NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has charged that it is dramatic for Lusaka Province Minister to catch thieving traffic police officers when he cannot account for his wealth.
And Kambwili has commended President Edgar Lungu for not talking about corruption at the late Levy Mwanawasa’s memorial service on Sunday saying that would have been hypocritical.
Meanwhile, Kambwili has wondered who the PF government is trying to fool with austerity measures when Vice-President Inonge Wina is currently in Turkey with PF cadres in her entourage.
Speaking to journalists after appearing in court, Monday, Kambwili said Lusambo was a wrong person to embarrass corrupt traffic officers because he was not clean.
Kambwili said if Lusambo wanted to fight corruption, he should disclosed how many properties he had acquired since he became minister.
“Bowman Lusambo bombarding the traffic police officers, I think by and large, if this was done by any other person, I was going to say ‘well done’. But I think the person who did it is a wrong chap and to me that is circus. It is circus in view of the fact that Bowman Lusambo is not clean. There is a no way a corrupt person can go and arrest another corrupt person. We all know who Bowman Lusambo was, a simple street boy. Today, he owns property that he cannot account for. If Bowman Lusambo wants to fight corruption, let him tell us how many properties he has acquired in the last two years that he has been minister, how many new buildings he has built and how many posh cars he has got in his yard? Vehicles like the GX, Mercedes, which are not less that K1 million and yet his salary his K18,000 per month,” Kambwili said.
“We have seen Bowman Lusambo during the PF fund-raising, donating K300,000 cash. We have seen Bowman Lusambo donating K100,000 to the market in Ndola. We have seen Bowman Lusambo paying for some journalists to do courses. He says he’s running a program where he’s paying for some journalists to further their education. We have seen Bowman Lusambo donating football kit to Ndola united from a salary of K18,000 per month, of a minister. Is that a man who can even go and embarrass a female police officer in that manner? Insoni ebuntu (having shame is human). There’s no way a kabolala (a thief) can go and catch another kabolala, that is drama.”
And Kambwili said once Parliament resumed, he would take a private members motion to compel all ministers and permanent secretaries to account for the property.
“When this Parliament opens I’m going to bring a private members motion to ask this government to ask all the ministers serving and all the permanent secretaries to account for the property that they have acquired while in office. You know the good thing about buying vehicles, building houses, you can get a record from the minister of lands, RTSA, when they acquired these properties. I want them to account and compare what they declared when they just became ministers and what they have today. More especially Bowman Lusambo, then we will know that the young man really is fighting. Because ilya ni (that’s a) circus. Elo te circus fe, kutumpa (it’s not just a circus, that’s being foolish) to go and embarrass the police like that,” he said.
Kambwili challenged Lusambo to go to Times of Zambia and list his properties and their value.
“Yes we are not supporting corruption by the police but I think that job should be left to the Anti Corruption Commission. I want Bowman tomorrow, to go to Times of Zambia and list his properties, the value of his properties, houses, flats and all his cars. He has about seven, eight cars parked at his house which he has bought in the last two years he has been minister. Let him tell us where he has gotten that wealth because before Lusambo was minister, he was driving a corolla, ngailepita nechunshi kwati chibili chamalasha (When it passes, it would produce so much smoke like that from a charcoal furnace). And today he can go and embarrass police officers that ‘I’m fighting corruption’. This country must not be taken for a ride,” Kambwili said.
And Kambwili commended President Lungu for not talking about corruption at Mwanawasa’s memorial service on Sunday.
He charged that he didn’t expect President Lungu to be talking about corruption when he was corruption personified.
“Secondly, let me thank President Edgar Lungu. Yesterday he behaved at the memorial of Mwanawasa. At least he did not mention the word corruption. That’s what I expect from him. He just talked about Mwanawasa’s legacy of rule of law. Because I don’t expect Lungu to be talking about corruption when he himself is corruption. Yesterday he behaved, congratulations Mr President. Please avoid talking about corruption because you are part of the corruption. So what Lungu did yesterday, not to talk about corruption, atleast his conscience is telling him that ‘ba bwana imwe ka corruption kena is part of your game’. Congratulations and well done President Lungu,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili questioned who the PF government was trying to fool with austerity measures when Vice- President Wina was in Turkey with PF cadres on her entourage.
“Austerity measures, who are you trying to fool Lungu and your government? The Vice-President is in Ankara, Turkey, with PF cadres paid for by the state. PF cadres on the entourage! I have seen about three, four provincial chairmen, Mumbi Phiri, on a government program. This is not a party and its government. This is not one party state. Please Zambians let us ask for accountability. There is no way these people can be looking at us like fools. The Vice-President travels all the way to Turkey carrying along PF cadres. We want to know how much has been spent on those PF cadres, who is paying the allowances, who paid for their flight and who is paying for their accommodation. Zambia is not for PF but Zambians. I have a lot of respect for the Vice-President, you are the last person I expect to carry PF cadres on an important government trip,” said Kambwili.
“And by the way, in these austerity measures I don’t think there was anything urgent about concretizing, cementing bilateral relations with Turkey. What do we benefit from Turkey because Turkey is a country that is grappling with debt. And to think that a country that is in debt can help another country that is in debt, is not thinking correctly and I don’t think that is right.”
Earlier, the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court adjourned a matter in which Kambwili is charged with contempt of court to allow him seek medical attention after his lawyer Christopher Mundia told the court that his client couldn’t manage to sit through the day’s proceedings as he was unwell.
In this matter EPP leader Chilufya Tayali, 44, alleged that Kambwili tampered with evidence in a case in which the latter is facing three counts of forgery, uttering false documents and giving false information to a public officer.
The matter has since been adjourned to September 20, 2018, and October 11 and 16, 2018, for continued trial.
Kambwili was accompanied by his party members, his son and daughters who went to offer him solidarity.