A FEUD between Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili and Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba has erupted over the death of Zambia’s fifth president, Michael Sata.
Mr Kabimba has complained that Mr Kambwili has accused him (Kabimba) of killing former Mr Sata but Mr Kambwili has wondered why the Rainbow Party leader had started defending himself over the death of Mr Sata when no one had ever accused him of causing the death of the former head of State.
Mr Kabimba has complained about Mr Kambwili’s Bemba idioms during the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Sunday Interview programme in which the Information and Broadcasting Minister disclosed that some people started campaigning to take over from president Sata barely two years after the Patriotic Front (PF) formed government in 2011.
Mr Kabimba has threatened to sue Mr Kambwili over his Bemba idioms and has demanded that the Chief Government spokesperson should apologise over the sayings because according to him, the Bemba proverbs were innuendoes whose meaning were that he (Kabimba) had murdered Mr Sata.
But Mr Kambwili in his response to Mr Kabimba’s letter described the accusations as unfortunate because he (Mr Kambwili) did not at any time in his Sunday Interview refer to the Rainbow Party leader as having caused Mr Sata’s death.
Mr Kambwili said he did not owe Mr Kabimba any apology because at no time did he accuse the Rainbow Party leader of killing Mr Sata.
“I regret to inform you that your accusation against me is unfortunate. I do not recall at any time during the Sunday Interview referring to you Mr Kabimba as the one who killed Mr Sata. As such, I do not owe you any apology at all. In Bemba they say: ‘Imbila yamushi tabayasukila’ and that ‘akanwa kamilandu kalaibala’ Mr Kambwili said.
But Mr Kabimba through his lawyers Mwenye & Mwitwa Advocates in his letter dated 17th September, 2015, said he felt defamed by Mr Kambwili’s Bemba idioms claiming that the words in their natural meaning meant that he (Kabimba) murdered late president Sata.
Mr Kabimba claimed that the idioms were innuendoes and were therefore highly defamatory and demanded that Mr Kambwili should cause the publication of an apology through ZNBC in words acceptable to him (Kabimba) within three days.
The Rainbow Party leader accused Mr Kambwili of having uttered the following words during the ZNBC Sunday Interview:
“Kabimba is a failure and some of these people you must be careful with them. In Bemba they say ubushiku umukote alubile ichimbwi chanya imfwi, people will say, uwulile umukote chimbwi. (the day an old man disappears from the village and a hyena defecates grey hair, people will say it is the hyena that ate the vanished man). Some people were in PF, they were secretary generals.
Immediately we went into Government, they started campaigning to be president as if there was a vacancy, when we had a president Mr Sata. Two years down the line, Mr Sata dies, te chimbwi chanya imfwi ichi.) (Isn’t this the hyena that has defecated grey hair?). Today they want to champion Mr Sata, he is turning in his grave,”
Mr Kabimba said he was senior lawyer of over 40 years standing with unblemished record at the bar and that he was a State Counsel and a member of the Zambian inner bar.
He said the allegations against him were malicious and meant to damage his reputation not only as a politician but also as a senior member of the Zambian bar.
“Kindly avail us proposals as to how you wish to compensate our client within the next three days failure to which our client will have no option but to sue for defamation,” Mr Kabimba’s lawyers said.