PF Dumps Kachingwe
Former Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) National Secretary Maj. Richard Kachingwe has been dumped by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government after helping them attack his former colleagues, a source tells Zambia Reports.
Maj. Kachingwe, who previously served as Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria under President Levy Mwanawasa and was later made Secretary General of MMD by President Rupiah Banda, defected from the party in December 2012 when he attempted to invalidate the presidency of Nevers Mumba – a move that opposition members say was orchestrated by the PF.
Kachingwe would later go on to be the star witness in the trial against former President Banda with regard to an alleged oil deal with Nigeria, however his testimony failed to go as planned.
Now, after having performed these two duties for the PF, he is being unceremoniously cast aside, the source says.
Kachingwe’s betrayal of the MMD was allegedly prompted by both pressure and promises of enrichment. After Michael Sata won the 2011 elections, Maj. Kachingwe’s son, Lombe Kachingwe who served as a diplomat in London was one of the first people to be recalled by the new president. The source says that Kachingwe waited months seeking a meeting with President Sata to attempt to save his son’s job, where he pleaded that he would anything. The source says that President Sata reportedly loved the idea, and gave Maj. Kachingwe two options: first create confusion in the MMD, and the second was to testify against former President Banda in court.
In exchange for Kachingwe’s betrayal of MMD, the source says that President Sata ordered then-Foreign Minister Given Lubinda to appoint Lombe Kachingwe to a diplomatic post in Windhoek, Namibia. After parliament stripped former President Banda of immunity, President Sata then ordered Kachingwe to go to Nigeria along with Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito to recruit the fake witnesses for the trial, the source says.
Maj. Kachingwe’s defection angered many MMD cadres, who on more than one occasion made threats against the party’s former Secretary General. For his safety, the PF ensured that he was given 6 armed police guards from State House as a 24/7 security detail, along with a payment of 1 million kwacha.
However now that Maj. Kachingwe has already been used, the security detail has been pulled and the money was never paid, the source says. Maj. Kachingwe reportedly called President Sata’s personal telephone line every day seeking answers.
President Sata’s patience was exhausted. According to one phone call overheard by the source, Sata told Kachingwe: “Never call me again, I am a busy person and a president you cannot call me at anytime you feel like never come to my office looking for me again too.”
The source says that this was the last that Maj. Kachingwe ever heard from President Sata, and now his son Lombe’s job is also on the rocks, as Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba may be ordered to recall him to Lusaka, despite his marriage to Chibesa Manda, the niece of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Professor Nkandu Luo.
Lombe reportedly has no education qualification to serve in his current position (he dropped out of grade 12), while he is also alleged to be involved in a car scandal involving Zambian mission cars by smuggling the cars into Zambia and charging the registration numbers with the help of his father, the source says.