LUSAKA Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says he cannot respond to complaints from Kaweche Kaunda about him in the media because those are family matters.
And Lusambo says those calling for his dismissal from his ministerial position are free to do so because Zambia is a democratic country where everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Lusambo recently mocked first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s children that they were poor now because they missed an opportunity to make money in the 27 years that their father was President of Zambia.
But the sentiments from Lusambo angered Dr Kaunda’s children who demanded a public apology from the minister.
Later, Lusambo held a “successful meeting with comrade Kaweche Kaunda” who represented the Kaunda family, apparently to “iron out issues that have arisen following my comments targeted at a specific member of the Kaunda Family”.
However, Kaweche afterwards went on Capital FM Radion where he complained about the Kabushi PF member of parliament, saying they had agreed that he would draft an apology for publication but that he went ahead and posted something different on his Facebook page after their meeting.
He said if there was an opposition which took things seriously, Lusambo would not make careless statements like saying First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s children should have enriched themselves during his 27-year rule.
“Let me tell you something; if we had an opposition that took these things seriously and took some of these things to task, he would not be making some of the statements he’s making against other people. These are things the opposition should be doing, my brother included, Tilyenji. But it’s like everybody wants to look the other way or doesn’t take seriously and that’s why Panji speaks. It’s not because he’s jealous or he wishes his father was still President, far from it! For the 27 years [our father was in power] if we wanted we would have owned the country, but that’s not us. So I don’t know why minister Lusambo decided to answer this query from my brother. But when I saw it, I brushed it off and said my brother would deal with it. But the reporter who did the story called and asked for my comment. So I did make a comment and that’s when I said we are not thieves, and it’s an insult to the family for anybody to imply that because we didn’t steal then we are stupid. So I said he needed to apologise to us a family,” explained Kaweche on Radio.
When asked to respond to Kaweche’s concerns, Lusambo, in an interview, explained that he could not discuss issues raised because those were family matters.
He claimed that the Kaunda family was just like his own and that he engaged them every day.
“No, that story I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t discuss family matters in the media. Yes, I post things on Facebook because that is my Facebook [page], but I can’t discuss family matters in the media. That issue is a family matter, I don’t even understand…how has it even become your [matter of] interest?” Lusambo asked.
And asked if he had engaged Kaweche and his family over the misunderstanding created following his Facebook post, he said he was always in touch with the Kaunda family.
“Engaging my elder brother (Kaweche)? You, that’s my family, I engage them every day,” Lusambo said.
And commenting on calls for President Edgar Lungu to relieve him of his duties, the minister said everyone was entitled to their own opinion in Zambia because it was a democratic state.
“…for those saying that I should be fired, I think that is their opinion. We are in a democratic country and we respect people’s opinions. Everyone is entitled to an opinion in this country,” said Lusambo.