NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu is using dismissed ZAF commander Eric Chimese as a sacrificial lamb in order to fool donors into thinking that he is fighting corruption.
Speaking to journalists after attending a court session, Thursday, Kambwili charged that President Lungu had engaged in various corrupt deals with Chimese and that was the reason why he had not been arrested.
“This issue of Chimese, Chimese is a sacrificial lamb. Chimese has been treated the way he has been treated because of pressure from the donors. Let not Lungu and his government pretend that they have relieved Chimese of his duties because of just mere corruption. The corruption the international community started getting concerned about was happening at ZAF, they have relieved Chimese of his duty,” Kambwili said.
“If indeed Lungu wants to fight corruption, Chimese should be appearing before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). You are failing to arrest him because your president was also doing corruption with Chimese.”
And commenting on the deportation of Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC Alliance senior member Tendai Biti by Zambia Police and the Immigration Department, Kambwili said international law was very clear that if an asylum seeker was not wanted in a country, the best was to allow him to seek asylum in the next country.
“The Zambia Police and Immigration officers with impunity handed over Tendai Biti, a Zimbabwean national, who had come to seek asylum in this country. And international law is very, very clear that, if a person comes to seek asylum in your country and as a country you don’t want that person, you allow him to exit to the next country for him and try and get asylum. But you cannot get a person and go hand him over from a country where he is running away, either running away from war or political prosecution. You cannot do that as a country,” he observed.
“And to make matters worse, Tendai, through his lawyers, had obtained a court order instructing the immigration to bring him to court today (yesterday) in Lusaka so that he can be heard, but Edgar Lungu’s government with impunity allows the Zambia Police and Immigration officers to go and hand over Tendai back to the Zanu-PF government in Zimbabwe. Now, if this country does not respect the opposition, they should not transfer it to other countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili urged the courts to cite Zambia Police and the Immigration for contempt of court for deporting Biti despite the court order.
“Because this is a pure case of them supporting the ruling party in Zimbabwe without due respect to the opposition. I’m urging the court to be very strict on this matter and cite the Zambia Police and Immigration for contempt because we are creating a very bad name for Zambia. Next time, it may be a Zambian. It may even be President Edgar Lungu with his thieving and corruption. He may be seeking political asylum after 2021,” cautioned Kambwili, who is also Roan PF member of parliament.
“So, this behaviour by President Lungu and his Foreign Affairs Minister, and that is why… you know, you go and pick Ba ‘kabova’ from the golf club as Foreign Affairs Minister, this is what you end up. That Malanji does not understand international law as a Foreign Affairs Minister and I urge him to resign with immediate effect! Because like they are stealing in their government, Malanji donating K50,000 to markets, K100,000, when not long ago, Malanji was a broke guy, you will seek asylum in Zimbabwe and you will see what will happen to you. Treat your opposition badly, but respect opposition from other countries.”