GBM, Kasama and the changing political landscape in Zambia – Munshya


The resignation of Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) from the Patriotic Front (PF) to the United Party for National Development (UPND) is a game changer. It is a game changer for both the PF and the UPND. It is rather fascinating, if not shocking, to see how GBM is managing to champion two causes that seem to be contradictory with each other.


On one hand, GBM is saying that the people of Kasama should trust him because he had the courage to stand up to President Sata when Sata refused to recognise Henry Sosala as Chitimukulu of the Bemba people. On the other hand, GBM is also claiming that he is the true representative of the legacy of the late president.


The speech GBM gave when he defected to the UPND shows that he had issues with Lungu’s PF because Lungu has neglected Sata’s vision (whatever that means). Politics is not supposed to make sense.


And that is where the GBM factor becomes politically lethal to Lungu’s PF. GBM seems to be championing a cause and directing a narrative that the PF has failed to champion: the legacy of President Michael Sata.

Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba - GBM
Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba – GBM

It has been my opinion that the presidency of Michael Chilufya Sata was one of the least successful legacies Zambia has ever had. However, some people now would still look back to the Sata presidency, get nostalgic and ruminate that Sata was better than the man who succeeded him.


This is to be expected. A claim to the legacy of President Sata has now become politically desirable, and it is GBM who is winning that debate. GBM is also winning on the question of the Chitimukulu. In spite of the fact that it is Lungu who finally recognised Mr. Sosala as Chitimukulu, it is surprising that Lungu’s PF has not gotten any significant political capital out of it.


For the PF to survive, it must keep the support it enjoys in Bemba areas. The political capital out of the Chitimukulu saga is instead going to GBM, and he is exploiting it very well. Lungu has neglected to drive the narrative of the Chitimukulu story. He is non-existent in the whole story. It is GBM who is being credited for something that took Lungu to correct. Lungu should now retake this narrative if he is to survive the coming Bemba political onslaught. I call it an onslaught because that is exactly what it is.

Lubinda, GBM , Lungu PF
Lubinda, GBM , Lungu PF

GBM’s decision to re-contest Kasama might hurt the PF strategically. At the strategic level, GBM does not need to win Kasama in order to damage the PF’s claim to its Bemba strongholds. All that GBM needs is to create a framework in which the Bemba areas begin to listen to UPND and Hakainde Hichilema (HH).

GBM might win in Kasama, however, a loss for GBM, is likely to be a loss of a battle, but not the war. In a wider scheme of things, what UPND needs in the Bemba lands is to raise its profile by just a small margin. Everything else being equal, if UPND raised their numbers in Bemba lands by just a quarter, they will surely make government next year.


It is this reality that should make Lungu re-strategise, otherwise, he will be a half-term president, like his older brother Bwezani.

When it comes to strategy, Lungu made some errors that need correcting. It was all clear that the PF was a Bemba dominated party. When Lungu took over as president, he labored under a false assumption that the PF was a “national party”. In reality, the PF had never been a “national” party.


It was and still remains a Bemba dominated party with a huge urban following. If these two constituencies leave the PF, it will collapse. With these realities in mind, Lungu needed to manage the party better. It was expected that the Vice-Presidency would go to Madam Inonge Wina. This was an excellent choice.


But Lungu needed to create a powerful position that would calm some jitters among Bembas. A position such as Minister-without-Portfolio would have worked. Harry Kalaba, Emmanuel Mwamba, or even GBM would have been great choices. Such an action would have helped forestall a Bemba rebellion within the PF, which is now almost guaranteed. However, it is not too late to act.

Michael Sata
Michael Sata

This now should bring us to the Emmanuel Mwamba issue. Emmanuel was interested in the Kasama seat. Strategically, it was going to be in the interest of both the PF and Lungu’s government to have Emmanuel in Kasama. But for some reason we all do not understand, Lungu seems to insist that Emmanuel should be shanked far away from Zambia’s political hotbed. This is a huge mistake. The PF needs a politically savvy spokesman like Emmanuel to help it retain power next year. Currently, the spokespersons for the PF are doing a great disservice.


