Chishimba Kambwili says he does not understand why President Edgar Lungu has still not fired Ministry of Water Development Permanent Secretary Bishop Ed Chomba after an investigation revealed that the PS possesses fake qualifications.
And Kambwili, who doubles as National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader and Roan PF member of parliament, has challenged President Lungu to immediately send away Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) of Chingola, saying the country does not need useless companies like KCM.
Speaking when featured on Prime Television’s Oxygen of Democracy programme, Monday evening, Kambwili said Bishop Chomba, who boasts as a double PhD holder from Oxford University (Trinity College) in England and Princeton University, had no reason to continue working in government after the two universities he claimed to have attended disassociated themselves from him.
“If you look how lavish [lifestyles] these people are living… the other time I was passing at one Permanent Secretary’s place, who before he was PS he was just a pauper with no home; he was being looked after by women all his life. All his life, he has never owned even a car and when he came into Zambia he was driving [the late] Willy Nsanda’s vehicle and later on he was driving some woman’s vehicle. But today, this man has become PS, he’s putting Polythene towels on his wall fence, he has got a house and on its wall fence, he has put polythene towels. That’s what stolen money can do, polythene towels, which are for the floor, someone is putting on the walls because they have not worked for that money. We can’t watch and see people do something like that. This is the only government where a PS who people have said, ‘this man has forged certificates’ and he still continues as PS…” Kambwili added.
“When you chase away teachers who said to have forged their grade 12 certificates, all of them you fire them. But here is a PS whom even the University he says he went to says, ‘we never knew this man.’ And he’s saying ‘I am a double PhD’ and he has continued in government with forged certificates and President Lungu has failed to take action. This man is still working, when you go and fire teachers…wake up Zambians, be agitated, get upset, say, ‘enough is enough!’ They fire your own brothers and sisters who are teachers. Some of them had taught for five to ten years, but because of forged certificates and this government has kept a PS with forged results, and is PS is even speaking loudly every day on TV bla bla bla wara wara wara (to mean ‘water water water) with forged results. Come on, we can’t run a country like this!”
And Kambwili suggested that Vedanta, majority shareholder and owners of KCM in Chingola, must be chased way because the largest employer on the Copperbelt was not doing anything for the country.
“KCM must go, we don’t need a useless investor like KCM in Zambia. They have invested $2.4 billion in a black mine in South Africa. They are paying salaries; they are paying all the contractors and suppliers, but in this country seven months, they have not paid the contractors and suppliers, rendering the economy of the Copperbelt to come to a dead end. They are not now paying the employees, why are you keeping them, President Edgar Lungu? Richard Musukwa why are you keeping those investors? The price of Cobalt today is at $70,000 per tonne, and then China Open Pit is the only open pit that has got the cobalt. These guys are mining the cobalt and selling it, you know cobalt used to sell for about…in ZCCM just about $9,000 per tonne. Today it’s $70,000 per tonne, but they are failing to pay suppliers, they are failing to pay workers, why should we keep them? Institutions like Kitwe Central Hospital [have] casualties 500 per month; UTH has 500 casualties per month. Please, if you people don’t get upset as Zambians, we will not go anywhere,” he urged.
And Kambwili also demanded that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) probes former Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Lt Gen Eric Chimese for corruption allegations, arguing that the dismissed general was not acting alone in his corrupt practices.
“All those who are pilfering the country’s resources, whether President or not, when we form government there will be no sacred cows! We shall sweep corruption out of this country so that we show the whole world that there are people who can fight corruption. Not this kind of fighting corruption where Chimese is relieved of his duties and the Anti-Corruption Commission is telling us that they don’t want to duplicate what other investigative wings are doing. But the job of dealing with corruption is the job of ACC; ACC is supposed to be the leading investigating organ. Now, the ones who are supposed to investigate Chimese are the ones who are telling us that, what nonsense! Come on Anti-Corruption! Go and investigate Chimese, I do believe that Chimese is a sacred cow (sacrificial lamb). They are treating him like that because they don’t want him to expose them. The corruption under Chimese is not confined to him alone, State House is involved, Ministry of Defence is involved, the PS’ office is involved,” Kambwili said.
He reminded Zambians that only a vote would remove the PF from power.
“This apathy, Zambians please stop the apathy. Go and vote; it is only your vote that can remove Lungu from this government. It is not Chishimba Kambwili, it is not Harry Kalaba, it’s not Mulongoti or Hakainde Hichilema, it is only your vote. But when you refuse to vote and there is apathy, PF will get their people that they have corrupted and compromised to go and vote and that way, they will always be in power. But in 2021, rise up! Five o’clock we must see queues of people at polling stations so that Lungu can be treated the way Rupiah Banda was treated. Enough is enough!” insisted Kambwili.