TIZ says President Edgar Lungu must fire Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo and his lands counterpart Jean Kapata because maintaining them will erode the public’s confidence in his Cabinet.
And TIZ has challenged Chishimba Kambwili to report all cases of corruption to relevant authorities if he is genuinely concerned about the fight against the vice.
Meanwhile, TIZ has asked Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to conclude investigations and pass a verdict on the fight that happened at Parliament on Tuesday at the earliest possible time.
On Tuesday, expelled Roan PF member of parliament reported to Speaker Matibini that Lusambo had slapped him twice, whilst Kapata poured water on him outside the House.
In a counter point of order, Kapata told Speaker Matibini that everything that had happened outside had started from somewhere.
“Is the honorable member of parliament for Roan, Mr Speaker in order to go round every radio station, whatever the point of order he has raised has where its coming from, going on all the radio stations and calling me Jean Kapata that am a thief, I have stolen through Mukula? I have been a member of parliament for this house for 15 years to build one house, ‘you are a thief’ honorable Kambwili, I don’t have time to be going to court to waste time, this is why Mr Speaker when he walk out of the house after honorable Chitotela’s answers, he started insulting us and calling us names outside and you wanted us to keep quiet and watch him?” asked Kapata.
Speaker Matibini reserved his ruling on both points of order saying investigations were required.
But in an interview with News Diggers! yesterday, TIZ president Rueben Lifuka said the incident was a reminder of the leadership deficiency which Zambians were slowly being subjected to.
“Transparency International Zambia is totally dismayed with the unfortunate physical altercation involving Hon. Bowman Lusambo, Hon Chishimba Kambwili and Hon Jean Kapata within the precinct of Parliament. This incident is not only sad but a stark reminder of the leadership deficiency that this country is slowly being subjected to. Parliament should serve as a citadel of leadership and the wellspring of laws. Parliament is the utmost governance body in the land which gathers all our elected leaders in their diversity to perform noble tasks of law making and representation of the people from all walks of life,” Lifuka said.
“Notwithstanding the decision of the Speaker on this matter, we strongly believe that President Lungu should relieve Hon Jean Kapata and Hon Lusambo of their duties for their unbecoming conduct. There is no justification whatsoever for this conduct. Hon Kapata confirmed her action on the floor of the house when she raised a point of order. President Lungu should demonstrate his desire for Cabinet Ministers to be models in their conduct and what happened at Parliament, does little to project the right image of the Cabinet that we have as a country. President Lungu could ignore this incident but he should know that this will serve to erode public confidence in his Cabinet. Discipline cannot be sacrificed for political expediency.”
And Lifuka urged Speaker Matibini to make a ruling at an earliest possible time, reminding him that his predecessor Amusaa Mwanamwambwa had suspended two members of parliament over a similar incident.
“On the enforcement of Parliamentary Standing Orders and standards, we appreciate that the Honourable Mr Speaker has indicated that he will investigate this incident before rendering a ruling. We understand this is his prerogative and we will earnestly wait for his verdict. However, we can only appeal that this matter is investigated and the verdict passed at the earliest opportunity. We are sure that Mr Speaker is fully alive to the interest that this case has generated and it will be in the best interest of all parties and the nation to bring closure to this matter. We need not remind Honourable Mr Speaker, who is an astute jurist that there is a precedent how Parliament has handled similar cases in the past and we have in the mind the 2009 incident involving Mrs Mumbi Phiri and Mrs Elizabeth Chitika Mulobeka- who were suspended from Parliament for three months,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lifuka said while TIZ appreciated the role of whistleblowers, it was not right for Kambwili to demean and insult his colleagues in the ruling party.
“In recent times, we have heard of different revelations of corruption and unsavoury dealings of serving Cabinet Ministers mainly made by Hon Chishimba Kambwili. While we welcome whistleblowers and advocate for the protection of such people we are concerned that Hon Kambwili is using this as platform to insult and demean his colleagues in the ruling party. Our advice is that Hon Kambwili, should do the honourable thing and report these cases of corruption to the relevant authorities. In this way, Hon Kambwili will be considered to be genuinely concerned about the corruption that he has witnessed or knows about. Hon Kambwili has every right to hold the executive accountable but we urge him to do so in a respectful manner,” he said.
“Of course, we are concerned that Hon Kambwili did not have the moral courage to blow the whistle on these wrong doings during the time that he served in Cabinet. We want to urge all people in the corridors of power who encounter any form of corruption, to report this to the relevant authorities. Similarly, we want to urge Hon Lusambo and Hon Kapata and any other person who has information on the allegations of corruptions against Hon Kambwili to approach the authorities at the earliest opportunity. That is a civilised way of resolving this conflict and not to resorting to physical altercations.”
He also advised all members of parliament to tone down and keep their emotions in check.
“All Honourable Members of Parliament including Ministers, should tone down and keep their emotions in check. The rough and tumble of politics can be challenging and at times stretch one’s patience. However, our leaders should have the emotional intelligence to address any challenges or misunderstandings in an amicable manner. These are leaders in our society who should ideally command the respect and obedience of each and every person. Loss of trust in Parliament will render this important governance body irrelevant and trust lost is not easily regained,” said Lifuka.