By Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika-Reference is to The Post of Wednesday, November 18, 2009. Here are 11 facts and factors on reported meeting of Saturday, 14th and Sunday November 15, 2009 at Andrew’s Motel, Lusaka:
1. The meeting was convened, as private party conversation facility, by Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), through its National Treasurer, Mr. Suresh Desai. He stated as much in his welcome remarks to the meeting.
2. I could not have exercised the responsibility of convening the meeting, because I am not an office holder in the Party.
3. I played no officiating or leadership role in the meeting. Party office holders were available, willing and able to undertake this responsibility.
4. I was NOT among those who gave the welcoming remarks, the official opening address, chaired any plenary sessions or took up any other leadership role at the meeting.
5. No opinion or decision of the meeting needed to be made through myself, and, indeed, no opinion or decision of the meeting was made through me.
6. My family upbringing and sense of responsibilities as well as the nature of Barotse traditional governance is such that, I have never spoken or written a word that could bring the person, name, title or authority of the Head of the Barotse Naha, Muso, Mulonga and Sichaba into disputable or contentious issues. To do otherwise is taboo. I would not do it, even to save my life. Only an ill-socialised and traditionally uncultured person can do that.
7. In our traditional system, there is no human personage or authority that I honour more than the Litunga, the Litungaship and the Litunga-in-Council. These represent our parents, fore-parents and the spiritual culture and governance institutions built and sustained over 400 years. In our African tradition and culture, the King is institutionally infallible, and is to be respected as such. And, I am a proud African, who lives the creed that we do not have to accept cultural de-africanisation and commit mental suicide in order to democratise or modernise our societies.
8. During this meeting, I did not hear anybody mention, and I certainly could not have and did not mention the name, title or authority of the Litunga or any other traditional public authority or personage. In any case, there has never been, and there can never be, circumstances under which traditional authorities can be sensibly and justifiably held responsible for the strength and weakness of a political party.
9. The impression that the issues of any one person or one party or one part of the country dominated discussions at the meeting is a gross distortion of facts. In particular, the balanced truth is that among the the issues raise that related to a former Western Province Party Chairman was the most marginal and the least consequential. In any case, my expressed views on them are not what has been ascribed to me in the The Post of November 18, 2009.
10. People who fear even mention of my name or sight of my person shall continue attempting to assassinate me politically or otherwise. There have been periods, when some leaders have fallen prey to such misinformation and misjudged and, even, unjustly penalised me. But, nothing and nobody can take away the principles, upbringing and social DNA upon which my public life thrives on, even in the face of endless unjustified and false accussations.
11. On the other hand, of late, I have been fortunate that attempts to drag my name into political and social mud for purposes of alienating me from the Barotse and Zambian leadership, as well as dividing our family, have been based on inaccuracies and falsehood.
12. In decent times of a fair and just mass media and decent honest politics, this statement would not be necessary, even in self defence. In the past, I have often not respond to outrageous accusations. I had hoped that knowledge of, and respect for, our customs and traditions would prevent such falsehoods being taken seriously. But, these are, certainly, not decent times.
Mwan’a Tau, Ki Tau!
Wacila Ngumbili, Ukele mu Lipumo!