Editor's Comment

Kambwili evacuation offer: State did right thing


ON EVERY political stage, it is expected that players will differ in ideologies.
However, in an ideal political situation these ideological differences should not have any effect on personal relations.
Off political stage, politicians of divergent views should be able to sit down together and share a cup of tea.
It is probably in this light that Government, under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu, felt duty-bound to offer ailing Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili evacuation to South Africa for specialist treatment.
Mr Kambwili, who was in police custody when he fell ill, was taken to Care for Business (CFB) Hospital for treatment. However, Government, through the Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya, offered him a transfer to VVIP ward at the University Teaching Hospital but the family refused.
Government, in consultation with doctors at CFB, further offered to evacuate Mr Kambwili to South Africa, but this offer was rejected, too.
Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya said negotiations with Mr Kambwili’s family for his evacuation failed because of misunderstandings and Mr Kambwili’s wife is said to have been agitated.
“There was no request from Kambwili for expert treatment, it was Government that was offering him expert treatment if need be, but the family has found it not in their interest to accept this offer from Government as of now,” Ms Siliya said.
It is unfortunate that an important matter such as this one which borders on life and death can be politicised.
Whatever the case, Government should be commended for doing the right thing – that is to offer Mr Kambwili evacuation for specialist treatment.
What Government did is what anyone responsible and caring would do.
Despite the political battles Mr Kambwili has chosen to engage himself in, Government has proved that it is beyond irrational politics, which does not distinguish between ideological differences and personal hostility.
Moreover, Mr Kambwili is not the first and neither will he be the last Zambian to be offered such a privilege.
There are many that have benefitted and many will continue to do so.
Not too long ago, Government evacuated former Southern Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe to South Africa for specialist treatment, the gesture he has appreciated.
Mr Munkombwe left the PF to join UPND in 2015 at the height of political tension after the demise of President Michael Sata.
President Lungu did not consider this to be a hindrance to lending a helping hand to the ailing politician.
This is what it means to be humane. This also shows that President Lungu is cognisant of the fact that he is President for all and not only his supporters.
While we understand that Mr Kambwili is facing so many charges which could be the reason why he and his family are incensed, this should not be taken as a personal battle.
Whatever battle Mr Kambwili is facing is against the laws of the land.
Moreover, if he is innocent, he has nothing to worry about because in due course he will be vindicated.
Mr Kambwili will save himself from unnecessary pressure and heartaches if he looks at things without his political lenses.
In this case, Mr Kambwili should understand that the gesture by Government is the morally right thing to do regardless of whether he is facing charges or not, much more that he is a man of relatively high status in society.

Send Your Letters

Facebook Feed