OPEN LETTER TO SONS AND DAUGTHERS OF ZAMBIA
Dear Sons and Daughters of the soil,
I must say from the outset that I am a founder member of the Movement for Multi- Party Democracy, MMD, in February 1991. I am therefore getting very concerned about the principles upon which the MMD was founded. The MMD did not only re-introduce plural politics in Zambia, it was also founded to foster and enhance democracy in a sustainable way in the democratic governance of the Republic of Zambia. With regard to the party I helped found, my heart bleeds when I see honourable members of parliament weakening the MMD by accepting jobs as deputy ministers simply because of the flag on the official car. All well meaning members of MMD, the former ruling party, including members of parliament should ensure that the party remains focused as it is the only one with countrywide structures. Therefore chances of being at the helm of running the affairs of state again can not be ruled out.
My biggest concern right now is that as Zambians we are being hoodwinked with the politics of hate, politics of malice and politics of jealousy. When today we talk about the lifting of the immunity of the fourth republican president Rupiah Bwezani Banda we should always look back to the damages that our Parliament and the third republican president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa did to the second republican president Frederick Titus Jacob Chiluba. Very strong allegations were made against him and the Zambian people responded positively to punish FTJ. That action alone made the second republican president FTJ suffer irreparable damage while in retirement. Up until his demise FTJ never quite recovered from the shock, tribulations and torture as a result of the allegations leveled against him. Admittedly, FTJ had a very strong will as well as a strong character that made him survive the 10 years after leaving State House. He was really tortured and he could have died earlier. Strangely all the allegations brought before Parliament and upon which the honourable members based their decision to lift FTJ’s immunity were not used in the indictment he faced.
As a trade union leader FTJ led the labour movement very well culminating in him becoming the second state president of Zambia. He almost single handedly fought the monster – the one party state at great risks to himself and his family. Alas, he was joined by many progressive Zambians resulting into the founding of the MOVEMENT FOR MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY. By now FTJ’s name should have become indelible because of this illustrious achievement, defeating the monster – the one party state. But all FTJ’s achievements and accomplishments came to naught simply as a result of hatred, malice and jealousy. These evils must not be repeated. Let them rest with FTJ’s bones in his grave and may his soul rest in eternal peace. Let no one else be subjected to these in the history of this our great Republic.
Today, a certain section of the Zambian people is vociferously demanding that Parliament lifts the immunity of the fourth president of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda.
It can be seen that the Zambian people are once again being duped into accepting that Parliament lifts RB’s immunity. We can see the trend which took place in the FTJ process being repeated. We must remember that the Zambian nation stands out clearly on the African continent as the only country which, since independence, has strived to be ruled democratically hence even when we removed the one party state government the procedure was done peacefully with the first republican president Kenneth David Kaunda bowing out gracefully. That is how we Zambians chose to rule ourselves – peacefully and democratically.
This is why in the MMD, as founder members, it was agreed that no Zambian should be president for more than two terms of five years each as chances of becoming autocratic, dictatorial and ruling the country as a chattel tend to become real when one exceeds ten years. The purpose of this open letter to all of you sons and daughters of Zambia is to remind all of us against abuse of Parliament to punish and torture former heads of the state under the guise of plunder of national resources. It is indeed a well known fact that FTJ was not indicted with all the charges approved by Parliament. A totally flimsy charge was raised against him altogether only to be acquitted. Parliamentarians indeed have a huge responsibility and each one of them being honourable, I believe reads the hansards. It is therefore my prayer that a precedent has been set under which they should demand concrete evidence. All our members of parliament, regardless of whichever party they belong to must ensure they demand solid evidence so that if the immunity of the fourth republican president is lifted it will not expose Zambia as a country which only disgraces its former heads of state. Zambia must continue to be Africa’s torch bearer in democratic governance. As a country and people we have done well in implementing changes democratically and therefore the leaders who have led us through these peaceful changes should be rewarded with a respectable, quiet retirement.
We are all Zambians, we must protect that which we have achieved and hold it dearly. Let us not delight in the destruction of our leaders. We must learn to appreciate our former leaders and remember them with respect.
Zambia is for all of us. LONG LIVE multi party politics in Zambia. LONG LIVE our DEMOCRACY in Zambia. I trust you my fellow Zambians like I did in 1991, am sure you will look after this great nation, the only country we have.
Very sincerely yours,
B. Y. Mwila
Former MP Luanshya Constituency, former Minister of Defence and Security, former Minister of Energy and Water Development , former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, former MMD National Treasurer and former MP Nchelenge Constituency.