FORMER chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili on Thursday warned Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo after the latter interrupted his debate.
On Thursday, December 15, 2016, Kambwili debated on land allocation amidst interruptions from fellow members of parliament who kept mocking him.
In his debate, Kambwili advocated for cheaper land for Zambians.
Kambwili also suggested that government must grab land from foreigners and give it to poor citizens.
“It is unreasonable that Zambians are looking for land when foreigners are owning more than 10,000 hectres of land. Surely, why can’t we get back that land and give it to the poor people to build houses. These are things that are making people upset with government. We should come up with a law where land owned by foreigners should be repossessed and given to the poor,” Kambwili said as opposition members of parliament cheered.
However, when he diverted to talk about himself and the land he owns, the House broke into noisy comments from both sides.
“For instance, myself I have about three pieces of land and one of my titles I got…” he said, as though trying to launder himself, before Deputy Speaker Namugala asked him if he was sure with the route he wanted to take.
“Are you sure you want to discuss yourself?” Namugala asked, to which Kambwili responded, “okay, I will move away from there. What I was trying to say is that why should it be very easy for me to obtain title but be very difficult for an ordinary person?”
At this point, Lusambo made another comment which angered Kambwili.
“You see, I want to warn that boy, I want to warn that boy…,” Kambwili said as the members of parliament became rowdy. Order was only restored after about two minutes.
Deputy Speaker Namugala then asked Kambwili to exercise calmness.
“Honorable Kambwili, there are no boys in the House, you know that very well, you’ve done very well so far. Please exhibit some patience, calmness and I know that you have the necessary maturity. Please continue,” Namugala said.
Kambwili said, “government promised to give land to miners, they didn’t give land to miners. So for one to say I got land from the golf club, I take that with a pinch of salt…” but Deputy Speaker Namugala asked him to sit down and moved on to other business.
On December 16th, the Daily Nation newspaper reported that Kambwili had threatened to beat up Lusambo on the floor of the House.
When Parliament resumed business on December 16, 2016, Kambwili rose on a point of order, asking Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to give guidance on the matter.
“Mr Speaker I rise on a point of order over a story in the Daily Nation titled ‘Kambwili threatens to beat Lusambo in parley’. This newspaper has decided to misrepresent the facts with impunity, portraying a picture that I wanted to beat honorable Lusambo and that I was restrained and walked out of the house and that I verbally abused him which facts are neither here nor there. The verbatim is very clear that I only said let me warn that boy. According to the newspaper they have said that a number of PF MPs were interjecting me while Mr Lusambo was outside the House and because that I have a grudge, I mentioned him when he was not in the House when in actual fact he was in the House and was the only one who interjected going by the verbatim official report,” Kambwili said.
Kamwbili quoted parts of the Daily Nation story which he described as a fabrication.
“Let me quote what the paper has written and am sure with approval from some quarters. ‘Chishimba Kambwili yesterday went vile in Parliament and openly threatened to physically beat Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo in the presence of Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala. The incident happened when the Roan Patriotic Front member of parliament was debating on ex-miner’s promised land on the Copperbelt. Some unidentified PF lawmakers were heard heckling Mr Kambwili for allegedly selling the Luanshya Golf Course land on the Copperbelt as the former Information and Broadcasting Services Minister was winding up his debate’,” Kambwili quoted in part.
“…Unidentified PF Parliamentarians were heard shouting: ‘you (Kambwili) sold golf land’. As Mr Lusambo who was at the time not in the House walked in and took his seat while Mr Kambwili was on the floor debating the land promised to former miners in the House walked in as Mr Kambwili was on the floor of the House. Immediately after seeing Mr Lusambo, Mr Kambwili who seemed to have had a grudge against the Kabushi Parliamentarian lashed at Mr Lusambo threatening he was going to beat him (Lusambo). Mr Kambwili verbally abused Mr Lusambo denigrating him as a small boy who was not a member of the PF.”
He asked Speaker Matibini to state whether or not the Daily Nation was in order.
“Let me just jump and come to the other important issue on page 4. It goes on to say that; ‘I want to warn that boy to stop playing around with me… I will beat him up,’ Mr Kambwili said. Ms Namugala immediately curtailed Mr Kambwili’s debate and Mr Lusambo was seen seated. Mr Kambwili was seen out of the House by Mazabuka member of parliament Garry Nkombo as they restrained him from beating Mr Lusambo’,” the Daily Nation quoted Kambwili as saying.
“Mr Speaker this is a total fabrication and the rules of this House entails (sic) that anybody including members of parliament must report nothing but the truth. Is the Daily Nation newspaper in order or is the Chief Whip in order not to cite this newspaper for contempt of the house and refer them to the privileges committee? I seek your serious ruling I thank you Mr Speaker. And I will lay both the verbatim and the newspaper on the table,” said Kambwili.
Speaker Matibini reserved his ruling saying he needed to study the verbatim.