06/09/2020 – Deep Reflections – People may have Freedom of speech. But, Freedom after Speech, may not be guaranteed. Paraphrasing from Idia Amin Dada. A wrong chap to quote one would say, but hey, stuff happens.
From Pandemic COVID-19 to Black Lives Matters (I can’t breathe – MHSRIEP), I shifted my thoughts, attention and deep reflections to the Zambian Youths. Tukuta, B-Flow, Lusambo, Kings Malembe and the “Youth Revolution”. Several thoughts crossed my mind. Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual, a Zambian Citizen or a community – group of people to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term “freedom of expression” is sometimes used synonymously with the freedom of speech but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. Freedom of expression, yes, that elusive right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing, and other forms of communication but without deliberately causing harm to others’ character and or reputation by false or misleading statements. Freedom of the press is part of freedom of expression. So is the freedom of the Social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, messenger, Instagram, YouTube, emails and many others).
To my fellow Countrymen and women in and outside Zambia, including the energetic Youth (below the Age of 35, although in Zambia we still have Political Leaders in Charge of the Youth wings who may be slightly below 50+1), my humble appeal and advise has always been that in a multi-party political dispensation the Unity in Diversity prevails. One may have divergent views and opinions and one can differ in principle and perspective without necessarily turning to insults. A lady can say NO to any man’s advances without necessarily yelling unprintable against the dude or bally. Just like one can reject a Political Manifesto of NAREP, DC, FDD, MMD, UNIP, DNC and settle for none or for “others”. Similarly, you can differ, or have different opinions and views from certain Political Parties, Leadership and Structures including their Manifestos without necessarily insulting them. In Politics, as we may all know by now, there are no permanent enemies. Many have left, defected, insulted and went back to leak their own vomits.
As Zambians, apart from being generous and hospitable, we must continue to show civility in whatever we are doing. That traditional and cultural show of mutual respect toward one another as citizens and as members of one family is cardinal. Civil discourse is the free and respectful exchange of different ideas, views and opinion with decorum. The civil discourse may entail questioning and disputing the law, the rules, regulations, process or procedures, actions and deeds. All what we need to be alive to the fact is we must be doing so in a way that respects and affirms all persons, even while critiquing their arguments, perceptions, vision, views, aspirations, conduct and statements. It’s important, when practicing civility to realize the norms of civil discourse are the traffic laws that help to ensure we avoid as many unintended social pile ups as possible. Umwina Zambia tumumfwe. Ichilenkalipa mu Zambia etc. Civility is the machine oil that keeps the gears of society running smoothly. The uncivil person signals a disregard for the feelings and concerns of others through their tribal and hate speech and actions be it from those ruling and those being ruled.
For all we know, Karma is real. Some things do a returning boomerang. I will use the true examples and advise of Three or Four wise men from the East (umozi ku mawa – Mwanza, Zimba, Jere, Phiri and Nkosi) and why it is imperative to remain cool and collected whilst you hold different views from others in certain points in life. What and how we express it may come to haunt you a month, a year or a decade from now.
1. Antonio Mwanza – When he was FDD Deputy National Secretary and Party Spokesperson, he lodged a complaint against Inspector General of Police for failure to arrest and charge Mr. Davies Mwila for inciting PF cadres to take over the running of markets and bus stations in Kabwe. In the letter dated 31st January, 2017, Mr. Mwanza said he had reported to the Police Public Complaints Authority because he found the conduct of Mr. Kakoma Kaganja, the Police IG, improper, unprofessional and bordering on complicity as well as abetting of crime. “Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia clearly states that anyone who incites civil disobedience against (herein being the Local Authority) is guilty of a criminal offence and is liable to imprisonment. Inciting lawlessness and promoting acts of subversion of the lawful authority is a serious criminal offence that should be should be punished,” read the complaint letter in part. Mr. Mwanza bemoaned that the same police was quick to act and arrest UPND Vice President GBM who “threatened” the Republican President after he was reported by the PF deputy Spokesperson Frank Bwalya. As Fate had it, Antonio works under Davies Mwila.
