Power and Politics

Kambwili to know fate October 13, as Court sets date for judgment in defamation case against ex-President Lungu


Lusaka High court judge, Lameck Mwale, has set October 13, 2023 as judgement day in a matter former Roan Member of Parliament, Chishimba Kambwili, is charged with defamation of the President.

This is in relation to his “imbwa sha bantu yaleikala fye ku Chawama” remarks.

Mwale on Monday sat at the Lusaka magistrate court to preside over the case.

In this matter, Kambwili is alleged to have between August 26 and 27, 2019 in Lusaka, with intent to bring the President’s name Edgar Lungu into hatred, ridicule or contempt, published an insulting matter by word of mouth.

Meanwhile, Chief Mupolokoso’s advisor of Shamwamba village, also a bemba idiom interpretor has told the court that the words Kambwili uttered were not defamatory or insulting.

Jackson Bwalya, 54, who is also headman said “Ishi imbwa shabantu shaku chawama”(these dogs of Chawama) is not an insult but an idiot in Bemba which means what someone is doing is inhumane.

Bwalya testified that as an interpreter of Bemba (tribe) the words Kambwili uttered does not mean an insult, it means one failed to do things they were supposed to do.

Read more: PF’s Kambwili pleads not guilty in hate speech suit, trial to commence June, 26

“Some bemba terms especially idioms sound as if you are insulting when you are not, what he said was not an insult but idiom, for example other words like abanakashi Mafi ya mpompo, which means the women are plenty, it’s not an insult. There was no disrespect in the statement, it’s just an idiom,” he said.

Chief Mupolokoso’s headman and secretary at council for chiefs at Nchenje royal establishment, Ben Kabamba, 51, also told the court that according to bemba interpretation, there was no insult or defamatory remarks against Kambwili.

“Noti ishi imbwa shabantu shaku chawama” it’s not an insult but it is a resemblance, for example if there is a funeral and someone is playing loud music, we can say imbwa yamutu because what that person is doing is inhumane and not right at that particular time but that’s not an insult unless when he said weh bwawe, means an insult,” he said.

Early this year, the court found Kambwili with a case to answer and placed him on defense to hear his side of story.

In his defense, he denied defaming the former President stating that what he said was not defamatory in nature.

Kambwili is alleged to have said: “Noti ishi imbwa shabantu yaleikala fye Ku Chawama elo yamona ste ati ntandale icalo, eko baita fye kuya. Kuti washo umutengo wabunga balelwa 150 Waya? Kumona fye abantu abika kuti wabula Kampyongo, ati Minister of Home Affairs? Kuti Chaba Chalo ? Ba Kaizer Zulu.

“Okay bane. (not these people who are like dogs who used to stay in Chawama when it saw ‘ste’ decides to move all over the world, whenever it is called, it goes. Can you leave the price of mealie meal they fight 150 you go. You can even see the people he appoints. How do you appoint Kampyongo as Minister of Home Affairs? Can it be a country? Ba Kaiser Zulu.”

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