President Edgar Lungu has said National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili is suffering because of his ‘loud mouth’.
The Head of State said this after ZNBC reporter Mark Zilingone asked him on his ‘reconciliation’ with the former information minister during an interaction with journalists on Friday.
In response, President Lungu said he had no issues with Mr Kambwili, except that his words had affected him and his family.
He said Mr Kambwili had called him a drug dealer, thief and a corrupt person, when he had no evidence tip substantiate the allegations.
President Lungu and the former PF Roan Constituency member of parliament met at the 5th memorial service for president Michael Sata where they were told to reconcile.
Fr Charles Chilinda of St Ignatius Catholic Parish later held a closed door meeting with them.
“What happened is that I went to Church to remember my late president [Michael Sata]. I didn’t know that Mr Chishimba Kambwili was in the crowd and the priest called me and we shook hands. I was lamenting at that point, I was saying, what have I done to be called for reconciliation? Because I have never differed with this gentleman. In short, I have no issues with Chishimba Kambwili, save that he has offended some people, including members of my family, by calling me a thief, a corrupt person and a drug dealer,” President Lungu said.
“To cut the long short, after the meeting the priest saw it fit to call us in his office and there I told him (Kambwili) what I have said. I said ‘you can’t reconcile with me, even if the Church wants that to be the case or the nation wants that to be the case, because I have no issues with you and it’s you who has issues with me’.”
The President further disclosed that during the closed door meeting, Kambwili complained bitterly that his businesses had been squeezed by government.
He said told the NDC leader that he was suffering because of his loud mouth.
President Lungu advised Kambwili to humble himself and publicly apologise like GBM and Lusaka mayor Miles Sampa.
“I explained further by saying that ‘your mouth is so negative that people who want to work with you fear that they will be perceived to be supporting your cause and so, some of them have been withdrawing business association and interest from you.’ It’s not to do with me because I know what it means to suffer blackout or sanctions in that manner. So, I don’t know whether you can say that was reconciliation or not. I have spoken the way things happened! After that, we left. So, whether there’s reconciliation or not, I don’t have to reconcile with everybody. But you make peace with yourself, first; find out whether what you are saying is truthful or not. If not, retract,” said President Lungu.