POLITICAL chatterbox Chishimba Kambwili yesterday presented two Mporokoso indunas to the Lusaka Magistrates Court to give expert testimony on Bemba idioms.
This is in a case where Kambwili is charged with defamation of Edgar Lungu when he was Head of State by calling him a dog.
The witnesses who are indunas of chief Mporokoso of the Bemba speaking people clarified that Kambwili’s remarks ‘imbwa shabantu’ is not an insult but an idiom.
Testifying before Ndola High Court judge Lameck Mwale, Ben Kabamba a headman of Kabusha village said Lungu might have been likened to a dog by Kambwili because of his botched job at managing the affairs of the nation.
“Imbwa yamuntu (being referred to as a dog) doesn’t mean someone has insulted it means they are just comparing you to a dog because of something you have not done right,”Kabamba said.
“There’s a different between wembwawe and wembwa yamuntu if you address people as dogs it amounts to insulting.”
He said due to dissimilarities in language certain words have different denotations and connotations.
“For instance just like Chikala means a well in Tonga in Bemba it is an insult which refers to family jewels,” Kabamba said.
During cross examination by State advocate Charity Bauleni Kabamba said in order to liken people or a person to dogs one needs to have a reference point.
“A dog is held in high regard because it does a lot of things hence the reason we liken people to dogs unlike chickens because of their bad deeds,” said Kabamba.
Jackson Bwalya an advisor of chief Mporokoso of Chishamwambwa village farmer and Induna chief Mporokoso who re-echoed Kabamba’s sentiments said Kambwili’s utterances were not meant to offend Lungu.
He said the words are just euphemisms as they imply that Lungu failed in his duties hence the reason Kambwili admonished him.
“The words don’t mean disrespect. They imply that these people failed to do what they were supposed to do, there’s no disrespect in these words. I can say abanakashi mafi yampombo(Women are feaces of an impala) that does not mean am degrading women it means they are many,” Bwalya said.
“Just like the late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe said abasungu ni babukala bwamba ubwingila buchebuche (Kapwepwe cautioned us against the dominance of white men as they might displace us).”
He said Father Frank Bwalya won a defamation suit against him by late President Micheal Sata for referring to him as cumbu munshololwa (someone who’s adamant) when the Court established that there was no defamation.
Judge Mwale has set October 13 for judgement.
Kambwili is facing a charge of defamation of the President.
It is alleged that Kambwili between August 26 and 27,2019 with intent to bring the President’s name into hatred, ridicule or contempt published insulting matter by word of mouth in a video that circulated on social media when he alleged that a dog which used to stay in Chawama was wandering, as wherever it was invited it goes.
The former Roan Member of Parliament was quoted saying “Not ishi imbwa shabantu , yaliekala ku chawama elo yamona ste ….ati intandale icalo eko baitafye kuya kuti washa umutengo wabunga abantu balelwila K150 waya? Kumonafye nabantu abika, kuti wabula Kampyongo ati minister of home affairs, kuti caba calo? Ba Kaizer inchito ni boasting, (not these ‘dogs’, it used to reside in chawama and given an opportunity it wants to explore the world and visit every place, were an invitation is extended to it when people are scrambling for a 25Kg bag of mealie meal pegged at K150).”
“Can you leave the price of mealie meal at K150 and you leave the country? You can even see the people he appoints, how do you appoint Kampyongo as a minister of Home Affairs, can it be a country? Kaizer all he does is boasting. okay guys,” Kambwili said.
By Mwaka Ndawa
Kalemba August 15, 2023.