Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mwimba Malama yesterday chased Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili from the House after the latter warned that all those who were involved in the digital migration scandal would go to jail.
Debating Head 26 on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting services, Kambwili, who is also NDC leader, observed that Information Minister Dora Siliya and ZNBC board chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe were not being sincere on the digital migration deal.
When asked for a comment over what transpired in Parliament, Kambwili expressed hesitance to talk, saying he did not want the House to accuse him of falsifying the record.
“What you say in Parliament, it’s good you have a verbatim because they can take advantage and say that I went to tell lies…but basically, what I was saying was that Dora and Mulenga Kapwepwe are telling lies on the digital migration that it was not single sourced and that there were 12 competitors. And also that StarTimes have brought in extra money to do the studios and that the government program was to end within the line of rail and that StarTimes brought in extra money, that’s why they made that joint venture. She actually even said that the money was lent to the joint venture and not the government, so I was telling her that the money was lent to the Republic of Zambia and not the joint venture. And they have been changing stories because this is a scandal and they will never run away from the fact that this is a scandal. I told them that to migrate four provinces, we spent US$9 million but to migrate six, they got a loan of $273 million, what mathematics did they use?” Kambwili asked, in an interview after being chased from the House.
“I also told them that how can you bring in StarTimes as a contractor, they deliver the project and you pay them $273 million, then they come to you and say we want to run this program by us having 60 per cent and you 40 per cent…How can you pay someone and then allow them to get 60 per cent (shares)? That is corruption. At least if you didn’t pay them anything and you want them to recover their money for construction…above all, the Zambian people are paying TV levy and then in that bouquet, you are only giving the Zambians two free channels, the rest they have to pay so why should Zambians continue paying TV levy and pay monthly subscription to this joint venture?”
Kambwili said he was chased for stating the truth.
“I told them that if they wanted this thing to end, they should call for an inquiry into this matter and I will be the first witness because I know all the details. Then I ended by saying ‘otherwise, mukaya ku jele, mukaya ku chi fungo’. And I sat down then the Speaker told me to withdraw the statement ‘mukaya ku jele’, I said no, I cannot withdraw it, I can only translate it, it means ‘you will go to jail’. Then he insisted that I should withdraw but I refused because it’s not unparliamentary. That’s when he told me that ‘go out of the House’. I said ‘thank you very much. I was chased for stating the fact on Topstar deal,” said Kambwili.