NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili says it is mischief of the worst kind for Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to use the National Assembly to launder himself.
And Kambwili says if Speaker Matibini can disrespect the Judiciary, no one can be expected to hold judges in high esteem.
Meanwhile, Kambwili says it is an abuse of office and State resources for police to be arresting protesters, who notify them as prescribed by law, before holding such a procession.
In an interview, Wednesday, Kambwili said in fact, Speaker Matibini owed him an apology for using his case to launder himself.
“The Constitutional Court is the uppermost Court in as far as constitutional issues are concerned. So, they ruled. If he wants, let him appeal, if at all there is any appeal ladder other than using Parliament, to launder himself! What he said as far as I am concerned is misbehaving of the worst kind!” Kambwili said.
“And I don’t expect such kind of misbehaviour from a person who was once a judge. So, he owes me an apology. The Speaker owes me an apology to start using my case when he knows we have written to them that we are taking the matter to court and he starts commenting to try and launder himself, trying to influence the courts before the matter is actually heard in courts.”
He wondered who would respect the courts if Speaker Matibini did not.
“The point of order by Gary Nkombo was very straightforward and specific and I quote: ‘was it in order for Parliament to continue debating the Constitution when there was a matter relating to the Constitution in court?’ Where does Chishimba Kambwili come in there? It shows that he has been guilty. In Bemba, they say, ‘akanwa kamilandu kalaibala.’ He is just guilty of what he has done. Posterity will judge him very harshly and he will pay for that. I will make sure he pays for that,” he said.
“The guilty are always afraid. I was not the subject of the point of order by Nkombo. Why does he want to launder himself? People have said that we should not comment on judgements made by the courts. Some people were even sent to prison, like (Derrick) Sinjela. If the Speaker had a problem with what the courts ruled, why didn’t he engage them quietly? If the Speaker can behave like that, how about ordinary citizens? Let him wait, I am suing for my benefits and let him wait on how the courts will rule. He should not use me to launder himself! The man erred and he should just accept that he made a mistake.”
And Kambwili, the former Roan PF member of parliament, said there was no need for police to contemplate arresting youths who held a protest in the bush on Monday because they adhered to Public Order Act requirements.
“I think my sister [Esther] Katongo is drunk with unknown powers, swimming in wrong waters and abrogating the Constitution with impunity! The Public Order Act is crystal clear that police are not supposed to give permits. They are not defined by law to give permits for the public. They are only supposed to receive a notification. Those youths notified the police and gave their seven-day notice. What offense are they going to charge them with?” Kambwili wondered.
He advised the police against repeating the mistake they made when they wrongly arrested Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti and musician Pilato, a move, which the courts later quashed.
“The same police arrested Laura Miti and Pilato and the Court ruled here that they (Laura and Pilato) fulfilled the requirement of the law. Again, the police want to repeat the same mistake. This is abuse of police and abuse of State resources because when they arrest those people and bring them to court, there are government resources being spent on a matter that they know that is not a criminal offense. There is no reason to even contemplate or even investigate because even investigation is a cost. This wasting of time must come to an end. Can the police behave? There is no need to arrest these youths because they have not committed any offense. Whether they were on the streets, at Manda Hill or in the bush, they have not committed any offense. And I want to remind the police that they have got no power under the Public Order Act to issue permits. That should go in their heads,” said Kambwili.
“Let the IG (Kakoma Kanganja), if he is a reasonable and professional man, tell his men to stop investigating those youths. All he needs to do is work on the issues they have raised. Learn from what has happened in Malawi. The opposition leader is leading by 80 per cent because intimidating people and being tyrants and being undemocratic. These people in government are just making it difficult for themselves in 2021. Wina azalila in 2021! Political power is temporal.”
On Tuesday, Speaker Matibini said he disagrees with the ConCourt’s ruling that he overstepped his mandate to interpret both the law and the Constitution.
Dr Matibini said instead of confining itself to the specific complaint before it when he declared the Roan seat vacant, the ConCourt went outside the rennet of the complaint and commented on a matter that had not even been canvassed by the parties.
Dr Matibini said this when he rendered part of his ruling on a point of order raised by Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo on why parliament wanted to continue debating on the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 when there was an active matter before the court.