Sikazwe punches Kambwili in parliament

By Staff Reporter

 

Presidential Affairs minister Freedom Sikazwe on Tuesday evening punched Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili over what he termed the latter’s negative debate.

After parliament adjourned, Sikazwe walked to Kambwili and attacked him, throwing punches all over his body, according to an eye witness who sought anonymity.

“The tempers rose during debates when honourable Kambwili criticized the budget. He condemned the government for excessive borrowing, and honourable Sikazwe was making commentaries in the background,” said the witness. ‘’Now at one point honourable Kambwili referred to honourable Sikazwe as a witch doctor. And this is what annoyed honourable Sikazwe. So after debates, he followed honourable Kambwili and grabbed him by the neck, then he started punching him. Myself and other people helped in separating the two. But you know honourable Kambwili he was just laughing in that whole thing.’’

And featuring on Lusaka’s Hot FM Red Hot breakfast programme this morning, Kambwili confirmed the incident.

‘’I was debating the budget under ministries. And the issue that I raised was that a government that can reduce on the expenditure for essential drugs like in next year’s budget, this year’s budget we budgeted for K1.2 billion for drugs, they have reduced it to [K] 900 million. All the money that they have reduced is going to pay debts,’’ Kambwili explained. ‘’So I was saying look these are the ripple effects of over borrowing. You are now removing money from the social sector to pay debts; this is a sign of failure. Then Sikazwe started passing running commentaries which were derogatory. So, in parliament we do use a word to stop people from making running commentaries. On a lighter note I said that Mr Speaker I would forgive honourable Sikazwe because honourable Sikazwe is supposed to be a witch doctor in some village somewhere; that was on a lighter note.’’

Kambwili explained that it was such words which annoyed Sikazwe and provoked the attack.

‘’The man got so upset that immediately after, you know I was the last speaker after the national anthem, he followed me, grabbed me by the neck. He was screaming and he was throwing punches. And you know none of those punches hit me.’’

He wondered why Sikazwe got so upset if he were not a witch doctor.

Kambwili said it was disappointing that a minister could fight in parliament.

Asked by the presenter what action he would take against Sikazwe, Kambwili responded: ‘’I can’t take any action. You see, what happened last time I reported Bowman Lusambo, he hit me and he was given 30 days suspension from parliament. You are suspended when you are getting your salary, is that a suspension? If you are suspended you must lose your earnings, that is the punishment. Now they suspended him just on paper, in the meantime he got his full salary. Ask Mumbi Phiri when she was suspended, ask Mrs Molobeka when they were suspended, they lost their salaries, they lost their earnings. This man was allowed to continue working as minister because you can only be minister if you are member of parliament.’’

Asked further why he was always a target of PF violence, Kambwili attributed that to his forthright speech.

‘’Because I speak the truth. I call a spade a spade, and not a pick for the sake of impressions. And if there were five people like me in this country this country would have changed; I’m not a coward,’’ said Kambwili.