CHISHIMBA Kambwili has branded UPND as a tribal and selfish political party.

But UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says people should forgive Kambwili over what he says as he is a prisoner of politics.

Addressing the Eastern Province NDC elective conference that was held in Chipata via telephone, Kambwili charged that the UPND is only interested in using other political parties for its selfish political advances.

Kambwili informed the delegates that he had wanted to work with the UPND but the party believes in itself and where it originates from.

“First and foremost, I want to thank you for being magnanimous and refuse people who have always wanted to use other people for their own personal and tribal gain. As your leader I would not want to support a grouping that is going to divide this country,” Kambwili said. “We formed NDC to serve the people of Zambia, to give them hope and unite them but there is a certain political party which just believes in themselves and where they come from. When we went to work with them, where I come from they say ‘ukupesha ilungu kwendamo’ (for you to describe a situation accurately, you have to experience it). When people are saying these people are like this, you better go and be close to them and really find out if you can help change them but I can tell you, I failed.”

Kambwili said even the people he was with in NDC who pretended to belong to the party were actually UPND but wanted to sell his party to the highest bidder.

“I am grateful that today you are going to have your elections to elect leaders who cannot be easily bought or cannot be easily compromised. Let me thank the outgoing executive led by the provincial chairman who came to Luanshya, the provincial chairman…who came to attend our central committee to endorse our position that well done and now it’s time to work so that we can build our country. I thank you and God bless you,” said Kambwili.

Earlier, Fabian Mutale, who is Kambwili’s private secretary and deputy NDC mobilisation chairman, informed Kambwili that the conference in Eastern Province had just dissolved its previous executive and delegates were heading into elections for a new one.

“… [delegates] have unanimously agreed that after this election they are going flat out to grow NDC and they are not ready to go and work for UPND who wanted us to go and field all our candidates on UPND [ticket]. They are supporting you and want to hear your voice …” said Mutale.

But Mweetwa advised people to forgive Kambwili.

“The man is a prisoner of politics; what he is going through right now is what HH has gone through, is what all of us will go through, except that we react differently to such kind of political incarceration,” Mweetwa said.

He sympathised with Kambwili.

“From his tone, this is not the Kambwili we know, this the Kambwili who is in some kind of situation which does not permit that he should speak his mind; he is not speaking his mind,” he said. “So no one should politicise what Kambwili has said.”

Mweetwa said the UPND still valued Kambwili as a political leader in the country and the association his party enjoyed with him.

“We do not take lightly the situation he is in and therefore we wish him well and that these issues to do with 2021 should not be individualized. Where we are now is no longer bet6ween UPND and PF; it is the people versus the PF government, those are the battle lines,” he said. “There will be many people who will be heard saying things that appear to favour PF. It doesn’t mean those people believe in PF. It’s just that PF has been too brutal and ruthless that sometimes they have managed to break some individuals’ spines.”

Mweetwa advised people not to be quick to demonise Kambwili saying “he is our brother in the struggle”.

He said one day freedom shall come to Zambia for all.

Mweetwa said currently issues that need debate relate to the national debt, the kwacha at K22, which had thrown many people out of business, and unemployment.