RESPONSE TO THE POST ARTICLE DATED 16TH APRIL 2013 TITLED “MIYANDA IN VERBAL EXCHANGE WITH MWANALUSHI”
[BY BRIG GEN GODFREY MIYANDA, HERITAGE PARTY]
I refer to The Post article dated Tuesday 16th April 2013 titled “MIYANDA IN VERBAL EXCHANGE WITH MWANALUSHI” on pages 1 and 4. Although the article is generally accurate it is incorrect in some respects and hence misleading.
The following assertions are not correct or have misrepresented me: ‘Brig Gen Miyanda stood at a later stage to contribute on other provisions of the same article’; ‘Miyanda accused Mwanalushi of mishandling proceedings’; ‘an emotionally charged Miyanda’; ‘Miyanda sat down after much persuasion by fellow delegates and Technical Committee member Lifuka’.
DEBATING MORE THAN ONCE: I never stood up to debate the article but to seek leave to make a counter proposal and the Chairman called on me to speak. However before I could speak Mr Desai, a Kabwe delegate, raised a point of order against debating twice and the Chairman sustained the point of order. Procedure-wise, the Chairman should have asked me what I wanted to say but he did not and hence misled himself. It is this decision that I was challenging, specifically mentioning Honourable Given Lubinda who had been allowed to debate the same article not twice but three times! When the Chairman threatened to expel me I pointed out that it was him who had breached the rules of debate.
EMOTION: You can steal my money from the treasury and even interfere with my court cases, I might not react emotionally. But if you touch my land that is a declaration of war. The background is that we were debating Article 44, a rather emotive article which if not properly interpretted would lead to disenfranchising Zambians, particularly villagers. I should have thought that those Zambians in the diaspora who have been agitating for dual citizenship should have instead been fighting for protecting their land, which God stopped making!
The specific provision reads as follows on acquisition and protection of property: “a person has the right, either individually or in association with others, to acquire and own property of any description and in any part of Zambia”. The definition of ‘person’ in the draft constitution is that ‘person means an individual, a company or an association of persons, corporate or unincorporated’. In support of this Article, Thematic Group 2 (dealing with Human Rights) made this remark as part of their justification: “Non Zambians owning land is a necessary evil”.
As earlier stated, I raised my hand to counter-propose since Thematic Group 2 had included matters essentially delegated to Thematic Group 10 (dealing with Land, Environment and Natural Resources). I took issue with Group 2 because of the foregoing definition and justification. Every genuine Zambian should be emotionally charged over the threatened loss of our God-given inheritance to share with unknown foreigners yet to come. If there are any Zambians who have no emotions over this matter (including the Post reporters) I urge them to urgently acquire those emotions and begin to shout publicly and loudly to President Sata and to some of our chiefs who have betrayed us “no, no, no, nononononooooooooooooo” every day and everywhere either alone or in groups, regardless of which political party, tribe, church or faith you subscribe to. I even urge well-meaning foreigners to join us in solidarity over this matter. What rights will still be there when your land has been taken away forever? What do you think is the Barotse dispute about? Is it about British uniforms as some naïve Zambian politicians think? Wake up and stand up for Mother Zambia!
MIYANDA PERSUADED TO SIT DOWN: No one persuaded me to sit down since no one directly engaged or approached me. I sat down after winning this part of the argument when I said ‘I can’t leave’ and waited for the Chairman to act but he did not and failed to act because he had no power to expel me in the absence of a legal framework such as was provided for by the extinct NCC Act. ZAMBIA OUR HERITAGE, HERITAGE OUR FUTURE!
[21ST APRIL 2013]