By Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda
It is alarming that reports continue to expose a serious stand-off between the Bemba Royal Establishment and the PF Government, more accurately President Sata, the Commander-in- Chief who waging an undeclared war. The PF is a cantankerous regime, always creating and/or looking for fights where there are none!
In 2009 I wrote to the Law Association of Zambia and suggested some options for possible reforms in traditional affairs; the letter was never responded to. Now things are happening fast. It is NOT too late to do something about it. We thus call on all citizens, and especially LAZ and other BREs to challenge the President, particularly the Ministry of Justice, to publicly state which laws give the President power to interfere in traditional affairs in the manner he has done with regard to former Senior Chief Mwamba and now Paramount Chief Chitimukulu. We are convinced that there is no such law and repeat our declaration that the President does NOT have the powers he claims to have over chiefs or traditional leaders. This power is reposed, NOT in the President, but in the communities themselves through their systems of selection and succession.
The President has been ominously graduating from one degree to the next: threats against Members of Parliament, then ranting against some Church leaders to go to night school, and also Chiefs Nzamane, Madzimawe, Mwamba and Jumbe.
When the President issued threats in the House of Chiefs earlier this year we advised Zambians not to take that lightly. We challenged all chiefs to speak out against this intimidation. No chief came out in defence and support of their colleagues under presidential siege. We warned that this will become a practice and this is happening. It is not too late to stop the President in his tracks before he turns “Chiefs abuse” into a new pastime and culture in Zambia.
These threats will continue until all the chiefdoms have capitulated and have become the red carpet for the President to dance on at ill. This is the biblical Writing on the Wall that we previously wrote about.
In this regard the Ministry of Justice has become moribund because they are idly standing by, letting the President breach his serious oath of defending and protecting the Constitution. Instead of advising him to respect the Rule of Law they are watching as he creates instability and precipitates a potentially dangerous security situation. The President must lead by example by displaying good discipline, decorum and etiquette. There is no constitutional or legal ground justifying this act of besieging the Bemba chiefdom as though an enemy force has landed from Mars!
This behaviour of the PF regime is part of their selfish long range strategy to prepare for general elections. They do not care what happens to Zambia when they are no longer in office as long as they get votes at any cost.
We urge other Royal Establishments and all citizens to condemn the PF regime’s act and to speak with one voice against this Gun Boat diplomacy by the Commander-In-Chief. The nation must nip in the bud this style of leadership and governance that is based on intimidation and despising the Rule of Law, taking advantage of citizens’ ignorance.
Last but not least we applaud Bashi Lubemba for NOT capitulating or being cowed by intimidation from a mere subject who is now President. By becoming president he has become, NOT God, but Chief Servant. A servant serves and does not bully his employer. They must stand firm because they stand on firm royal ground.
It is courageous for them to stand up to their intransigent employee and we urge them to remain steadfast, for surrendering will be a betrayal and disloyal act not only to Bemba-speaking people, but to all citizens and other Royal Establishments in Zambia. UMUNWE UMO TAUSALANDA!
[1ST DECEMBER 2013]