ROAN PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili has said he will never apologise to home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo over corruption allegations he made against him in Parliament.
Kambwili on Tuesday sent the House into amusement as he stammered and hesitated to read his apology in a matter where Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini reprimanded him in March for making unsubstantiated allegations on the floor of the House against Kampyongo.
Speaker Matibini started by announcing that members of parliament would recall that on March 20 2018, he rendered a ruling in which he reprimanded Kambwili in absentia for breach of parliamentary privilege by making unsubstantiated allegations on the floor of the House against Kampyongo, who is also Shiwang’andu PF member of parliament.
“I informed the House that since a member who is reprimanded for breach of parliamentary privileges is required to apologise, Kambwili would render his apology on the day he returns to the House,” Speaker Matibini said.
He then ordered Kambwili to stand behind the bar of the House and further instructed the Sergeant at Arms to take the Speaker’s mace and stand behind Kambwili.
“I now order Dr C Kambwili to read his apology immediately,” Speaker Matibini ordered.
Kambwili, apparently either under duress or mere wit, started reading his apology, fidgeting once in a while.
Upon noticing that Kambwili was attempting to speak off-the-cuff, Speaker Matibini cautioned him and said: “As a matter of fact, I have a copy of your [written] apology in front of me and I would urge you to read as it is. Honourable Kambwili, do not qualify your apology. Read it as it is! There is some word you’ve missed,” Speaker Matibini advised, as the House burst into hilarity.
Kambwili then said: “Sir, but nachishupa (it’s difficult)!”
Speaker Matibini chipped in and said: “try, try, try. Honourable Kambwili, we have a lot of business to dispatch.”
Kambwili, who is also, opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) political consultant, then read his apology and said: “Having reflected on my conduct which amounts to the breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House, I wish to assure you sir and the august House that from now, I shall endeavour to ensure that the information I give on the floor of the House is in compliance with the rules and regulations.”
After that, Speaker Matibini ordered Kambwili to take his seat.
But in an interview, Kambwili vowed never to apologise to Kampyongo.
“Let me make it clear; I never apologised to Kampyongo in Parliament and I will never apologise to Kampyongo. As far as I’m concerned, the statement I made on the floor of the House is nothing but a fact and it shall forever remain a fact that Kampyongo received gratification in form of four vehicles and truck registered in his young brother’s name and I will stick by that because it is a fact. What I apologised [for] in Parliament is to refuse to disclose the source of my information because Parliament wanted me to disclose the whistleblowers to them and I refused in order to protect my whistleblowers, some of them who are still serving in government,” said Kambwili.
“So, Parliament charged me for failing to disclose my whistleblowers and I was merely protecting. But the fact still remains that Kampyongo is corrupt and I will stand by that word, whether in my grave or I’m alive.”
On March 20 this year, Speaker Matibini ordered Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo “to take the walk of shame through the main entrance door of the Assembly” after the House resolved that the Kabushi PF member of parliament be suspended for 30 days for his inappropriate conduct within the precincts of Parliament in October 2017.
The Speaker also had suspended lands minister Jean Kapata for seven days for unbefitting behaviour but the House, after an electronic voting, resolved otherwise.