By George Lubasi
When the fight between GBM and Wynter Kabimba erupted, GBM adopted a very clumsy approach. He erroneously believed the fight was about who had more money instead of who was more cunning and politically astute. He was tactless. Instead of taking on his rivals head-on, he frequently rushed to Kasama to issue careless statements that only served to give ammunition to Wynter’s praise singers. To Wynter’s chief backers on Bwinjimfumu Road, these statements consistently made the headlines. They looked for any guff GBM would utter and he provided quite a lot of them.
True to his lack of tact, GBM withdrew from public engagements, he stopped going to the airport to see off or welcome Sata and he was not seen at State House swearing-in ceremonies. This was seen by his rivals as a clear sign of failing to engage in the shadowboxing. They celebrated at what they believed was GBM’s cowardice.
Meanwhile, his arch rival, Wynter remained in the limelight, giving headlines every day in which he was tacitly attacking GBM. Wynter went to Mufumbwe to campaign for Masumba. Instead he used the occasion to fire a broadside and attack GBM: “PF will not be sold to the rich”, the headline screamed. Wynter’s newsletter fronted pictures where he was seen posing with Sata to create an impression that GBM had fallen out and Wynter was the victor in this contest.
Recently, one of GBM’s sycophants had the courage to confront him and told him in his face that his clumsy approach was giving his rivals the edge. GBM smelt the munkoyo and resolved that he will not be trumped upon and he will fight back with vigour.
Thus on Friday, GBM appeared with Sata in Livingstone at a ZAF pass out parade. On Saturday, when Wynter’s newsletter claimed GBM was contemplating forming a political party, GBM flew with Sata and, on arrival in Mufumbwe, he seized the opportunity and struck back, pledging loyalty to Sata and denouncing the fabrications from Wynter’s mouthpiece.
Bwinjimfumu Road was deflated. But they were in no mood to give up. They gave GBM’s Mufumbwe speech some measured coverage, not mentioning that he had denounced their Saturday report. But they were outwitted by the Daily Mail and Times who gave GBM some generous space.
Realizing GBM’s change of strategy, The Post has rebounded with its bile on GBM. Today, Tuesday, they are back with yet another headline where Geoffrey Chuumbwe is denouncing GBM. It goes without saying that Chuumbwe is Wynter’s puppet and one of those he has lined up to rump up support in Lusaka Province which he heads. So it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for Chuumbwe to praise GBM.
When the position of Lusaka Province PF Chairmanship fell vacant after Davis Chama vacated after being appointed into foreign service, Wynter quickly moved in and installed Chuumbwe as a replacement. As far much as they can, The Post will quote anyone with rubbish to say about GBM – and Chuumbwe happens to be one of those.
If The Post were overseeing a popularity contest between GBM and Wynter, they would not be behaving in this manner. Why are they not quoting GBM’s supporters? GBM may not be a perfect man. But surely there must be someone who can speak in his favour.
The sickening part of this is that you have a newspaper that has completely abandoned its mandate and reduced itself to fuelling battles for selfish gain. The fight The Post has put up against GBM is not because GBM is unsuitable and Wynter is clean. No. Fred Mmembe was equally interested in the ZESCO pole contract through his Post Courier. So it is just a case of Fred using his newspaper to unfairly attack his business competitor. Fred himself, using his State House connections, has been given a contract by KCM to transport copper from Chingola to Walvis Bay in Namibia.