By Mbinji Mufalo
THIS week, I reflect on the many simple poor folk, royal highnesses I have met as I traversed the country of my birth from East to South, and Barotseland. Having lost our fifth republican President Michael Chilufya Sata (a person that most that call the likes of me bitter, knew personally and in a dialectic way, I will miss him), one expected that there is silence in the moments of silence in his honour. Hate him or like him, we have to respect and honour him for ascending to the highest office in the land. It is no mean feat. It takes guts.
Unfortunately, to H.E’s memory, there is no silence somewhere. This is because, there are just too many ghosts abounding. This is not to say there are those that are not observing a moment of silence. There are.
These are soaked in heavy downpours of delusions of memories of angels in white dropping “development” like manna from heaven. We observe the moment of silence with them, as we have learned to respect the ghosts of the fiction of their happier memories. This is not the time for us to convince them, of what ghosts really are. We bow our head in respect with them, as we feel with them their pain and loss. After all, we too are human, even if they never really treated us as such.
But there are those who know no silence in the moment of silence. These see ghosts. For ghosts are realities of our sadder memories. The ghosts they see are varied, scary, meanspirited.
Some have sadder memories of an individual that many years ago, a foreign diplomat once warned us about. This eminent person from one of our nearby countries that went through a protracted struggle for respect of freedom, human dignity and equality, noted that one emerging media mogul will one day hypnotize the masses to meet his and his friends’ self-interests. We laughed. We even used the mongrel dog-eared adage of “not in Zambia”. Yet, we know and pretend not to know that in this memory, Mwanawasa used to be called by some common vegetable name. But, when this individual became the garden owner and not the gardener, Mwanawasa was cross-bred to a “prize winning vegetable”. And so the story was, for the deceased fifth president. He too was a devil in the mind of this individual, but later this canny individual sang the Psalms.
Well, today those that are not silent have come to the reality that this sadder memory is indeed a ghost that existed. But, it is no longer a ghost. Today, they call it the “cartel”. (Please, don’t ask me who or what this cartel is, as I am still in Mexico searching for it). Any way, it evokes pain, and perhaps we should not have laughed. I hear, it is a State within a State – a travesty of our democratic governance. Its opinion does not represent your interests and mine. It represents itself. Period. Oops! Seems, I found it.
Then, there are those that have sadder memories of a government that disrespected the very people that euphorically (and perhaps duped by the “cartel”) choose a particular party to rule over them. Forty two point two four, was it? Not an overwhelming majority. But, so says the Constitution. And it was!
In H.E’s most trying times, our sadder memories of the Patriotic Front government represent ghosts where this and that spokesperson, Jim and Mary, told us H.E is very fine. And anyone who publicly said he was not well, was insane, criminal, immoral, power hungry, and could be caged (well, some youths in Woodlands were indeed caged). Huh! So disrespectful, they were. Somehow, these fellows believed they voted for themselves. I wonder how they could think that.
In hindsight, clearly these fellows suffered from dementia praecox. Dementia praecox is one of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language, and withdrawal from social contact. In the moment of silence for H.E., clearly, one does not need to be a psychiatrist to diagnose them as such. We have ghosts, thereof, because we were fed a demented reality, and it is sad.
The unfortunate circumstance arising from these ghosts is that the many simple poor folk, I have met in my travels have inerasable sadder memories. They don’t want to live a demented reality ever again. The trust they had in independent media, the people they vote for seems to now have waned like when the Stone Age ended because they ran out of stones (just a fable). They have been pained, disrespected (and are still disrespected given the confusion being witnessed during H.E’s mourning period). But, fortunately the simple folks will pay their respects to H.E., though seeing ghosts in the moment of silence.
Inarguably, perhaps they should not only observe a moment of silence, for him (H.E), but for ourselves, too. We have been duped for far too long.
This, should be, a moment of silence where we should say, “never again”. Sic. We should also be careful of those that are pointing; giving directives to the exorcists to conquer the ghosts. Simply because, the ghosts we see today are their memories. They are the ghosts.
Ora pro nobis.