CHISHIMBA Kambwili says he has received information from State House and the Anti-Corruption Commission that President Edgar Lungu has ordered his arrest next week on corruption charges. Kambwili warned yesterday that President Lungu and his lieutenants would be bruised because he knew more.
“I am extremely disappointed with the behaviour of President Edgar Lungu. I want to tell him that I will never be intimidated. I will never be intimidated. If it means speaking for the poor people that are suffering every day, I will continue speaking for the poor. Let me tell him, whatever plans they have on me, I have people inside [State House] who are able to tell us what they are planning,” Kambwili claims.
“He [President Lungu] has instructed the ACC to arrest me whether there is a case or not; they are saying let the court go and decide so that they can intimidate me to stop talking about corruption, so that when I talk about corruption, they say ‘he is the one who is appearing in court’. They are coming to arrest me on Wednesday next week and deny me bail, deny me a police bond, delay to take the matter to court so that I can remain in incarceration for a long time and then they intimidate me on talking about corruption.”
The former information minister and current Roan member of parliament told President Lungu that prisons and detention centres were made for human beings. He said his impending arrest would not deter him from the crusade he had started against the corruption in President Lungu’s government.
“It ‘s very disturbing, even worrying; Lungu fired me one year ago, accusing me of corruption. All this time they have never found anything against me. Are you not shocked that today, because I have started talking about their corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission have not spoken to me but somebody has reliably informed me from ACC and from State House, that Lungu has instructed the ACC! Because what has been happening is that they’ve been pushing the ACC to take me to court but the Director of Public Prosecutions and ACC have stood their ground and said they have not found any prima facie case or any basis [to arrest me] on the allegations that were leveled against me,”
“But now Lungu has issued a very strong instruction, even threatening people that they will be fired if this instruction is not taken and the whole idea is to intimidate me. And they want to be using that against me, that when I talk about corruption, they say ‘he is the one who is appearing in court, it’s sour grapes’. Now let me tell Lungu, I am very clean, I am not a thief or a corrupt person like him. I am not a corrupt person, not a thief sorry.”
He said he would be vindicated regardless of whatever was planned against him. Kambwili said intimidating political opponents were 1950 politics.
He claimed that nearly every Zambian knew that he was not corrupt but just worked hard.
“Anybody can go to the mining companies where I make money, people can see the properties that I have and I can easily account for those properties and I have accounted for those properties before the ACC,” Kambwili said.
“Can you imagine if I had a case to answer, the way he [President Lungu] hates me, could I been left free all this one year? But now they want to intimidate me. I want to tell him; let him dare, I will even be a more wounded buffalo and more will come out. I am ready but don’t treat me unfairly. If they want to prove in court, whether I am corrupt or not, I am ready to go to court but this nonsense of saying ‘don’t give him police bond, make sure he doesn’t get bail’ is a lot of nonsense.”
He said if the matters the authorities wanted to slap on him were bailable, he should be bailed and/or bonded. Kambwili wondered why President Lungu would instruct the ACC to keep him in detention for almost a week, “from Wednesday up to Monday, when they want to take me to court”.
“That will not deter me from revealing irregularities, corruption that is in their government. In fact, I know more and I have got a lot of details. So if you think you are going to intimidate me with your arrest that I have been reliably informed is on Wednesday next week, I will wait for the ACC to call me,” he said.
“But I feel so sad that they [ACC] want to be used on a matter there is no evidence at all. They have told State House several times that there is no case but this time they have been threatened that ‘go ahead and arrest’. So they are waiting for their boss who is in South Africa to come and effect the arrest on Wednesday. Now let me tell President Lungu and his [home affairs minister Stephen] Kampyongo that he who laughs last laughs loudest.”
Meanwhile, Kambwili wondered why President waited to travel to the United State to answer questions about corruption in his government.
“He has just said all those charged with the responsibility can take an interest. No! Where instructions are given, you remember when he was firing me, he castigated the Anti-Corruption, that ‘I am hearing what is being said, what is the Anti-Corruption doing?’ He wanted me arrested. But on these allegations, he says ‘those who are responsible may take interest, those investigative officers may take interest!’ This is unfair. So I am ready. It is even better to take me to court so that once the court rules then I will be vindicated for life,” he said.
Kambwili expressed worry that it had to take State House to order his arrest against the will and wish of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
“…and they also say ‘don’t give him police bond, and also make sure that he doesn’t get bail!’ Come on! Come on, Mr Lungu, you can do better than that. In the same way he is instructing the Anti-Corruption Commission, let him instruct the Anti-Corruption to investigate Kaizar Zulu’s source of money to buy all the properties he has,” he said.
“And we are reliably informed that some of these people have got even close to US$20 million in their houses because they are being given cash dollars from these deals. They can’t even take them to the bank because they are scared that they will be asked to account for it. If police went to their houses today, they will find cash dollars in their houses. So you leave all those thieves, you want to arrest hard working Kambwili!”
He said he was above such intimidation.
“I am ready for it. But they will be bruised to the nail because they know what they have done. The amount of theft, the amount of corruption, which is happening today, cimo nokweba ati abantu balipwa umwenso [is similar to saying people are no longer scared],” Kambwili said.
“Nomba Icibemba citila, lekeni icisongo cilyelanda citumpe elo kabili umulume wambwa tafwa kukulu. He [President Lungu] cannot intimidate me. All they need to do is to stop stealing, stop the corruption.”
He went further to challenge President Lungu to tell the nation what business he was doing to raise his asset portfolio from K2.5 million to K23 million in one year.
“Those are the issues, what kind of business was he doing? Not for him to be answering off the cuff ‘I am not corrupt’; tell us, how did you make the K23 million within one year? How has he acquired all these properties? I have suffered to have the properties I have. I have been doing business since 1993, but he is building like he runs a gold mine. Within two, three months a building is completed. Ala insoni ebuntu. When you are corrupt, don’t accuse others of corruption. Me I am not corrupt and I am not ashamed of pointing at corruption because I am not corrupt but you, within one year of being President, you raise your asset portfolio from K2.5 million to K23 million and you spend another money from your pocket K10 million for market empowerment,”
He said even if one summed up President Lungu’s allowances and salary, they would not come to K2 million.
“So I am ready for your officers from ACC next week but what is wrong is for instructions to come from State House. For me, I have said they can bring a mile of cases against me but I will be vindicated but for them, only one case, they will go in (jail),” said Kambwili.