2. Chris Zumani Zimba said “These are not leaders. These are not Christians. They are Charlatans, shenanigans and political hoodlums who use power to suppress, oppress and steal and loot from the very people that God has given them stewardship over. It’s an abomination” Zimba in another article stated, “ 10th February, 2018 during a PF fundraising dinner in Ndola, President Edgar Lungu made a shocking public announcement in defending the increasing corruption allegations against him, his Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, chief executives of state agencies and PF senior officials, when he noted in a Bemba proverb that “ubomba mwibala alila mwibala”. This proverb is commonly used among Bemba people to justify pilferage i.e. “he who works in the cornfield eats what is in the cornfield” just like their Ngoni tribal cousins would say “Walya kake aliye mulandu” as earlier observed. In practical terms, President Lungu did not only justify abuse of public resources in the civil service, ‘Eagle One’ simply articulated a new public policy in Zambian governance by authorizing ‘kleptocracy’- (rule by theft) under the famous auspices of “ubomba mwibala alila mwibala”. Clearly, this statement is enough ground for the Zambian law makers to initiate and advance a vote of no confidence in Lungu as President,,,justifying ‘kleptocracy’ makes him the number one political, legal and moral enemy of the Zambian people, the presidency and the supreme law of the land as he now stands very unfit and misplaced to continue being the Head of State and Government as well as Commander of the Armed Forces” One common definition of gross misconduct states that “it is an act which is so serious that it justifies dismissal without notice, or pay in lieu of notice, for a first offence. They must be acts that destroy the relationship of trust and confidence between the employer and employee, making the working relationship impossible to continue”. In “ubomba mwibala alila mwibala”, President Lungu crossed the acceptable political redline of misconduct as no sane elected leader can have the immoral courage to openly insult the poor people he/she governs by officially introducing and justifying rampart abuse of their resources in the civil service as President Lungu tried to do in Ndola. In this proverb, it is clear that ‘Eagle One’ committed gross misconduct, an impeachable offence under Zambian laws to which President Lungu should not be exempted or protected. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Kleptocracy is “a society whose leaders make themselves rich and powerful by stealing from the rest of the people they govern”. By accepting and promoting kleptocracy in “ubomba mwibala alila mwibala”. President Lungu’s open crusade to call upon civil servants and politicians countrywide to continue stealing tax payers moneys and abuse public is politically immorally, malicious and a serious abrogation of our constitutional values and principles of the public service.
Christopher Phiri – Another Easterner said “ While I laud President Edgar Chagwa Lungu for finally taking action though tard against his immediate past political advisor Kaizer Zulu who has not been short of scandals and appointing a political rookie in Chris Zumani Zimba, I take a swipe at the new appointee even with his brilliant resume and political untaintedness. A check on Chris Zimba’s Facebook page which he immediately shut down after his appointment reveals a man of standing who clearly opposed the president and his government, citing among the many things violence and high levels of corruption in it but who has apparently accepted an appointment from the same violent and corrupt regime he was antagonizing. Could it be that the Patriotic Front is not as bad as many portray it to be when they are far from the corridors of power only to laud it when they are appointed as was the case with Antonio Mwanza, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and now Chris Zimba? Mr. Phiri wondered whether Zumani was opposing the government of the day merely to oppose it and can now sit comfortably while those that followed him thinking he was a principled man remain disappointed. Youths are wondering the ulterior motive of B-Flow to have self-appointed and accessed Zumani and Lusambo at Plot1.
A lesson for Zambian political and Youth Revolution followers, never support or follow anyone simply because he/she opposes what you oppose as many have self-beneficial motives for doing so and will disappoint you when they switch sides. And sides, they do switch. They will continue switching.
Former State House Spokesman Dickson Jere now Lawyer says Mr. Zimba’s situation is a good reminder on the need to have sober analysis on social media. “Before you post anything on social media always think twice – some of these things come back to haunt you in future,” Mr. Jere said. “Rule 1 is never personalize debates. Differ with ideas in a manner that does not show disrespect to someone. Nothing wrong to harbour different opinions on matters of national interest,” he stressed. He added, “Rule number 2-always refer to Rule 1 and don’t call people names such as “corrupt” or “tribalist” or “immoral” without any iota of evidence. You may find yourself working with them in future.”
Vintu vikingya. Examples ni MBWEE. Antonio Mwanza now works under Davies Mwila. Miles Sampa works under Charles Banda. Zumani Zimba now works under King Malembe Malembe’s Dad. GBM works with “TU” PF – Tukabolala. The ones Chishimba Kambwili calls “ba Pompwe Ba munshibila nsala”. So, Bola ni panshi. Stay Safe and be blessed. God bless you all, God bless Zambia.