National Democratic Congress NDC president Chishimba has threatened that his party will pull out from the Chilubi parliamentary by-election if the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) fails to address maneuvers by the PF to deprive the opposition from using the ferry.
And Kambwili has castigated PF Deputy Parliamentary Chief Whip Tutwa Ngulube for attacking Professor Muna Ndulo saying the Kabwe Central PF member of parliament should show respect for elders.
On Monday, NDC wrote the ECZ complaining that the PF had booked the only ferry at the island for 20 days to disadvantage the opposition while the UPND lamented that the ruling party had also booked all lodges in the area. Northern Province Minister Bwalya Chungu refuted these allegations.
But speaking to journalists at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court, Thursday, Kambwili said he met with UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and they all agreed to pull out of the race if ECZ did not address the matter amicably.
Kambwili insisted that PF had ensured that the opposition did not campaign vehicles on the island.
“I had a meeting with president HH where we decided that if this issue is not resolved, NDC and UPND will have to pull out of the elections. Automatically, you know the distances in Chilubi are so vast that from one area to another, it is about 110 Km, 120 Km, how do you expect people to move on bicycles and on foot to campaign? So this is rigging of the worst kind!” Kambwili lamented.
“So the onus is on the ECZ to sort out this issue or both UPND and NDC will pull out of this election so that they can win as they want because for them, wining elections is being popular, winning elections is putting food on the table of Zambians, winning elections is the reduction of electricity costs, winning elections is bringing cheap food for the people of Zambia. Well done PF!”
He lamented that PF had created an unfair playing field.
“PF must learn that elections must be won when the playing field is leveled. But for them to go and do that nonsense of booking the ferry which belongs to Zamtel and Zamtel is a parastatal such that when they are instructed by government, they do what they say. The Northern Province Minister is quoted in one of the news papers denying that there is no manipulation of the ferry in Chilubi Island. The ferry we were told has been booked by PF for 20 days meaning therefore in these 20 days, no private vehicles would be transported from the main land to the island; that simply means all the opposition political parties do not have transport to do the campaigns in the next 20 days. You know that this campaign is only three weeks when you knock off 20 days from three weeks you are only remaining with one day for you to campaign, what nonsense is that?” Kambwili asked.
“And if the Electoral Commission is not going to sort this issue of the ferry where the Provincial Minister is saying its breaks down from time to time, you knew that there will be elections; why didn’t you repair the ferry? How come PF vehicles are already in Chilubi? You can see that it is manipulation. How did PF manage to cross their vehicles? There is no single opposition vehicle, all the vehicles that are on the island are from PF. That is rigging!”
And Kambwili urged Ngulube to respect elders.
In an academic paper recently, Prof Ndulo stated that the Public Order Bill of 2019, which was crafted alongside Bill 10, was one which sought to constitutionalise dictatorship.
But in in an interview, Ngulube argued that Prof Ndulo had lost touch with Zambian laws.
“I want to warn my younger brother Tutwa Ngulube, I have warned him several times, have respect for elders and other stakeholders! Professor Ndulo gave an analysis of issues in the Public Order Act and today, Tutwa Ngulube goes to the newspaper and tells him ‘shut up Ndulo’, Mwaiche wandi amenso yabantu yalalya, elo mukusamwa emu fuma lila lila (People’s attention will mislead you and when you are over zealous, you end up hurting yourself and start crying). Have respect for other people, Prof Ndulo was right!” said Kambwili.
“The current Public Order Act, what we have been crying about is the interference by the police; because the current Public Order Act does not provide for the police to approve a permit for a rally or demonstration. Now in the new law that you want to take to Parliament, there is a section which is saying that the police have to approve. So when people say this is not correct, this is dictatorship; you want to insult them?…Keep quiet!”