CHISHIMBA Kambwili has unreservedly apologised to President Edgar Lungu and Lusaka businessman Valden Findlay for calling them drug dealers.
But Findlay says Kambwili’s apology has come as a shock, and he will first have to consult his family before accepting the apology.
Findlay added that Kambwili has learnt a lesson after being taken to court.
At a press briefing, Thursday, Kambwili said he should have cared enough to verify the information which was given to him by some people before making media statements.
“Let me start by saying I am a Christian like many of the Zambians who believe in truthful reconciliation and forgiveness. During my self imposed political hibernation, I have reflected on a number of issues that I thought I should address today. Among them, I could have stepped on many people’s toes unknowingly and injured them. I unreservedly apologise to you all. I also wish to specifically single out one press briefing I held where I questioned the association of our Head of State His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Mr Valden Findlay. As many of you maybe aware, our offices as politicians are viewed as voices of the people and a lot of information verified and unverified is passed on to us. In about August/September 2019, my office was bombarded with unsolicited complaints and at that time, I thought it was only right that I bring this information to the public,” Kambwili said.
“I have however realised that I should have cared enough to engage the people involved or even to take time to verify the wrong information that came to my attention in the line of my political duty as an opposition leader. Having said this, I want to unreservedly apologise to the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu for the misunderstanding that he is a drug dealer as insinuated by some sections of the media then. I shall also be quick to mention that at no time did I verify the information I was given regrading Mr Valden Findlay who I also unreservedly apologise.”
He said he was human and prone to error.
“I am however reminded by a Zambian singer Ephraim’s song ndimuntu fye, limo limo ndanaka (I am just human, I get tired) and that to err is human but to forgive is divine. I unreservedly apologise to you your Excellency the president and to you my brother Valden Findlay for the statement issued then. I tender this apology with out any prejudice or malice. In October 2020, I tendered an apology to the Head of State and I think that it is my duty want to once more clear this matter which in my view has created a lot of tension among us the involved persons. It is only right that we flip a new page as a sign of brotherly love and genuine reconciliation,” he said.
“Let me tender my apology to the immediate families of His Excellency the President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Mr Valden Findlay who could have been directly or indirectly affected by my statement. Ordinarily, I should have quietly approached the aggrieved persons privately but because the matter has been in public domain, I thought that it is only right that I use the same medium I used then to share this information. My prayer is that His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Mr Valden Findlay find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
Meanwhile, Kambwili said the members of the NDC would be informed on the political direction of the party.
“Let me inform the general membership of NDC and the nation at large that at an appropriate time they will be told the next NDC political direction after the failed alliance. In the Meantime, the disciplinary committee handling the cases for the suspended officials will be sitting tomorrow to decide their fate,” said Kambwili, who did not take any questions from journalists.
And in an interview, Findlay said he would consult his family before deciding on whether or not to forgive Kambwili.
“Let me first talk to my family on that but at least I have been vindicated. People don’t usually take people to court, so by me taking him to court to prove my innocence has helped. I hope now he has seen how to treat other people and accusing them because it damages people’s reputations and names. It is very unfair. But at least I have been vindicated. I have to think about it, it has come as a shock. He was put on his defense and obviously there were no witnesses but anyway at least I have been cleared now. Let me just speak to my family,” said Findlay.