CHISHIMBA Kambwili says home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo and his team are only digging their own graves by planning to charge him with treason over his figure of speech. Meanwhile, Luanshya police have summoned Kambwili for interviews on Thursday. In an interview yesterday, Kambwili said his statement that there was no President in the country was a figurative statement meaning that the “Head of State is moribund”.
The Roan member of parliament on Monday exposed a plan by police to arrest and charge him with treason following his meeting with AVIC International workers at his home in Luanshya. Kambwili said he had received an intelligence report that President Edgar Lungu had instructed Kampyongo to have him arrested and consequently charged with treason and unlawful assembly. He told Kampyongo that it was not treasonable to address grieving workers in his constituency. When Kambwili phoned to confront the minister over the intelligence report, informing him that he was aware of his meeting with Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja and other senior officers at his office, Kampyongo threatened to deal with the Roan lawmaker for playing with ‘his’ projects.
“Ba Kampyongo mulishani?” Kambwili greeted him and he responded that he was fine, and returned the greeting.
“Mwapwisha meeting yakumpela treason? Fyonse muchitile discuss naba IG natwishiba. I am ready to be arrested for treason. Yonse ama instruction yafumine ku State House to you naba IG natwishiba, so muli mu meeting nombaline, we know about it…” Kambwili told Kampyongo who responded by asking him whom he was having the meeting with.
“With the IG and police officers planning to charge me,” Kambwili responded.
Kampyongo then told Kambwili not to be so cheap.
He told him not to be so much of a coward if he did not know what he was doing.
“No, just come and arrest me for treason, I am ready for you,” Kambwili said to which Kampyongo responded: “I will teach you a lesson, you start playing with my projects; those projects you are playing around with, you know how much important it is to our people.”
But Kambwili told Kampyong that when one spoke for the people, it was not playing with projects.
He told him that he should not allow investors working on projects for the police to ill-treat Zambians.
“You are an MP just like me. If people come to your home as a member of parliament and complain to you as member of parliament that they are being ill-treated and you address them, it’s not treason Kampyongo,” Kambwili said. “And you cannot say if you are playing with my projects, I will teach you a lesson, you can’t say that.”
Kampyongo responded: “I am telling you”.
Kambwili then told Kampyongo that he had recorded him and the minister told him to do whatever he wanted.
“I have recorded you saying that you will teach me a lesson because I am playing with your projects, thank you very much. Go ahead and tell your officers to come and arrest me,” Kambwili told Kampyongo, who told him that it was because he was being stupid and foolish.
“This foolishness of yours…you go ahead…you are so childish,” Kampyongo told Kambwili who urged him to instruct his officers, “who are in your office right now to arrest me”.
“You are so childish, you understand that? You are so childish,” said Kampyongo.
On Saturday, AVIC International workers protested over inhuman conditions of service and low wages, among other things. After addressing the workers, Kambwili said the country had an absentee President. He said with many challenges the nation was facing, it was as though the country was on autopilot. Kambwili said there was no President in Zambia and what was in State House was a figurehead. And yesterday, Kambwili said even if they killed him today, the administration would never kill the collective wisdom of Zambians, whom he said loved him so much.
“Let me say that the bible is very clear; it says he who rises by the sword will die by the sword; he who rises by a knife, will die by the knife; and he who rises by the gun will die by the gun…. Kampyongo and team are only digging their own graves. They must realise that a human being is a very special creation of God and anybody who wants to be unfair with a human being is being unfair with God,” Kambwili said.
“My job is to speak on behalf of the downtrodden, the poor people. For instance, what is wrong that I spoke on behalf of those AVIC employees in Luanshya and 24 hours afterwards they are given what they were crying for? What is wrong with that? …For that I should be charged with treason! For that I should be sent to prison to suffer for doing the right thing! Anyway, even Christ, Jesus, the Son of God, suffered for doing the right thing. For me, I can only tell Kampyongo and his President and the police to go ahead with the treason charge, posterity will judge them harshly.”
He said sometimes people expose their weaknesses when they think they are clever.
