ROAN PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili has appeared in the Luanshya Magistrate Court for mention.
This is in a matter where Kambwili and 11 others are charged to a count of unlawful assembly.
It is alleged that on November 25, 2018 in Luanshya, Kambwili and 11 others jointly and whilst acting together, unlawfully assembled with intent to carry out some common purpose and did conduct themselves in such a manner as to cause persons in the neighbourhood reasonably to fear that they would commit a breach of peace.
The matter is before Ndola principal resident magistrate Obister Musukwa.
Kambwili, 50, of Luanshya and 11 others denied the charge.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer Caristo Mukonka raised a preliminary issue in the matter.
He complained that the police have been stopping him and his team from meeting his clients.
Mukonka said from the time the accused were released from custody, he has not met them because whenever he wanted to do so, the police always order them to disperse.
He complained that he has been failing to meet his clients because whenever they leave court, police “give them unsolicited escort and force them to disperse.”
And magistrate Chiluba Katutwa where the accused appeared for mention in the absence of the presiding magistrate called upon the prosecution to answer to the issues raised by Mukonka.
In response, the prosecutor said he was going to talk to the Zambia Police officer in charge of Luanshya so that Mukonka could be allowed to meet his clients after court.
Magistrate Katutwa told the prosecutor not to allow the complaint resurface in his court.
The matter was adjourned to February 11, 12 and 13 for possible commencement of trial.
On November 25, 2018 over 300 AVIC International workers constructing houses for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Zambia Correctional Facility in Luanshya protested demanding better conditions of service and contracts.
“This company called AVIC is causing a lot of problems for us here. We are working with contracts and conditions that are so poor. What is the government doing to address this problem? If nothing is done, we will not go back for work. We want decent salaries for the work we are doing,” a worker complained.
“We are building government houses and we should be happy people knowing very well that government will take care of us. But what is happening is so sad; we are subjected to harsh conditions by these Chinese guys of AVIC. So today we are not working. We want someone to speak for us.”
The workers camped at Kambwili’s residence demanding that he addresses them.
In addressing the protesters, Kambwili said it was uncalled for that locals should be abused.
“You see these contracts are for the government. We are spending a lot of money, which is just going to China. If you look at the salaries of the workers, it’s sad. People are not benefiting. But you can’t blame the people. Just a few days ago the PF were celebrating in solidarity with the Chinese to abuse our people. This is a warning to the Zambian people that this is the government that you have,” he said.
Kambwili wondered why people could be accused of xenophobic attacks when one spoke against the evils of foreign investors.
“When you talk about these things, ati xenophobia; what is so xenophobic about talking for the people? Mistreating our people, we talk ati xenophobia,” he said.
Kambwili said there was no President in Zambia but a figurehead in State House. He said when a serious leadership takes over the presidency, all the “nonsense” in the country would come to an end.
“If miners are sent out, who is to sort out this issue? It’s the President. That is why I say we do not have a President in this country. We only have a figurehead in this country. This country is on autopilot. Wait until I become president; you will see leadership, tested leadership. All these Chinese, Indian nonsense will end because imbwili ni bwili,” said Kambwili.
However, police summoned Kambwili and he was later arrested, detained and charged with unlawfully assembly.