National Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili says the PF can send 50 people to report him to the police if they want but he won’t stop providing checks and balances.
Meanwhile, Kambwili has challenged the Ministry of Health to publicize the tender documents for the Bangweulu Hospital.
Yesterday, Patriotic Front central committee member Kebby Mbewe reported Kambwili to Woodlands police station for “misleading the people of Zambia” and insulting President Edgar Lungu.
“I think this is in public domain where we have seen the continued insults and accusations Mr Kambwili accusing his Excellency (President Lungu) of being corrupt and also that he twisted the amount of the hospitals. Mr Kambwili has intentions of misleading the country on the international markets. So this is what has brought me here,” said Mbewe.
But speaking at a press briefing on the Copperbelt, Kambwili said he was not scared of getting arrested.
“The opposition provides checks and balances to government. I am disappointed that there are people rushing to the police [to ask them] to arrest me for telling you the truth. I will die for the truth. If they want, they can send 50 people to go and report to the police. I am big enough to defend myself and I am ready for them. I have these figures from reliable sources. One thing that the PF forgets is that they are unpopular among the civil servants and they are the ones that give us the information of how you are stealing. So be careful,” Kambwili said.
And Kambwili expressed shock at the statement made by President Lungu that millers had caused an increase in mealie meal prices.
“Stop treating Zambians like second hand citizens that don’t think whatsoever. I was hurt on behalf of Zambians that the President and his Minister of Agriculture can go in front of a camera wanting to deceive people that the problem of the current high mealie meal prices is being caused by millers. How can you be so unfair to the millers? This is unacceptable! Where I was seated after hearing the minister saying ‘Your Excellency we are meeting with the millers and make sure that we find a lasting solution so that the price of mealie meal can be reduce’, I felt stomach pains. Politics is not about misleading the people, such leaders must resign on moral grounds,” Kambwili said.
Kambwili projected that mealie meal prices would continue to rise.
“After August/September the price of mealie meal will be in the range of K150 per 25 kilograms and K130 for roller meal and this is not the problem of the millers. The problems is the increase of agricultural input and the cost of producing maize has gone up. What does a government that cares do in such circumstances? It is not to issue rhetoric statements in front of donors. You should have shame!” Kambwili said.
Meawhile, Kambwili challenged the Ministry of Health to publicize the tender documents for Bangweulu hospital.
“Yesterday we saw a number of NGOs lined by the PF government to condemn me on the cost of Bangweulu and other hospitals. They were calls by Sunday Chanda (PF Media director) that I should have read the presidential speech for me to know the cost of the hospital, that is an insult to the people of Zambia! I insist that Bangweulu hospital is US$154 million. That tender is dented with corruption! The creation of Infrastructure Development Ministry meant that all procurement of all capital projects should be done by the ministry, how do you allow the Ministry of Health to handle such a big tender?” asked Kambwili.
“The presidential speech is not an authority on construction. Where are the tender documents for Bangweulu and Kalindawalo hospital? If the government is telling the truth, I challenge them to publicize the tender documents. And by the way, they are saying Bangweulu Hospital is a referral hospital which is going to have 800 bed spaces and it is going to cost US$11 million. If you translate the K154 million it is coming to US$ 11 million now, the Lusaka specialized hospital, the bed space is only 200, it cost government US$22 million, Kalindawalo Hospital is 200 bed space and it cost government US$28 million. How then can Bangweulu Hospital cost that much money? Something is not adding up, simple analysis.”