“Kampyongo phoned on TV and said there was no plan and there was nobody going to arrest Kambwili for treason. He is playing cheap politics but you and I know that the mouth piece of government is the Daily Nation and when you go to page two of the paper, there is a confirmation that this thing was premeditated, something that was planned. You know that when PF is planning to do something, they first go to their surrogates to issue a statement in that regard…for instance they went to Peter Chanda to say it’s treasonable, went to the police just to try and create a foundation on which to do what they wanted. Doesn’t Kampyongo realise that in the eyes of the Zambians he has ended up looking foolish because he was denying but look at what the Daily Nation has written,” he said.
Kambwili further said people within the government system love him so much and they tell him the schemes before they are executed.
“Whatever they plan about me, they must know that there is absolutely nothing they can plan without me knowing. I get to know long before they are finishing or when in a meeting, there are people within the system who love me so much and appreciate me so much. What they forget is PF is me and me I am PF in terms of who started PF. Most of the people that are in PF appreciate me and they love me. They must know that the ones who hate me in PF are very few,” he said. “Mainly those who hate me are the newcomers but all the people in PF, the old people and cadres love me so much. The actual PF members love me and appreciate me so much, that’s where I get the information. Even government workers appreciate me so much and would never want me to be hurt, that’s why they quickly give me the information to protect me. So who is in a vulnerable situation between them and I? They are in a vulnerable situation. When they had that meeting, I was told everything. I can tell them who was in the meeting, mentioning them and tell them who was at the ministry when they were planning this.”
Kambwili said he had intelligence information that they wanted to pick him up from Prime Television where he was scheduled to appear for an interview and take him to a small police station in Kanyama compound so that his lawyers would not locate him.
He warned Kampyongo that his time in government was slowly reaching its expiry date.
He told Kampyongo that he was getting closer to the hate that former justice minister Wynter Kabimba, in unfortunate circumstances, gathered from people countrywide.
Kambwili said Kampyongo was frantically trying to impress President Lungu by doing wrong things.
“Where will you go? Who will help you Kampyongo? Because you are caught napping, you call me foolish, stupid! Speaking for the Zambian people is foolish…your days are numbered. The boy has become too big headed, even in Parliament he wants to debate on all issues and belittle people, insult people as if he is the only person who knows how to speak in PF. Ala Lungu mulefwaya ati muchite impress saying ba Kampyongo bala landa or bachita ifi is out going. One who is not able to differentiate sense from no sense is as good as a dead person…Lungu is outgoing, so when he goes out, where are you going to go, Kampyongo?” Kambwili said.
“The country must not be run on the basis of impressing the Head of State. It must be run on the basis of impressing the people by doing what is right. You have even now started calling government projects my projects…since when did building of house in home affairs become Kampyongo’s projects? Those projects are public projects and as long as they are public projects, they must be open to criticism and scrutiny.”
Kambwili said people get agitated when he talks about Chinese projects because of the corruption involved and benefits that come with them.
“The issue of saying there is no President in this country…English we learnt but we do not understand it; it’s a figure of speech. It’s like you are watching football and you say we don’t have a midfield; that does not mean that the midfielders have been removed from that soccer match. It only says that they are not performing…. I have been in a football match where they say tatukwete [we don’t have a] frontline. That does not mean number 9, number 10 and number 8 are not there; it means that they are not performing. That’s what I meant when I said there is no President; I meant that the President is not doing his job, which he was voted for by the people…figure of speech. Kampyongo nga tawaishiba ichisungu you can come I school you,” he said. “Even where I come from when you are supposed to address 200 people and only 50 come, you say ababene abantu babili mwaleta ebo ningachita address that does not mean there are two people but there are fewer people than expected. So when I said there is no President in Zambia because he is not speaking for the poor people, not sorting out the problems of the people of Zambia, I simply meant the President is not doing his job correctly…what’s treasonable about that? Please learn to respect other peoples’ views and don’t only take people’s statements in order to find fault in them and criminalise them.”
And Kambwili said some workers at the Ministry of Home Affairs have been suspended on suspicion that they leaked information on his planned arrest.
“Very sad, he was refusing that there was no meeting yesterday (Monday) but why have you suspended people? Leave innocent people alone. Suspend even your cousin because he was there. If I tell you that it’s your cousin who told me, what are you going to do? Leave innocent people and go and suspend your cousin, who gave me the information,” said Kambwili.