Patriotic Front (PF) deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri says there is nothing sinister about physical fights in Parliament because the National Assembly is not a sacred place like heaven.
On October 16, Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe attacked Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili in the House after he was called a witch by the former Information Minster.
And the former deputy Speaker who is now UPND Chairperson, Mutale Nalumango condemned the behaviour of the two lawmakers but hastened to mention that she understood the reason for their aggression because opposition members of parliament had no space outside Parliament to express themselves.
Mumbi however said fighting in Parliament was not something new because the National Assembly was not a sacred place like heaven.
“You are talking to a person who fought in Parliament before. Parliament is not Heaven, it’s a normal arrangment like in a home. At that time when I fought in Parliament, I was provoked and I couldn’t hold the provocation that’s why I became physical. So people shouldn’t pretend like Parliament is in another world. These things have been happening from time immemorial. In fact for honourable Chishimba Kamwbili, this is not the first time. He fought with [Charles] Chimumbwa in the House when we were in the opposition. He fought inside the Chamber when honourable Nalumango was still deputy Speaker, why didn’t she politic then? In UNIP my late President Michael Sata also had a fight with somebody,” said Phiri.
“So these things have been happening and people shouldn’t politic because when provocation goes beyond what you can handle, you can find yourself in such a situation like what happened between honourable Sikazwe and Kambwili. Herself honourable Nalumango sent Chishimba Kambwili to the privileges committee because she felt injured, it’s there on record. So as leaders we should be sincere, not every time politicking.”
Phiri said it was unfortunate that the former deputy Speaker was politicising and defending Kambwili’s character when she was also a victim of his abusive language during her time in the House.
“Honourable Nalumango was deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. You know, we shouldn’t be politicking over bad things. Honourable Nalumango was a victim of honourable Kambwili’s abuse. So Honourable Nalumango shouldn’t even politick over the unfortunate situation which happened between Honourable Sikazwe and Honourable Chishimba Kambwili. Deep down her heart, she knows that when she was deputy Speaker, she was a victim of Chishimba Kambwili’s abusive language herself. The insults which were poured on Honourable Nalumango by Chishimba Kambwili, in our Bemba language we say ‘abatukile insele isha Mumishingo’ (he poured intense insults on her). And for a Bemba when you say ‘insele isha Mumishingo’, they will understand what I am talking about. It’s very surprising that she (Nalumango) can start politicking over that unfortunate situation,” Phiri said.
“I was even surprised that Mr Lifuka blamed Freedom Sikazwe in your [newspaper] editions. Honourable Sikazwe was a victim of Chishimba Kamwbili’s abusive language. I was very surprised, because if you follow what happened, no matter what, we are adults and we should choose words to use. And I if I were Honourable Freedom Sikazwe, I would take Honourable Kamwbili to court to prove his allegations because he was saying that Honourable Sikazwe is a witch. And you know that you can’t say such a thing to a person in public… and you know when Chishimba Kambwili was talking, honourable Sikazwe was laughing [because] he didn’t know that it’s him Kambwili was referring to, until when he was told that he was the one that Kamwbili was talking about.”
And Phiri said Kambwili’s apology was a mockery to God.
“A sin which you know you are committing deliberately is just like mockery to God. For example I know that the Bible says ‘you shouldn’t kill, you shouldn’t commit adultery, you shouldn’t steal’ but deliberately I go and do those things then I ask for forgiveness, that’s mocking God! But what has surprised me is for Honourable Nalumango to start politicking over that when she has been abused by Kambwili herself. It’s very unfortunate. Kambwili should even count himself lucky because if it was me he called a witch, I was going to take him to court. Even if he said ‘let us go and reconcile because we are Catholics let’s go to the Priest’, I wouldn’t agree. I would tell him to prove, because now this is what people are now doing, they will accuse someone falsely and then run to the Church afterwards for forgiveness; it’s not fair,” said Mumbi.