LONDON CALLING – On Which side is Sata in the GBM / Kabimba tussle
BY AUSTIN KALUBA
One is a Zambian multimillionaire, while the other one holds an important position in the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) only second to the head of state, the almighty Michael Chilufya Sata.
Both have inflated egos and feel PF and Zambia owes them a lot for taking the opposition party to power.
The other similarity the two arch-rivals share is lacking political clout other than being found in the right party at the right time.
They are Defence Minister Godfrey Bwalya Mwamba gangsterishly known as GBM and a quaintly-named party Secretary General Wynter Kabimba, a failed lawyer cum-politician.
Needlessly to say despite GBM and Kabimba being political lightweights, both are important figures in Zambians politic which has seen their egos clashing like two bull elephants in the Luangwa valley.
With these visible inadequacies on both parties, what is the source of GBM and Kabimba’s arrogance? One bankrolled millions of Kwacha to the once cash-strapped PF while the other one has been in PF through thick and thick shortly when its founder Sata formed the party after being disappointed by the second republican president Frederick Chiluba’s choice of Levy Mwanawasa to succeed him as president.
The trillion Kwacha question is who is Sata backing in this nasty fight between the two madly ambitious politicians who have outgrown their boots?
Sata who seems to regret having usurped power in the twilight of his life is not comfortable with both though he supports a lesser evil against the other adversary who having reached dizzy heights in acquiring wealth is eyeing both the party presidency and that coveted Edwardian building they call State House.
The Northerner President is not very comfortable with the millionaire GBM and seems to favour Kabimba for convenience’s sake because he is not a serious threat between the two political charlatans.
When he arrived from South Korea, Sata theatrically hugged Kabimba pumping his hands in a body language that needs no explanation from an expert.
He thanked Kabimba and told him that he had been following the fight between the two politicians and supported the secretary general over the defence minister.
Sata indirectly congratulated Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba for sustaining the fight between him and his ministry of defence counterpart GBM.
The president greeted Kabimba and asked him how he was faring in the power fight with GBM and wondered why GBM was not at the airport to welcome him.
But Vice President Scott, blocked the excited Kabimba from responding to the president publicly and instead offered to brief the president once he got to State House.
GBM has been sidelined from other government activities in the recent past, but his supporters in Kasama where he is area member of parliament have warned him against stepping down.
His supporters protested at The Post newspaper provincial office and threatened to burn down the office equipment if the workers there did not withdraw the newspaper from the street which carried a negative story of GBM.
On the surface all seems well with GBM and Kabimba playing to the gallery by hugging publically and smiling like Cheshire cats but behind the closed doors there is bitter rivalry between Sata, a Bisa from Mpika and GBM, a Bemba from Kasama who thinks he has what it takes to go a step further in the political boots of his elderly boss.
However, despite his political naiveté, the multimillionaire has somehow realised that he is sitting on a shaky throne and avowed his loyalty to Sata and PF and denying the accusation that he wants to form a political party.
In short GBM is like a cheating wife who out of guilt approaches her husband to defend her fidelity without being accused of sleeping around.
As the two amateur politicians slug it out, Sata who is enjoying wearing the mantle of a master dribbler copied from Chiluba looks on from the side ring sizing the two combatants favouring a lesser evil between the two.
Only time will tell who will fall between the two power-hungry but politically-incompetent politicians./End.