FLASHBACK: NORTHWESTERNERS ARE DULL, SAYS KAMBWILI
“ I know a good number who are intelligent”
August 2009 (Times of Zambia)
A tribal remark by Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili has raised some dust and Local Government and Housing Minister Benny Tetamashimba has now asked Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata to discipline the MP for insulting the people of North-Western province during a public rally in Kitwe.
During the rally, Kambwili blamed the people of Luanshya for voting for Labour and Social Security Deputy Minister Simon Kachimba as Member of Parliament for the area, saying Mr Kachimba was dull because he was a Luvale from Northeastern province.
But Mr Sata said yesterday that according to rules of natural justice, he would allow that Mr Kambwili be heard before he could issue a comprehensive comment.
And in his letter dated May 4, 2009 addressed to Mr Sata and copied to President Banda, the chairpersons for the Lunda Lubanza, Likumbi Lyamize, Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena and Nsakwa Yaba Kaonde ceremonies, Mr Tetamashimba said that as a person from North-Western Province, he expected the PF president to discipline his member for tribal remarks.
“As a person who originates from North-Western Province and to other Luvales, Lundas and Kaondes and all other tribes there, I want to know what you as president of the PF will do to punish Mr Kambwili and if you do not do that, we shall take it that your tribe where Kambwili comes from hates the people from the North-Western Province,” Mr Tetamashimba’s letter reads.
He said that the people of North-Western Province would defend themselves against tribes that insulted them. Tetamashimba, who is MMD spokesperson, said that the people of North-Western Province would also punish the leaders of parties that tolerated such ideas by ensuring that their parties were non-existent in the province.
“As North-Western Province we believe in One Zambia One Nation,” he said.
In his letter dated May 6 2009 to Mr Tetamashimba, Mr Sata said that it was important that Mr Kambwili was accorded an opportunity to be heard.
“I am unable to comment on your allegations against Mr Kambwili. Natural justice demands that the accused be heard; I am therefore referring your letter to Mr Kambwili for comment. On receipt of his comment I will be at liberty to reply to your letter,” read Mr Sata’s letter.
But speaking in an interview, Sata said that he had in fact expected Kachimba and not Tetamashimba to complain if he felt insulted by Kambwili. He said it was wrong for people to survive on tribalism noting that if Kambwili made a mistake, then he did so as an individual and not collectively or as somebody from a particular province.
“I would have rather expected a complaint from Kachimba but the point is I do not see the reason why people should survive on tribalism,” Sata said.
And Kambwili later claimed that he did not insult the Luvale-speaking people but that he only criticised Mr Kachimba as an individual. Kamwili said he was not a tribalist as some people had branded him and indicated that the erroneous impression arose from what he termed as incorrect media report. He said while at the PF rally in Kitwe at the weekend, he said most Luvales he had met were intelligent and propagated progressive ideas unlike Mr Kachimba who was also of the same tribe.
Kambwili said that he had also said that the people in Luanshya were suffering because they voted for Mr Kachimba who was not giving correct advice on the mines.
“I said that I know a lot of Luvales who are successful and well meaning in society but that Mr Kachimba was not among them. He has continued praising the Chinese mine managers instead of questioning the slave wages they are paying Zambians,” he said.