Chishimba Kambwili is a quick-tempered lead and his off-the-cuff remarks are not helpful at all. The other spokesman, Davies Chama, has also said some unsavory stuff that continue to create problems for the party and its government.


Lungu needs people who can talk a little more sensibly for him: Emmanuel fits that bill. Lungu also has Sunday Chanda at his disposal, but Chanda appears sidelined too. I would not be surprised if he too is moved away from the political limelight. Lungu’s strategies are hurting the PF everywhere.


You cannot run a political party like this. Something must change, and Lungu has the power to make changes.

While, President Lungu is taking his time to act on these issues I have highlighted here, Hichilema’s star is rising among the constituents that had rejected him: the Bembas and the urban areas. Kaloba, devalued kwacha, the high cost of living and quarrels with Cuundu Caitwa are not helping Lungu.


GBM is helping in a little way to bring visibility to Hichilema. It will not be too long, before we have the repeat of 1968 when to the consternation of Kaunda; the Chona-Kapwepwe group beat the Kamanga alliance. Those who subscribe to a superficial view of our united nation might slam my sentiments.


But those with ears to hear might get one thing or two and make political decisions that unite Zambia and actually change the political landscape for the better. The UPND seems to have gotten the message. I just hope Lungu will get it too: ukuteke mbwa mano!



  1. This Man Is Seing It All U No Wen Sam1 Z Trying To Tel U The Truth U Want To Be Starlone Chibwi Afwile Tangalala Bembas Wak Up U Are So Stupidy Dull And Useles U Bihav Like Dogs

  2. Its so encouraging to hear a well civilized man highlighting necessary that needs to be looked upon whether UPND, PF or MMD for the betterment of our country but some of my fellow Zambians with small brains just want to utter irrelevant thoughts of being UPND, PF or what but the truth of the matter will always be there to be looked at critically to move forward as a united nation that will see no bamba, tonga, lozi, luvale, tumbuka etc to be one as a whole… #New_Zambia_For_The_Betterment_Of_All_Zambians.

  3. The writer seems to be lost and he does not know bemba land!bembas dont follow individuals based on tribe,they support parties based on policy and the development the party in power is when the writer talks about gbm as game changer,thats a misplacement and overated asumption.if gbm is truely a game changer,he would have changed the game in the january presidential by election.bemba land mr.writer will not change just because gbm has gone to upnd no!the political landscape now is favaouring the pf.they have managed to have big followings in western province and north western provinces where they performed badly in the presidential by elections.see the mulobezi results and wait for the solwezi west results,you compare with the 2011 and 2015 results.the 2016 voting in luapula,northern,muchinga,eastern and coperbelt provinces will be like the southern one in give us tangible analysis mr.writer you are overating somebody here!

  4. gbm is immature… how does a straight thinking grown man step down from the strongest ministry over flimsy grounds? had he remained defence kingpin, that fight for pf president would surely have gone his way. but, due to his childishness, all his delegates ended up going for sampa at their convention. what does that tell you? people ate gbm’s cash but went ahead and voted for someone else. his ranting at parliament the other time is not a one off. he is impulsive like that. he wont get along with the equally impulsive hh. soon, their partnership’ll crack. I remember sata introducing hh as “my rich young man…” and had hh had even a fraction of political intelligence, we would be addressing him as HE today. upnd had a headsart in the bye election and that counted in their favour somewhat while lungu was fighting the cartel led by scott, his own president. now, he will have no such problems. we did not vote for lungu as an individual as they do in upnd. gbm and hh are non starters and upnd would well to go for mutati as president…

  5. Who destroyed the economy? Is it Lungu or Sata himself? Try to be realistic and be interpretors of the situation. For your own information Sata never left the legacy which is desirable to mention here. They 3ome was not built in a day but Sata wanted to do that ” politics impression and indoctrination”. People need realise that it is very difficulty to completely correct mistakes made by the late president e.g Obama during first term campaigns promised a lot policy reforms and when he was voted into he saw that being in offence is different as being an opposition leader. If may ask,did Obama close the quatanamo bay prison? Did he withdraw the American soldiers Iraqi and Afghanistan? Different from our own politics which sees every new leader sees the policies of their predecessors as useless,in bid to make a legacy which I don’t what that for.

