MICHAEL Sata has challenged Frederick Chiluba to be truthful over the Barotse Agreement and courageously state his position on the matter.
In an interview yesterday, Sata urged Chiluba to speak for himself and not hide through misguided cheap political mercenaries like Edward Mumbi by leaking confidential state documents piecemeal.
“That’s Chiluba’s own document, produced in line with his own desires as president of the Republic and the MMD then. It’s his government’s document, the government of the MMD he led. It’s not a PF government’s document,” he said.
He said Chiluba was told the basis of the problems surrounding the Barotse Agreement.
“If Chiluba was sincere he would have given you my honest views on this issue as opposed to what he is doing through disgruntled elements like Mumbi,” Sata said. “I have been very consistent on the Barotse Agreement because it is an agreement that can help our country attain a much higher form of democracy and unity in diversity.”
He said Chiluba knows the truth but since he was untruthful he would never say it.
“For Chiluba, everything is open to manipulation, to deceit and to lies. For once in his life let him tell the truth about what his position was on the Barotse Agreement,” Sata said. “The truth is he never wanted to hear anything about the Barotse Agreement and he thought it would die a natural death and today he is shocked and confused that his client Rupiah Banda has to deal with the Barotse Agreement. My advice to Rupiah is not to follow Chiluba on this issue but to listen to the collective wisdom of the best-intentioned people in our country.”
He said the country had a lot to learn from the way Barotseland was governed by King Lewanika and his successors.
“Nobody is calling or pushing for secession. Lewanika’s kingdom was a kingdom with 21 tribes but well united with each tribe maintaining its chiefs, language, tradition and culture. It was unity in diversity at its best. No one was discriminated against or looked down upon by Lewanika. Everyone enjoyed dignity and respect,” Sata said. “Even Lewanika’s own name came from the Mbunda language which means unifier. A king who united 21 tribes under one kingdom in harmony and tranquility. We want to see the same unity in our country, the same respect for everyone regardless of their tribe or countries of origin.”
He said Zambians wanted to see the same support for each other without regard to tribe.
“When things are wrong, they are wrong regardless of the tribe of which is involved and when things are right, they are right regardless of the tribe of which is involved,” Sata said. “I have total conviction that the Barotse Agreement is valid and should be respected and honoured. I believe this is the same spirit other people like Roger Chongwe are calling for the honouring and respect of the Barotse Agreement. This has always been my position even when I served under Chiluba and it is now the position we have taken as PF.”
THE POST NEWSPAPER