Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili yesterday apologized on the floor of the House for making unsubstantiated corruption allegations against Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo.
And Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini says police have taken a docket to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions involving a matter in which UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema called him a coward.
On March 21, 2018, Dr Matibini had made a ruling in Kambwili’s absence that the rebel PF MP had breached parliamentary privileges by accusing Kampyongo of receiving a bribe from Grandview International without adducing supporting evidence.
When Parliament resumed sitting yesterday, Matibini ordered Kambwili to read a written apology which had been prepared for him.
Kambwili, however, struggled to read the apology; opting to omit some words, a situation which the Speaker noticed and asked him to start afresh.
“Honourable Kambwili let me guide you, as a matter of fact, I have a copy of your apology in front of me and I will urge you to read as it is. Proceed, start and proceed,” guided Speaker Matibini.
Kambwili admitted that it was difficult for him to read the apology but Speaker Matibini asked him to try harder.
“Mr Speaker, I Dr Chishimba Kambwili, in my capacity as member of parliament for Roan parliamentary constituency, do apologise to you Mr Speaker and to this August house on the remarks I made before the floor of the house against Honourable Kampyongo. Sir, having reflected on my conduct which is the breach of parliamentary privileges and contempt of the House, I wish to assure you sir and the August House that from now on, I shall endeavour to ensure that the information I give on the floor of the House is in compliance with the rules and regulations of this House. Mr Speaker I thank you,” read Kambwili.
And in another ruling, Speaker Matibini said the office of the Inspector Genral of Police had written to parliament to say a docket had been submitted to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“Honourable members will recall that on Wednesday 14th March 2018, when the Honourable member of parliament for Solwezi East parliamentary constituency Mr L. Kintu MP was asking a question on a point of clarification on the ministerial statement delivered by the Honourable Minister of Health Dr C. Chilufya MP. Mrs A. Phiri MP raised on a point of order in which he stated as follows ‘Madam speaker, I apologise to the Honourable member who was about to ask his question. Madam, I rise on a very serious point of order as you may know, this is a first point of order I have raised since coming back to this House. Madam speaker, sometime last year, a point of order was raised in this house concerning the disparaging remarks that had been directed to the Honourable Mr speaker. The case was taken to the committee on privileges, absences, and support services and thereafter referred to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’,” Speaker Matibini recalled.
“‘I must say that this is not the only case in which the honourable Mr Speaker has ruled against the outsiders who like speaking without following the procedure of the house. For instance, Mr Antonio Mwanza has been reprimanded twice. Madam, the Honourable Mr Speaker referred the case of one opposition leader to the DPP for prosecution. Is the Honourable Minister of Justice under whom the DPP falls, in order to keep quiet in this house when the people of Zambia are waiting to hear what will happen to the opposition leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema. Madam Speaker, I need your need your serious ruling’.”
In his ruling, Speaker Matibini said his office had received a letter from the office of the Inspector General of Police that a docket had been submitted to the DPP and that the public would be informed at an appropriate time.
“Honourable members, I wish to begin my ruling by giving a background to the matter. As you may recall, on Thursday 23rd March 2017, ‘The Mast’ newspaper published an article intitled and I quote ‘Matibini is a coward-Hichilema. In that article, derogatory remarks against the speaker were attributed to Mr Hichilema. In that regard, Mr R.Mwewa, member of parliament for Mwansabombwe constituency and later Mr N.Chilangwa member of parliament for Kawambwa constituency both rose on a point of order asking whether Mr Hichilema was in order to make disparaging remarks against the speaker,” he said.
“In a ruling I rendered on the matter on Tuesday 13th June 2017, I informed the house that the two points of order raised a primaphacia case of contempt of the office of the speaker which was punishable under section 19 of the national assembly (powers and privileges Act Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia). I accordingly referred the matter to the Inspector General of the Zambia Police Service for investigation and possible prosecution in accordance to Section 27 of the National assembly Powers and Privileges Act.”
He noted, however, that according to the law, the DPP was an independent body mandated to work without instructions from anyone.
“Honourable members, I wish to inform the house that on 21st March 2018, the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to the office of the Inspector General inquiring on the status of the complaint. In response, the Inspector General via the letter dated 8th May 2018 informed the office of the Clerk that the police had submitted the docket on the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions. That is therefore the current status of this matter. At this juncture honourable members, I wish to remind the house that the office of the Director o Public Prosecution is an independent constitutional office established pursuant to Article 181 of the constitution of Zambia,” said Dr Matibini.
“To this end, Article 181 (7) provides as follows and I quote “the director of public prosecutions shall not be subject to the direction of control or any person or authority in the performance of the functions of that office except that the director of public prosecutions shall regard for the public interest administration of justice, the integrity of the judicial system and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.” From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that the director of public prosecutions does not receive instructions from anyone including the honourable minister of Justice. In this regard, the Honourable Minister of Justice was certainly not out of order. Honourable members in conclusion, I wish to inform the house that once the matter has been dealt with by the relevant authorities, the house and the public at large will be informed accordingly.”