  6. This is just his opinions 2 me he is insulting us Zambians, he thinks we can only consider small issues he has mentioned. Pf is talking about creating 1000 jobs how can u build a new house wen ur old house is half collapsed. Let pf fix current problems. I think power makes some pipo drunk.

  7. This analysis is based on inferance, and by someone who is blind political morality. #1 Late MCS’ legacy of his 3yrs practical rule remains profoundly incomparable and sound. #2 HE EL is not about fame of PF but political morality, with progression of the nation with everyone who is available. #3 Financial muscle of GBM and HH do not equal to He who grants leadership, David of the bible was just a least shephard but was uplifted for a purpose by God. So if it is HH’s time by God, it should not be translated from his money’s point of view but that God has given him chance to serve His people in a certain area and for a particular time and he is bound to be rejected if he rebels. #4 As Zambians let us work on together on tenets that will help forward our nation into a better future with clean morals, not manipulative one like where one feels their fame, money muscle owns the country and they can use anyone any time for mileage, even to the point of breaching the law or doing unconstitutional practices. Today, it is PF, Yesterday, it was MMD. The other day it was UNIP. That is God’s arrangement

  8. Was in lusaka yesterday and people a tired and sick of pf panga cadres that a collecting money from marketeers in the name of the party ad next year pf wil get their shock of a lifetime. Change is happening now

  9. But truly speaking PF is losing the battle here. RAINBOW is dividing PF’s votes expecialy in coperbelt and nothern provinces and this areas are PF strongholds. The question is, how many pipo who voted for UPND wil vote for PF? and How many pipo who voted for UPND wil Vote for RAINBOW? The answer is PF is losing voters.

  10. Well that’s a good zambian political analysis- it makes sense and it gives a a TRUE Perspective. Lungu has thrown away Sata’s Legacy, there is no way he can have popularity when his attention is traveling to outside the nation twice or thrice in a month. The few days his in the country his either, blaming the opposition for the poor state of the economy or ignoring the mistakes that his leader’s are creating. I feel the rejection by the Scott group is still haunting his presidency. Hence he is trying to win recognition by mingling with other leaders in abid zambia will accept him as a leader. For Lungu is a great leader when he is following great leadership not when he is being followed.

  11. What has this man written which Zambia doent know .this is a repeated record player and broken for that matter . It is known that UPND is using GBM as a ginean pig to try to Domesticated a reginal tribal party which has failed to break its tribal borders .Are the Northern sleeping for this experient ,i is a Big No . They will remember how Southern Region voted and it has been in their mind to remind the south that Zambia is not region but a total country with 10 regions .
    On the Most learned Chief ,ba Sosala ,UPND can not take that credit as Chief himself and wider Bemba know that it was late Sata s personal hatred of Sosala the Chitimukula now .
    The lose for Kasama by GBM will be the end of his political career for Him .As the whole world now knows that GBM is beatable as Given Lubinda wired him once in Lusaka .But i like his courage to be used as guinea pig by HH .
    In politics common sense is also very important than being a big money show off man .I was watching a USA billionaire ,Trup, lacking common sense in a debate and being booed through out .People think GBM has the money and voters will follow it but people now wants to see physical infrastructure development and once PF shows one or two they will vote it in power next year .
    The MMD and PF invisible alliance should not be overlooked here .So far PF has managed to win some by elections by the same invisible alliance and am sure come next year this will become very visible .
    One biggest mistakes the opposition will do ,is to under rate His Excellence the president Mr Lungu .this will be thebe weakeness has will always come out with a hat trick as he quietly works on what the criticise him not to do .

    • you are ver stupid for insiting zambian to divid in that manner.Remember HH was getting Zeros in 2011 election. It took his hard work to get the support he is enjoying currently. No one rejected president Lungu in the area you mentione but it is He, him who never bothered to go and campain in southern. If you want politics of division why dnt you tell Lungu to reinstate the Barotse agreemnt so that nothern and southern zambia can rule separetly as you preach and wish.

  12. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline