The statement attributed to Southern province Minister Elijah Muchima that Tongas are difficult to work with and change has continued annoying Tongas.
The anger was echoed Today, Sunday, on ZNBC radio 1, during a current affairs programme called “Shaabuzya takolwi bowa” (He who asks can’t be poisoned by mushrooms). It’s a popular weekly programme where two advisors sit in the studio to respond to various issues as raised by listeners.
During this programme, a listener from the Copperbelt asked the advisors whether Muchima was in order to say that Tongas are difficult and were teaching Lozis to fight government.
One of the advisors just named as Malambo said Muchima was totally wrong and should learn to be humble. He said he also read the comments and said that such comments could lead to unnecessary fighting. He said that leaders should remember that when they are appointed to government positions, they are servants of the people. He said political leaders should not try to show that the people they are sent to lead are dull. But most of his last comments could not be heard as the programme moderator played drums that drowned the voice of the advisor.
On Sunday 16 January 2011, the Post newspaper published the following story:
SOUTHERN Province deputy minister Elijah Muchima says Tongas are difficult people to work with because they have made it hard for MMD to penetrate in the province.
Addressing MMD party cadres at Kalomo Hotel on Friday, Muchima said MMD was God-given and it was shameful for the Tonga-speaking people to always belong to the opposition.
“Tongas are difficult people to change and to work with. You are the ones leaking information about our operations to the opposite. I know that some of you here are planted to fish out information but I have to tell you that MMD is God-given. Are you not ashamed every direction you have failed?” he asked, while Vice-President George Kunda nodded in agreement. “The opposition are the worst sinners in this country, they preach tribalism, UPND is for Tongas alone, PF is for Bembas while MMD is a national party,” Muchima said.
He said Tongas were a tribe that had taught bad manners to the Lozis in Western Province over the demand for the recognition of the Barotse Agreement.
“You are teaching the Lozis bad manners to create confusion in the nation, you are teaching them bad manners, but Boma ni Boma. You are the ones in the ruling party complaining, backbiting. Don’t subject yourselves to people without power because if they died, there will be no state funeral,” Muchima said.
He said the opposition was busy cheating the Tongas that one day they would rule.
“Do you think with one province you can rule this nation and produce a president? I have in my home area North Western (Province) Ludwig Sondashi.
“I have challenged him if he can have a vote and be president. If you want to produce a president, you have to be popular in six to seven provinces. We are not happy about what is happening in Western Province. So let’s support the sole candidature of President Banda and Vice-President Kunda at the convention,” Muchima said.
He said it was good to be near the corridors of power because of recognition.
“Just look at my tribes bakacokwe, bakalunda, anali muntu wamumatoileti (they were known for cleaning toilets), but now the status has changed. How good it is to belong to the corridors of power, today I’m an import in Southern Province,” said Muchima.