NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili has urged President Edgar Lungu to remove Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo from his position for embarrassing government and misconducting himself.
And Kambwili has offered the services of NDC lawyers to all the public transporters and commuters who have suffered any loses owing to Lusambo’s harassment.
In an interview, Kambwili wondered whether Lusambo’s actions had the President’s blessing.
“It is very disappointing the way Bowman Lusambo has been acting. My question is; is the President behind Lusambo’s lunatic behaviour? Why is the President quiet about it? How can a minister be saying that he’s going to use the law within himself? Since when did ministers start having their own laws to do things? First and foremost, this issue of masks is not mandatory by law, it is a request from the President that he wished every Zambian could wear a mask. But even that is done for the good intention of not spreading Covid-19, we should also be weary of affordability; can all our people afford masks? Because some of the people in this country work the whole day just to earn K10 and that K10 they use it to buy a bit of cooking oil, some vegetables and some mealie meal to feed their families,” Kambwili said.
“Now, if we want to force people to wear masks, give them free masks. As people are entering the buses and entering shops, there must be masks displayed to pick and wear. By the way, these masks are disposable; if buy you buy a mask today at K10 or K15, immediately after using it you throw it away, how sustainable is that? If Lusambo and his family can afford those masks, he should not think that everybody else can afford. And people have donated masks to this government, where are those masks that people have donated? Because we are supposed to see those masks at the entrance of shopping malls, markets and at the bus stations so that as people as getting on buses, they are picking the masks.”
Kambwili said it was inappropriate for Lusambo to be punishing people who weren’t wearing masks when the masks were not being distributed for free.
“If you don’t buy people masks, why beat them and harass them like that? Some struggle to find a K4 to pay for the bus from Kalingalinga then you go and stop that bus on the middle of the road and ask someone to get off the bus for not wearing a mask, when they’ve already paid for the bus? What are we are doing to our poor people? And then someone says he’s using the law from within himself and the President is quiet about it. I want the President to tell us whether he’s the one who instructed Lusambo to be harassing people without masks in public buses and beating people who are going to bars,” Kambwili said.
“If indeed the President allowed this hooliganism, Kabova (thuggery) kind of behaviour, where is the country going? Is Lusambo above the law? Tell us what he has done to President Lungu that he cannot remove him from his position for embarrassing the government because what Lusambo is doing is an embarrassment to the entire PF leadership and PF government. Surely, how can an entire minister just leave his home to go and stand in the middle of a road, start stopping vehicles and getting out people without masks from the buses? Which law is he using? We have told President Lungu, lock up the country and control this spread of Covid-19 because when you lock up the country, you invoke certain provisions of the law and when you do it through a state of emergency, it means you have suspended the Constitution, and people can do as they wish. But at the moment there is a Constitution that must be respected.”
Meanwhile, Kambwili offered NDC lawyers to all transporters and commuters who had suffered losses as a result of Lusambo’s actions.
“I am calling upon all those people who were dropped in the middle of the road and the minibus drivers who made a loss as a result of that action to come to the NDC secretariat so that we can give them lawyers to go to court because this is unacceptable. Bowman has become a law and I have never heard any minister who says ‘I am the president of this Province’, how can the President allow Bowman to be saying he’s the President of Lusaka? What a shame! I have said this before and I will say it again, people like Bowman don’t need to be in government. Those are supposed to be call boys at the stations. We don’t need this stupid uncalled for behaviour, Bowman must be caged, he’s a danger to society, and he’s an embarrassment to Zambia,” said Kabwili.