Police in Lusaka yesterday arrested NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili and piled charges on him before denying him police bond.
Among the offences, the former chief government spokesperson is charges with expressing hatred against a foreign national, which falls under Section 70 of the Penal Code, and he has also been slapped with the charge of “failure to obey lawful orders” at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport where he allegedly breached airport security as he went to welcome his UK-based wife on Sunday.
Meanwhile, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that Zambia has a tyrant in office, adding that it’s time that citizens took a democratic decision in unity of purpose to deliver themselves from the brutality and economic malaise.
Kambwili was charged with showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for a of a different race, in relation to the viral social media video in which he was filmed having an altercation with an indian who was operating road compactor last week.
Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata-Katongo confirmed the arrest, as Kambwili’s lawyer disclosed to News Diggers! that the Roan PF rebel member of parliament had been denied bond.
“Police in Lusaka have arrested and charged Hon Chishimba Kambwili with Expression or showing Hatred ridicule or contempt for persons because of race, tribe or place of Origin or colour contrary to section 70 of the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia. He is currently detained in police custody,” police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo said in a statement.
Shortly after his initial arrest, Kambwili was arrested agains, while still in poilce custody and charged with failure to obey lawful orders contrary to section 127 of the Penal code.
When the embattled political heavyweight arrived at Lusaka Central Police station, he was flanked by his wife Carol, NDC vice-president Joseph Akafumba, Opposition Alliance partners led by Hichilema, who included Elias Chipimo, Sean Tembo, Nason Msoni, Fresher Siwale, Sylvia Masebo and others.
Speaking after his arrest, the UPND leader urged Zambians to now believe that there was a tyrant in office.
“We as Zambians must know that we have a tyrant in office. These are the actions of leadership of tyranny. We have said it for a long time [but ] there are Zambians who didn’t believe it, now you should believe it. History has taught us something, that leaders and parties like this who go in office to work against citizens, do not stay in office long because once people have taken a decision that this is the group of people in the name of PF who are looking after themselves and not the interest of people, they will take a decision to rest such leaders,” he said.
Hichilema said Zambians should take a democratic decision in unity of purpose and deliver themselves from the brutality, economic malaise and unemployment under the ruling government.
“I’m saying to the people of Zambia, do not be afraid. Do not fear, what you see is a necessary process for us to gain strength, for us to work together in unity of purpose as we have done before to take out the one party state in 1991. I think this is yet another time citizens must take a democratic decision in unity of purpose to deliver themselves from brutality, economic malaise, unemployment. I ask the people of Zambia to be even more united now than ever before. We are demonstrating unity ourselves as your servants, leaders of political parties, that must permeate downwards to yourselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, NAREP president Chipimo observed that the police should have granted Kambwili police bond because he was not a flight risk.
He equally urged Zambians to stand up against the dictatorship under the PF government.
“As the police they should have exercised his rights to be released. At the very least they should have allowed him to go to court so that we could apply for bail and he would be released today. He is not a flight risk. This is clearly being done to punish him for political reasons. We are standing in solidarity with him, we are not going anywhere until this matter is fully resolved. Even the people that are gathered here are seeing the abuse that is taking place, the double standards that have been applied consistently by the PF administration. We have never had it this bad before and as one voice we must stand up as the people of this nation against this kind of tyranny,” Chipimo said.
“They have already destroyed this economy and now they are trying to use other means to silence and intimidate us, they will not succeed. They can succeed for a day but I can tell you, the Tsunami is coming.”
And PeP leader Sean Tembo hoped that the police would honour their promise of taking Kambwili to court today.
“The police decided to deny our colleague bond and on that basis they have decided to incarcerate him. They have promised that they will be taking him to court tomorrow (today) first thing in the morning. We are hopeful that they are going to honour their promise,” he said.
Meanwhile, KKIA police are reportedly looking for Kambwili at the time when he was first being arrested, on allegations that he breached airport security.
Kambwili who had gone to welcome his UK-based wife on Sunday at 09:45 am, apparently crossed the airport cordon at the international arrivals terminal, walked up to the baggage carousel where he was captured on CCTV hugging her, and proceeded to exit the airport building.