And Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, says only over his dead body will he ‘worship’ Post editor Fred M’membe.
During a winding interview with UK-hosted online radio station, CrossFire Blog Radio, on Tuesday evening, Mwamba, however, shied away from answering questions on how far investigations into an incident where he physically solicited for the award of a Zesco wooden pole tender for his company, on account that he was being heard by the whole world.
Mwamba said in response to the programme moderator, Mueti Moomba, who was hosting the interview together with Larry Mweetwa and a Mr Gershom, that he decided to go into politics because the previous MMD government hit his businesses hard.
“What made me start thinking going into politics was the way I was ill-treated by the previous government, namely the MMD government,” Mwamba said.
He explained that the MMD ill-treated him to a point of frustration because whenever he supplied something, it was very difficult for him to get his payments.
“So I was so much frustrated to a point that probably being in politics may only be the best thing because whatever I did outside being a politician, it couldn’t work out,” said Mwamba who is also Kasama PF member of parliament. “I had to find a way of sailing through and making my business successful…
In 2005, that is when I said probably I should go into politics because the business was becoming very difficult to operate and I could see that probably only those who were connected were the ones benefiting. So that is when I decided to join active politics.”
Mwamba confirmed that the inspiration behind his joining active politics was expanding his businesses.
“I wanted to expand so much in business. I thought I would be a businessman without politics and I vowed never to be a politician in my life but because of what I went through, this is what actually prompted me to think of going into politics,” he said. “The only people who were benefitting were only those who were somehow connected to the so-called politicians.”
But although Mwamba said politics and business made a very bad combination and that he regretted joining politics, he said that he was not ready to walk away from politics on that account as it counted less.
“I need to confirm that I am regretting to be in politics,” Mwamba said. “You see now I have so many supporters, if I had to do that maybe I will disappoint a lot of my supporters. So I regret I am in it but there is very little that I can do. I just have to forge ahead.”
Mwamba dispelled perceptions that he wanted to recoup the financial contributions he made to the PF to enable it ascend to power last year.
Mwamba, however, said it would be unfair to expect his family not to participate in business because even the financial contribution to the PF was from the same businesses and that he also therefore deserved his appointment as defence minister.
Mwamba said should there be issues of conflict of interest over his political and business involvement, he would, as an option, ask his children to shift his businesses to other countries.
“We are so intelligent to a point that whichever country we go, we make a grade, we succeed. It is not only in Zambia,” said Mwamba, adding that he was not “rich but a very, very comfortable man”.
Responding to a caller from London, identified only as Eric, on what his position on the Zesco wooden poles tender issue was, Mwamba said his family deserved to tender for any business contract in view of their business prowess.
“There was no way I was going to solicit for a contract,” Mwamba said.
“I know I have made my money, not through corruption, and my businesses are all transparent. They can be checked at any time and I am proud about that. So that Zesco contract, that is not the only contract that we have won. Why can’t they investigate other contracts that they have actually won because they have got more contracts than the contracts that we have actually won?”
Mwamba claimed his children were currently in London to buy a huge fleet of trucks because the family had ventured into transport business.
“Are you going to tell me that my children should not be awarded contracts in transportation? But when it comes to foreigners those are the people that you want to favour!” Mwamba remarked.
Asked how far the probe against him over the Zesco wooden pole tender had gone, Mwamba responded: “Unfortunately, because this is being heard across the world, I can’t respond. If it was probably within Zambia I would probably respond to that. But being a security man, I am security conscious.”
Mwamba, who described himself as a peer of the Street Boys, said he had not surrendered his official vehicle but that he only drives it when on official duties.
“I have so many cars, they are littered all over my house,” he said.
“I don’t have time to drive them.”
On his relationship with The Post, which according to the interviewer had of late, been writing negative stories about him, Mwamba retorted: “My God!” He said M’membe only wants those people that worshipped him.
“The Post Newspaper, my relationship with Fred M’membe? My God! You see, Fred M’membe only wants those people that will worship him, which I will not do, over my dead body,” said Mwamba. “If he thinks he can actually start debating of who should be the president in this country, this time he has got it all wrong.
Everyone knows about his tricks. We understand his motives and unfortunately we shall not allow him and whatever he is doing, we are watching him very closely. We shall not allow him as Zambians. We know what his game plan is.”