VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says PF secretary general Davies Chama must be a mad man who President Edgar Lungu should quickly cage. And Ng’andu Magande has warned that Chama’s “great insult” against Tongas will lead to a revolution in the country.
Commenting on Chama’s refusal to apologise to the people of Southern Province, whom he said should use their polygamous nature to bear many children in order to stand a chance of producing a Republican President in 100 years’ time, Mwaanga said there was no room, in the 21st century, for tribal zealots like the PF secretary general.
“The unapologetic remarks and attitude of the PF secretary general Davies Chama and the conspiracy of silence of his superiors is serious and regrettable. They appear to give him a tacit carte blanche to continue making irresponsible statements, with no censure or sanctions against him from his superiors whatsoever. His continued remarks are tantamount to arrogance of power and lack of regard for other ethnic groups in Zambia,” Mwaanga said.
“I urge President Edgar Lungu to cage and discipline this loose cannon, who is portraying signs of political insensitivity and respect for other ethnic groups and grossly undermining the national motto of One Zambia, One Nation. This is the 21st century and there is no room for tribal zealots. Chama must be a mad man!”
He said leaders were expected to help build and unite the nation.
“Leaders are supposed to help build and unite our nation and not divide or destroy what we have known and cared for as a great nation over many years,” said Mwaanga.
And Magande, a former finance minister in the Levy Mwanawasa administration and now leader of the National Movement for Progress, said Chama was not God to determine who governs Zambia in future and warned that careless statements such as those Chama was making could stir up a political revolution if not stopped.
“Right now, I am in Choma at my farm and I have been talking to people since I came here, and their mood is not very good for a country. A lot of people are very, very upset and they are saying, ‘Really, if PF under Chama and any of those who think like him don’t want the Tongas in Zambia, we can also start a revolution like other people have been talking. Already, they have had a problem of one region of Zambia which is saying ‘we are not included’, now they are excluding the Tongas,” he said.
“I am a proud kachema (herdsman). We have been proud of our tradition to feed other people. Some people were eating mwanja [cassava] before. When we started growing maize, they started eating maize. Now Chama wants to insult us? It’s not proper and we shall not accept it… Here is somebody who is in the leadership of a very important party, which is governing saying, ‘Even if you wait for next year, you will not rule because as far as we are concerned, you should only get voters from amongst yourselves because of reproducing too much.’ I mean, that’s a great insult, and the people here are very upset.”
Magande said Chama was disparaging Tongas, forgetting that they were the same people that had been keeping peace in Zambia.
“By the way, I didn’t come from a polygamous marriage, so the knowledge that this country has [benefited] from me has nothing to do with my upbringing, my birth and the marriage of my parents; it’s because God gave me my intelligence. And I thought that instead of using that intelligence just to look after the cattle at Namaila for my relatives, I would help other people so that they become rich,” he said.
“In 1958, it was the consideration that after Mbikusita-Lewanika had started the African National Congress and then [Harry Mwaanga] Nkumbula took over. The party had no money despite having a very effective secretary general in the name of Dr Kenneth Kaunda; they could not raise money to go for the discussions in London. It was the Tongas who sat in Monze and actually offered and sold their animals in order to buy tickets for ANC delegation led by KK to go and conclude the independence discussions in London.”
Magande said Chama was making the people of Southern Province feel unwanted.
“Now here is a secretary general of the PF saying these people are just kachemas; yes we are proud of what we are doing for this country. People are saying if they don’t want us to be part of Zambia, let them come out and say, ‘We don’t want you people’ and we can just rule ourselves in Southern Province,” said Magande.