Wednesday, March 07, 2007
By George Chellah
Wednesday March 07, 2007 [02:00]
MOSES Katumbi is my nephew whether people like it or not, Mwata Kazembe of the Lunda people of Luapula province has said. In an interview on Monday, Mwata Kazembe, who was reluctant to discuss the matter, said Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Katanga Province governor Moses Katumbi was his blood relation and nobody could change that fact.
"You know I usually don't like giving my thoughts on cases of corruption because most of those people involved are my relatives. People like Chiluba, he is my son from here. So if I talk about that some people might think I am biased that's why I don't like talking about it," Mwata Kazembe said. "But for Katumbi, Katumbi is my nephew and nobody can change that whether people like it or not, Katumbi is my blood relation. He is my nephew." When asked whether he has attempted to advise his nephew to come back and answer the corruption charges he is currently facing in Zambia, Mwata Kazembe responded: "Katumbi has been willing to come back to Zambia on condition that he should be put under house arrest and not to take him in jail... to Chimbokaila," Mwata Kazembe said. "So if the powers that be can meet those conditions, Katumbi is willing and can return to Zambia even tomorrow."
Last week in parliament, Vice-President Rupiah Banda said authorities would question Katumbi if he visits Zambia. And on complaints by losing MMD Mwansabombwe parliamentary candidate Maybin Mubanga that he (was intimidating witnesses in the Mwansabombwe petition, Mwata Kazembe denied the allegations. "I don't know what is wrong with Mubanga. I can't intimidate his witnesses and I will never do that. I understand how bitter Mubanga is for having lost an election but I will never intimidate his witnesses. I understand the law better than Mubanga himself,” Mwata Kazembe said. "In fact, I am even on record of encouraging him to go to court so that we can settle this matter once and for all. People should learn to accept defeat honourably. These people... the MPs are just passing birds, they come and go that's why our current MP is Chitonge for now. Mubanga can come and contest in 2011 if he wants." He advised Mubanga to use his money properly and not on costly activities like he was doing. He also advised him to be respectful. "Even the person he is saying that I was intimidating, Mubanga doesn't live with us here so who told him that? Let him give you the number of that same person I intimidated so that you can get exactly what happened from the person herself," Mwata Kazembe said. "This person came all the way from her place to come and provoke me at the palace. I even told her that you people are embarrassing me... in fact, I was going to cane her because she just came to provoke me. "As for Mubanga, I am the Mwata and he is my subject and let him accept that."
But Mubanga said Mwata Kazembe was threatening witnesses in his petition case, where he has asked the High Court to nullify the election of Samuel Chitonge. And Mwansabombwe PF member of parliament Samuel Chitonge advised Mubanga not to draw the Mwata in his petty politics. "Mr Mubanga has petitioned so what else does he want? Let him just wait for the courts to determine the matter. He should even have respect for the Mwata because that sort of behaviour is the highest level of insolence," Chitonge said.