Kambwili pleads not guilty to racial charge, gets K3,000 bail

Nalikosa mukati na kunse (I am strong inside and out), bragged NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili yesterday after he was granted K3,000 cash bail by the Lusaka Magistrates’s Court.

And Kambwili denied the charge of expressing racial remarks on an Indian national.

In this matter, Kambwili who is also Roan PF member of parliament, is charged with one count of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for persons because of race contrary to section 70(1) of the penal code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence allege that Kambwili on February 19, this year, expressed racial remarks on Rajesh Kumar Verma, an Indian national.

Kambwili was arrested on Monday and charged with the said offence in relation to the viral social media video in which he was filmed having an altercation with Kumar, who was operating a road compactor last week.

He is being represented by defence lawyers; Gilbert Phiri, Christopher Mundia, Zevyanji Sinkala and Keith Mweemba.

And when the matter came up for plea before magistrate Chitalu, Tuesday afternoon, the State comprising of Noah Mwanza and Juvenalis Kamutondoli informed the court that they had consent from the DPP to prosecute the matter.

Kambwili pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

But before the matter could be adjourned, one the defence lawyers, Phiri applied for bail pending trial, saying the accused person was of fixed abode and was able to provide sureties, as well as, abiding by the bail conditions.

Although the State did not object to the application for bail, it prayed that Kambwili’s bail should not be in his own recognisance but cash.

“As much as the State is not objecting to the application for bail, the prayer from the State is that the conditions which this court may impose should be such conditions that is able to secure the attendance of the accused person. Our prayer is that it (bail) shouldn’t be on his own recognisance,” said Mwanza.

In his ruling, magistrate Chitalu granted Kambwili K3,000 cash bail and ordered him to provide two working sureties of fixed abode and residing in Lusaka, who would be bound in the sum of K10,000, in their own recognisance.

Addressing reporters and his supporters after satisfying bail conditions, Kambwili said he was ready to die on behalf of the people of Zambia.

All I can say is that they will try to intimidate me but they will never manage. I want to tell them, you can arrest me as so many times as possible, deny [me] bail but you are dealing with the man uwakosa mukati nakunse. Ine nalishimpula mfwaya fye ukwakusha umutwe. For the sake of this country, to save this country from these kabwalas, these crooks, these failed projects, I’m ready to die just like Jesus died for the people. It is up to you the people of Zambia to know. Me, I was merely speaking for you that ‘these jobs are for Zambians not for any foreigner’. Then I should be called that I’m being racist?” he wondered.

“How can you allow in a country where so many youths roam the streets, you are beating street vendors because they have no jobs, now you are getting the jobs that they are supposed to get, you are giving them to foreigners? [And] when someone speaks you say ‘go and arrest him’, shame on you President Lungu, shame on you Kampyongo! But I can tell you, the positions that you are enjoying are not permanent. Because those are temporal jobs. For me, ‘he who laughs last, laughs the loudest’. So this nonsense of arresting people, denying them bail… Chitotela, a known thief, you give him red carpet? You arrest him, two minutes later you give him police bond. Are you not ashamed that you are only showing yourselves that this is selective application of justice. I don’t think if I was President Lungu I would even have the guts to even be talking about corruption, or even addressing the people under the circumstances because all that you doing, to me are things that do not fit the office of the President. Anyway I’m out and back to work.”

Those who went to offer solidarity to Kambwili at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Complex included; his wife Carol and children, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, NAREP president Elias Chipimo, NDC vice-president Joseph Akafumba, UPND Chairperson for Mobilisation Sylvia Masebo, UPND Lusaka Province Chairperson Obvious Mwaliteta, among others.

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