CHISHIMBA Kambwili has declared that it is now “punch for punch” with President Edgar Lungu until the living standards of ordinary Zambians improve.
And Kambwili says President Lungu should advise the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to probe his astounding asset portfolio from the time he assumed the presidency.
Meanwhile, Kambwili says he has done his job by awakening the government to resolve the standoff between Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and Copperbelt Energy Corporation.
Addressing journalists at his Woodlands residence in Lusaka today, the former information minister explained that pressure made people do things that they did not want to do.
“For you Mr President, be prepared for more pressure. It is [now] punch for punch until the living standards of our people improve. So, if you expect that I’m going to keep quiet because you are calling me a kapala [worthless character], you are thinking in a wrong way because what makes Chishimba Kambwili is to speak out. You went to the Copperbelt yesterday and said some of the people we worked with them in government and we know that they just use their government positions to get lucrative contracts and businesses from mining companies. [But] I want to challenge you President Edgar Lungu; tell the people of Zambia how many contracts I got from the mines when I was a minister. To the best of my knowledge, my contracts with the mining companies have been running since 1993…It is shameful that a President of the sovereign Republic of Zambia can go and stand in front of cameras and mislead the people that Chishimba Kambwili got lucrative contracts as a minister. I have never,”
“So you lied to the people of Zambia that I got lucrative contracts when I was in government and when you see a President telling lies, then know that he has either failed to govern or he is feeling the pressure. Those who know Chishimba Kambwili know that I can exert pressure and I have started exerting pressure on President Edgar Lungu so that he can wake up, pull up his socks and start working for the people of Zambia other than travelling every time. You go to tell people that this kapala is saying I’m travelling a lot but travelling is part of my job. Yes, we know it’s part of your job but it’s not mandatory. I was a Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr [Michael] Sata travelled less than five times in his one year in office as a President. He was sending Dr Guy Scott and others to go and represent him [because] it’s not mandatory for the President to continuously travel. It’s not mandatory that if there is an inauguration ceremony in Rwanda, it has to be the President to go there…”
He told President Lungu to sometimes forego certain trips, emphasising that “mulelekafye ndeke yatala yatushako (sometimes give chance to the plane to ‘rest’).”
“So, yes these international meetings may be important but you can still delegate and you don’t lose anything by delegating! Already we have been told that you are going to Swaziland and you just came back from Rwanda and South Africa. Again, you are using taxpayers’ money to go to Swaziland. But the money that you are spending on those travels can pay for University of Zambia students to write their exams. Right now, many students at the University of Zambia are struggling to raise money to pay for their exams, but why can’t you say ‘instead of me travelling to Swaziland, let’s use this money to pay for some students there’. That’s what good leaders do. But for you to boast that travelling is part of my job, you’re only exposing yourself that you are now behaving like Rupiah Banda, who is your mentor – kamwendo munjila (travelling frequently). Every time you see an aeroplane, kututuma mpaka muninemo (you shake until you jump on it) but mulelekafye ndeke yatala yatushako because the people of Zambia need that money you are spending on travels. If speaking for the people of Zambia will make me to be called uwachilufumo, kapala, so be it. Posterity will judge us!” Kambwili said.
“Tekulaendaukafye lyonse (it’s not always about travelling aimlessly); where there is opening of a school, the President goes to officially launch the school. [That’s why] you have ministers! It’s everything you are opening now, Mr President. Mwaile mukwisula market shelter ifwile ukwisula councillor nangu chairman uwapa market. [But] mwaya mukwisula ba President; ndefilwa ukumuchita understand and I feel so ashamed that I campaigned for you to leave State House and open a market shelter, to leave State House and officially launch amayanda yaba police. Where is the Minister of Home Affairs? You have ministers and let them be launching some these projects.”
He added that it was clear for everyone to discern that President Lungu went to the Copperbelt on yesterday because of his (Kambwili’s) concerns on the plight of miners, especially in Mufulira and Kitwe.
