Home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo says Chishimba Kambwili is trying to cleanse himself by throwing mud at other people.
Last week, Kambwili, who is a former information minister, charged that Kampyongo got three vehicles as a reward for signing the $42 million fire truck deal when he was Minister of Local Government.
“Kampyongo was the Minister in charge at the time and must tell the nation why he accepted 3 brand new vehicles (Toyota Hilux, Range Rover and Toyota Landcruiser VX) as a vote of thanks for signing that lucrative deal,” charged Kambwili.
But debating President Edgar Lungu’s address to Parliament yesterday, Kampyongo ceased the opportunity to hit back at Kambwili saying the Roan PF member of parliament would not succeed to bring the ruling party down.
He challenged Kambwili to produce Road Transport and Safety Agency records to prove that he owned the vehicles he was accused of getting from Grandview.
“For me, Mr Speaker, standing here as your MP and as your minister, if I am found wanting, I am not going to bother about what is happening to my next colleague. The best way to clean yourself is to make sure that you answer questions that are directed to you, that’s how you cleanse yourself. You don’t cleanse yourself by throwing mud at other people, you come here and say ‘no someone has got vehicles’, owning a vehicle is not like owning a bicycle, there is RTSA there you come with records to say this person owns this and that. So I am telling you that you won’t bring us down, we know of the few people who want to bring Chagwa’s soldiers down but I can assure you that we shall fight and we will not fail,” Kampyongo said.
Kampyongo claimed President Lungu was serious about the fight against corruption.
“Mr Speaker, when you see a President firing one of his own lieutenants from Cabinet on allegations of corruption, what more can he show? The President walks the talk and he has made it very clear to all of us here. And I want to say this that here in this Chamber we make laws, so when you want to come and accuse this minister standing here, you have to stand firmly and say ‘this act was abused by this honourable minister of this ministry, in this line’ other than just jumping on the anthill and join all those that are not well informed. In addition, we have got the Abuse of Office Act which also follows you in case you stray from your area of jurisdiction, they are there so when you are making allegations and accusing the President of not doing anything about corruption, it’s not fair at all,” Kampyongo said.
He said there was so much hypocrisy attached to issues of corruption.
“Mr Speaker, the President did allude to the fight against corruption in his speech and if there is a leader who is so firm about his stance against corruption, I think we all know where the President stands and having been here for six years, Mr Speaker I want to put it on record on how disappointed I have been to see the hypocrisy that we have attached to the issues of corruption, I was at the backbench there, progressed to the middle until I got here. The debate we have heard here of accusing those in the front bench…we have even had newspaper presentations laid on the table, we had a minister (Kambwili) sitting where my elder brother is sitting, everyday it was ‘no this is a corrupt minister’ from our colleagues in the UPND, (no he has given himself contracts’ and we had all the papers flying around here. But what happened? The moment he crossed the floor to there, all the corruption finished and they all started calling him a great leader so he could win a slot,” Kampyongo said.
“We had a minister of tourism here (Sylvia Masebo) who was accused of corruption and when she was in [the] ruling [party] there was no corruption but the moment she crossed over from here to there, everything changed, the cases in Court became solidarity and it’s not only that Mr Speaker the catalog is long but what I am saying Mr Speaker is that the issue of corruption is a policy matter and some of us have been personally accused and have heard things concocted, that’s why I am asking that maybe it has become a skim of recruiting, when you cross over to the other side and they bombard you then the corruption starts. But when everything is said and done, some of us will be among the last men and women standing because we know where we stand in serving our people.”
Meanwhile, Kampyongo said government was not intimidated by witchcraft, in apparent reference to Chief Mukuni.
“Mr Speaker, we as PF have resolved to work for our people and I want to say that those who want to think that out of the genuineness of our President of wanting to co-exist and engage in meaningful dialogue we are going to sit back and relax, as much as we support dialogue, oneness and share the UN’s need to coexist, we are not going to sit back and allow lawbreakers to continue tormenting people’s lives. Those of us who are charged with the responsibility of maintaining peace and order shall make sure that we pursue those who have tormented people’s lives to the latter. Equally, those who would want to start thinking they can form their own clusters and design their own laws, they are making a very big mistake and we are not going to be even threatened by the so-called ‘science of darkness’ which some people have been trying to use. We shall pursue wrong doers by using civilized means of policing and make sure that they don’t get away with wrong doing and misleading people,” Kampyongo said.
Speaker Matibini however asked Kampyongo to clarify what he meant by “Science of darkness”.
“Mr Speaker those of us who are charged with the responsibility of pursuing wrong doers and the corrupt suffer a number of things from those people fighting back in different ways. We have heard of people saying they will come for us because they sleep in the graves,” Kamypongo responded.
Asked if he meant witchcraft, Kampyongo said; “Thank you Mr Speaker, yes it’s witchcraft but I just know it in my language that it’s called ‘ubuloshi’. So we are God fearing people just like our President and we shall remain under the shelter of God Almighty the creator. So let them not make a mistake of thinking that they can get us distracted by those empty threats, we are resolved to make sure that this country remains a united nation with so many tribes and regions. Our role is to ensure that every Zambian is given an opportunity to enjoy their rights as citizens without being suppressed by any grouping and therefore, we encourage the President who has committed himself to the process of dialogue, to dialogue with those that will come genuinely.”