I urge the Zambian Government to answer truthfully the issues raised by Honourable Chishimba Kambwili and drop the obvious scheme to divert attention and make him the villain. This diversion suggests a ploy by the government to avoid answering the questions raised. Such tactics usually work in political shadow boxing; but this time the ploy is not working. I appeal to all citizens to understand that this is one ‘crusade’ where partisan spectacles must be taken off. It is better for Honourable Kambwili to be exposed and shamed as a liar by factual government responses, than for any culprits to be let off scot-free. It is evasive if not unsavoury to continue using cadres to respond to Government issues while calling Kambwili a liar: for how can a question be a lie? How can a question be corrupt? How can a question be guilty of something?
Character assassination usually works and in Zambian politics it actually wins elections. Since he begun to expose publicly some questionable acts by his PF colleagues, Honourable Kambwili has been labelled a liar, corrupt, allegedly arrested in South Africa for stealing, telling true lies and so on and so forth. But his statements are neither true nor lies because they are just questions, valid questions demanding answers. It is not wrong for any citizen to ask questions or demand of our leaders in government to be transparent and justify their actions. If those in the corridors of power think that it is only Honourable Kambwili who wants the answers then they are not on planet Zambia! There are hundreds if not thousands of Zambians who want and expect answers to the issues raised. These questions evoke high emotions, are annoying and provocative yet one cannot help doubting: Is Kambwili fabricating or exaggerating? Could what he said be true? Has this really been happening?
In the immediate circumstances of the fire tender saga, it is duplicitous and evasive for those in authority to call for evidence from the public. This smacks of an abdication of presidential and fiduciary responsibility. The President must suspend his travels and study the files and reports until he fully comprehends both the security implications at home and why citizens are angry and questioning everything, even doubting what could be true. The buck stops at the President’s feet!
This is no longer a PF issue. Employing diehard party zealots and sycophants to divert attention from specific questions raised may confirm the old adage that there is no smoke without fire. If you remove Kambwili’s political banter and tantrums from his statements you will notice that there are serious issues now in the public domain deserving unequivocal responses instead of evasive attacks on him, including the following: (in US dollars) purchase of fire tenders at 42 million, purchase of five Russian jets for 36.4 million each, Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway at 1.2 million per kilometre, 360 million for KK international airport, 418 million Copperbelt C400 roads, 300 million Lusaka L400 roads, 1.7 billion Kafue Gorge Lower Power Plant, 280 million digital migration, 430 million Kariba North Bank Power Plant expansion, and some personal multi-million constructions allegedly for and by the President in Lusaka, Petauke and other places. All these debts and many more begun to accrue in less than three years of the PF in government (12 months for President Lungu). Was the PF mandate to come and kill and/or enslave Zambians with debts for sacrificing and clearing the HIPC debt?
Honourable Kambwili’s questions must be answered formally by the Government and by President Lungu; not answering him will leave the Government completely vulnerable and naked because human beings are wired to provide their own answers to unanswered questions. And when answers take long, the people’s answers become indelible and may hardly ever be erased even if the government uses an “anointed rubber or eraser”!
The ACC’s inertia is too loud to go unnoticed. I opposed the PF’s removal of the age-old principal of “innocent until proven guilty”. I was one of the few, if not the only political leader, who strongly spoke against the reintroduction of the provision that the suspect should prove his innocence. The PF did not believe in what they did but did it for votes. I still condemn and insist that the provision must be expunged from our statutes and the “innocent until proven guilty” principle be reinstated in the ACC Act. What is my point? Honourable Kambwili’s insistence that the ACC should probe the President is correct because that is now the law passed by the PF. This law is that prima facie the President must prove his innocence of how he acquired more than 21 billion Kwacha in twelve months of being Republican President. This is the law that the ACC must enforce. For example the President’s electoral declarations of assets are with the Judiciary Registry. So why ask the public to provide evidence? And which law is the ACC relying on to wait for evidence from the public? Citizens are angry, very very angry. There is a time for everything; and this is the time to answer and reveal the truth that will counter the alleged lies of Honourable Kambwili. It is contempt of the people of Zambia to prevaricate, evade, bob and weave while diverting attention from the real issues raised. Whether Honourable Kambwili is corrupt, a liar or whatever does NOT negate the questions he has asked the Government and the President to answer. Those in Government must answer the questions and provide their own evidence against him if they have any.
The President should ban his cadres from commenting on these serious government questions. I expect the Government to answer truthfully Honourable Kambwili’s allegations forthwith so that We, the People, may decide for ourselves who is or is not the liar!
ONE OF MANY CONCERNED ZAMBIANS
[2ND OCTOBER 2017]