PF Dinner Ends In Punch-Up ‘Deputy Minister, PF officials fight during Inonge’s visit to Solwezi’

Vice-President Inonge Wina before a lecture at Columbia University on 11 March, 2015. PHOTO | CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | ZAMBIA UN MISSION - Photo Credit CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA -
Vice-President Inonge Wina - Photo Credit CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA -

A DINNER held in honour of Vice-President Inonge Wina in Solwezi was characterised by punch-ups as local government deputy minister Dawson Kafwaya and his siblings fought individuals celebrating his transfer from Solwezi. The other fight erupted after provincial chairman Emmanuel Chihili and his deputy Kadansa Sansakuwa differed over a tribal conversation.
According to an eyewitness, Kafwaya got annoyed when PF North-Western Province youth chairman Gerald Chibuye said it was good that President Edgar Lungu had transferred him (Kafwaya) because he was hindering him from campaigning. “This fight happened on Friday night at Kansanshi Hotel after the dinner for the Vice-President.

Gerald is interested in standing in Solwezi Central, so he was boasting saying that ‘since Kafwaya has been taken out of Solwezi, I am going to have a free lane to do the campaigns, the president has done me a favour’,” the witness said. “He said ‘the President realised that Kafwaya was standing in my way so he has taken him away so that I remain. Now he has to even leave the government house so that we can start using it properly with the minister who is coming, who we can work with better’. So that information got to Kafwaya’s sisters and they approached Chibuye and that’s how the fight started.”

The witness said at that point, youth vice-chairman Michael Kanyembo tried to stop the fight and advised Chubuye to leave the premises.
“But when Kafwaya heard what Gerald had said, he instructed the security not to open the gate to allow Gerald to leave the hotel. Already at that time, Kafwaya’s sisters had already started fighting with Gerald. So Gerald went and hid in the vehicle and they started looking for him again. Now Kanyembo came in and influenced the security to open for Gerald so that he could leave. That’s how Gerald escaped,” the source narrated.

“Then later on, Kafwaya was told that actually, it was this man, Kaneymbo, who opened for Gerald. That’s how Kafwaya grabbed this Kanyembo man. After he managed to escape, Kafwaya got a bottle of castle, wanting to hit Kanyembo. The deputy minister ran after Kanyembo with a bottle of castle saying ‘I am going to hit you’. But he [Kanyembo] managed to hide in a maize field. At some point, they caught him and then exchanged blows, especially with the sisters.” The witness said Kanyembo then decided to report Kafwaya to the police.

“Kanyembo then went and reported the matter at Solwezi Central police and Kafwaya also with his group went to the police to report. For whatever reason, Kafwaya then sent his driver to pick up his parents and bring them to the police. But when they came, the other group started insulting Kafwaya’s mother and father. It was so embarrassing and this fighting continued untill around 02:00 hours on Saturday morning,” said the source.

“But some senior PF members have advised the two parties to withdraw the matter from the police so that it can be resolved outside because it is too embarrassing to government and the party, especially that it was happening when the Vice-President was around.”

In an interview, Kanyembo accused Kafwaya of trying to kill him. “I was one of the organisers for the Vice-President’s dinner. This family of Kafwaya came to attack Gerald. When I tried to help stop the fight, Honourable Kafywaya and his family started attacking me. I was almost killed because they were beating me up. Balebomfya amabwe, nefimuti (they were using stones and sticks) and other objects when beating me. The police were there but they didn’t act,” he explained.

“I went to the Solwezi Central police station around 23:00 and opened a docket against Kafywaya but it was only singed yesterday on the 30th of January. Even though I have opened a docket, nothing is happening. Even the Vice-President was aware, that is how she left, but she hasn’t called me to find out how I am doing. My body is in pain and I am just lying down at home.”

And Chibuye said Kafwaya had no capacity to win the Solwezi Central parliamentary seat this year. “They are fighting me because I tell them the truth and on Friday, Kafwaya wanted to beat me. A docket has since been opened for him [Kafwaya] and his brothers and sisters. They are lying that they can deliver Solwezi Central seat to the PF in 2016, which is not possible. Kafwaya, [Danny] Chingimbu and [Stephen] Masumba have been rejected in their respective constituencies, so they can’t deliver this seat and because I am telling them the truth, they want to fight me,” said Chibuye.

“The problem is that they are trying to lie to the President because they surround him and think they are so close to him. And the Head of State also thinks they are the right people he should talk to, which is not the case. They can’t deliver; not even an inch!”
And another source narrated that Chihili and his deputy Sansakuwa differed over a tribal conversation. “There was another fight between the provincial chairman and his vice. There was a punchup on the same Friday between Chihili and his vice, Sansakuwa. The chairman, who is Luvale by tribe, was saying that the Kaondes were celebrating; they were happy that the new PS [Ephrain Mateyo] is Kaonde. But their celebration was short lived because Kafwaya, who is also Kaonde, has been transferred to local government and this Chingimbu, who has been appointed as provincial minister, is Luvale. So now their [the Kaondes] celebration is shortlived because the PS reports to the minister. So they are not in charge after all, it is the Luvales who are in charge because the minister is Luvale,” sources narrated.
“So now the vice-chairman, who is Kaonde went to the chair and told him to retract what he said, but he refused to withdraw the statement. That’s when they started grabbing each other and started throwing punches until they were separated. It’s like the chairman was trying to tease them that insakwa yaba Kaonde are not in charge; the Kaondes will still be reporting to us the Luvales.”