Dear Southern Province Chiefs,
Its 03:28am and am already up worrying at the supersonic speed by which our economy is falling. Worse I also worry about the continued increase in prices of all commodities in the country and the rate of the Kwacha to the Euro, Dollar and Pound. Forget the Chinese whatever it is called. And finally with the ever falling kwacha I wonder whether I will ever be able to replace my old buttered used Japanese car which has even lost it colour. Then I remember of a meeting set to take place sometime next week between chiefs from Southern Province and Mr. Edgar Lungu currently of State House. Then I decide that since I can’t reach them, let me write a few words and advise them as they go for these supposedly crucial talks (at the level of the Iran Nuclear deal).
Your Royal Highnesses, as you go to State House to meet Mr. Lungu following several weeks of complaints against remarks made by Mr. Davies Chama regarding the Tonga people on Mr. Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front’s policy of discrimination and apartheid against the people of the province as a result of their political preferences, kindly listen to my advice.
i. As you are aware Mr. Lungu is not happy with you and your people for your political choices so don’t think you are meeting a priest or pastor who means well. You are meeting a man who is bitter and cares less about you except for the votes he can get from you.
ii. I know you are for unity and mean well for all the people from the 73 tribes in Zambia but remind Mr. Lungu that his language too is annoying and should not leave others with limited options. Remind him to put his musk back on or change for the better otherwise his humble stature isn’t on any more.
iii. As a student of mediation and negotiations, you do not go to such talks without positions and demands. The most important of these demands must be that Mr. Lungu and his PF should end their policy of discrimination and apartheid against the people of the province. What has been driving the likes of Davies Chama and the divisive, bitter, tribal and harebrained Chishimba Kambwili is the PF policy of discrimination and as you leave, make sure your host denounces and ends this policy. Without ending it, Mr. Lungu’s errand boys and girls will continue advancing these divisive practices.
iiii. Around that famous table don’t feel as though you are before the throne on judgement day in heaven, remember you may be dealing with people who may be influenced by some “percentage containing liquids” and this could affect the flow of discussions but stick to your demands and positions.
v. Please remind Mr. Lungu that you and your people including their generations to come have the same rights to this land called Zambia and are free to make choices when elections come. They can vote for anyone they think is better even when such a person may not win the elections.
vi. Tell Mr. Lungu that Chishimba Kambwili’s continued attacks on the people of Southern Province with regards the January 2015 election results is the worst form of tribalism. Remind him that tribalism is not only about Southerners.
vii. As you leave the talks and hopefully you agree to end this standoff, ask for some written commitments to carry with you as you go back to the South. With the current leadership, anything is possible, they may forget soon after you leave and deny ever having agreed with you. Some people might be caroused during the meeting or talks.
As I fall asleep again I realise that maybe our focus should really be on who is causing all these problems we have and then make our people no matter where they come from to see who is really behind their suffering and emphasise on what they should do in 2016 to end this suffering. Forget Chama and Kambwili, these are a tyrant’s errand boys and will say and do anything to keep jobs and privileges that come with them. Zambia will always be one. Eyes on 2016…
Open letter to South traditional leaders
Dear Southern Province Chiefs,