“You saw that when he arrived in Ndola, he said kuli kapala umo ulelanda landa ati ali mitemwa bashi mine (there’s some useless character who is yapping that he loves you mineworkers). We all know who he was referring to as a kapala. But I want to tell President Edgar Lungu that you are President of a great nation called Zambia and please, avoid derogatory remarks on innocent citizens. I have been a victim of insults from President Lungu and I have never answered. First, he went to the Copperbelt at [South Downs] airport in Kalulushi where he kuli umuntu uwachilufumo (someone with a big potbelly) from Luanshya…Do you know what kapala means? It’s a demeaning word to mean this useless person. [But] I’ll not insult you back President Lungu because I have respect for the office of the President and I have respect for you because you are older than me. But let us be civil in our language. I’ll not insult you but I’ll you attack on the basis on things that affect the people of Zambia. So, my request to you, Mr President, is that please every time you want to insult me, you must realise that I’m an adult with five lovely children, old children and my last born children are 18 years old,”
“I thank President Edgar Lungu, ‘the great leader’, going by the Bowman Lusambo version, for taking a trip to the Copperbelt yesterday. But I’m disappointed with some of the words that he said while on the Copperbelt. I know President Lungu very well and that’s why I’m thanking him for having gone to the Copperbelt after I spoke about it (Mopani-Copperbelt Energy Corporation impasse) because I know that if I did not speak it, the problems of Mopani would have still been with us even today. I knew that if I jab a bit into President Edgar Lungu, advising him that you cannot give instructions from Mfuwe, go there and see what is going there. He quickly rushed to the Copperbelt and intervened in the Mopani-CEC standoff. For me, I have done my job; that’s how I work [and] that’s what makes Chishimba Kambwili. When I see that some people need to be pushed to do their job, I push them to do their job.”
And Kambwili said it was dumfounding that President Lungu had continued to remain silent on issues to do with his debatable wealth accumulation.
“We have not heard you respond on corruption, Mr President. But I have seen so many buildings and when you ask, people are saying those buildings are your properties. Some of them I have proved because I have gone there and I have asked the people ‘who is the owner of this project’ and they said it is President Edgar Lungu. [But] where have you gotten the money all of a sudden? Tell the people of Zambia because when you became MP, we know how much you declared but I don’t want to go in details. In 2015, before you became you President, we know how much you declared as your total asset portfolio. But Mr President, today you have got too much money and it is an open secret. You are building all over; near Memorial Park you are building and you are also building in Chawama, Katete, State Lodge… Even if it’s money, Mr President, you can only build so much projects at once! Ni gold mine mwakwata? Mwafumya kwisa ulupiya? Tell the people of Zambia because the office of President is a public office and everything that you do must be above board,” explained Kambwili.
“Comrade Saviour [Chishimba] raised a question that there are some flats that are being built for you by Avic International and Avic International are known to be doing so many contracts for the government…If that is true, it is immoral and it is an act of corruption for them to be building houses for you. Since comrade Saviour [Chishimba] raised that question, you have not responded [but] we want to know, is it true that Avic International is building flats for you and for your daughter Tasila? If it is true, we need an explanation why this should be so, your excellency. All we want to know is where you have gotten so much money [from] when the people of Zambia are suffering! For me, Mr President, you should even stop talking about corruption because there’s so much corruption under your feet. People who work for you have become stinking rich and you know them; they drive all cars that matter. But we know that some of those people who go about boasting that ‘I don’t drive government vehicles because I have my own posh cars’, not long ago they were office orderlies at Chelstone Clinic. Do you need to work at State House for you to be rich? I can tell you that there so many people who are working at State House who have become so rich today but we want to know how they become rich. Can you, Mr President do us a favour; the way you asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to ask me to justify my property, also ask the Anti-Corruption Commission to ask you first to justify your properties that you have gotten between 2015 to date. Also ask them (ACC) to ask Kaizar [Zulu] to ask him where he has gotten the money that he has [and] ask them to ask Amos Chanda where he has gotten the property that he has, including Wayaya [restaurant]. I know that my life is at stake as I say this but I can tell you that I believe in God. For me, security number one is Jesus Christ!”