nights but there is massive backlash against him from top officials and its grassroots supporters.
Kambwili also accused online publication of exaggerating the political atmosphere in the country saying; “When you read online newspaper like Zambian Watchdog and Lusaka Times, you will think Zambia is on fire more especially the Watchdog its a UPND propaganda so what they write is against the government.”
Kambwili also denied ever grabbing land from Luanshya Golf Club where his cattle graze saying he purchased a plot near the premises in 2004 when he was neither a minister nor government official.

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