Please allow me to register a few stray thoughts with regard to Rupiah Banda’s threat (or is that a promise?) to dethrone Chieftainess Nkomeshya. There is some depth to this threat which all Zambians need to be aware of. It is no idle threat or the ranting of a mad man and we must take heed.
Firstly, I am shocked that fellow chiefs particularly those of the paramount variety are keeping quiet like virgins threatened with deflowerment. Do they not realise that if the threat or promise materialises, tomorrow they will, tail-between-legs, be hounded out of their cockroach and rat-infested palaces at gun point?
Secondly, I am utterly astounded that the police and electoral commission (namely Kabonde and that woman who doesn’t need alcohol to loosen her tongue) are hiding behind their worn out desks and keeping silent as if their tongues are glued to the roof of their mouths with stolen peanut butter.
This is the principle consideration; we must all remember that before there was Zambia, long before there was Northern Rhodesia and the protectorate that preceded it there were scattered but very distinctive chiefdoms and kingdoms in the the same geographical locality cradled by the mighty Zambezi.
Zambia today exists as a very delicate mixture of the traditional and modern sovereigns. Both command power over who owns or has rights to land. Elementary forensic analysis will tell those paying enough attention that there is some corner of Chieftainess Nkomeshya’s backyard that Rupiah Banda wishes to allocate to or has promised some well-oiled foreign infestor for a pot of beans and a decent back-hand.
The two score or so period of MMD governance has been punctuated by glaring irregularities in land allocation that has passed over from the grasp of traditional rulers. In one word – greed. Land has been allocated to companies (of Chinese and other origin) and MMD sympathisers who are emotionally, materially and mentally imprisoned to fund the MMD campaign; they can not do otherwise as they are understandably protecting the miserable investments which they can not take into the next life. The money that these companies are providing the MMD behind our backs rightly belongs to the people of Zambia, high and low, chief and subject.
Please now allow me to speak directly. Listen closely as the courage to speak now may be blown away by a whirl-wind of cowardice.
With all due disrespect (which you have earned), President Rupiah Banda, have you and those in your camp become so desperate that you have forgotten your roots, that you must insult the seed from which all that we now enjoy comes from?
You are so busy bribing us with what already belongs to us, you need to stop for a few minutes and contemplate the path your are treading. Because of the sovereignty vested in Chieftainess Nkomeshya, threatening her is tantamount to threatening all her subjects at one level and threatening every other traditional ruler and their subjects at another level. It is essentially an act of war, an invitation to violence, a call to arms. Lucifer lost his place in heaven because of treading exactly the same path you are now treading; his greed for more and more ended in unrestrained and open violence against the same individual who provided the wealth he enjoyed – the Creator himself.
General Miyanda is only partially right in demanding and immediate and urgent apology – that apology must be extended to all of us at home and abroad. And ultimately to his Creator if he still believes in one. President Banda is by these remarks directly fueling and fomenting violence and the law must take it’s course in order to preserve the peace that we all value.
Failure to register an unreserved and sincere apology (which we have the right not to accept) should have the administrators of the law swiftly knocking at Bwezani Banda’s door. He has by this single threat disqualified himself for the high office of president and what remains is for those who know that their allegiance is to the people of Zambia to do the needful.
That campaign money from mining companies and parastatals has the name Zambia not Rupiah Banda on it. Those hospitals and roads, it is simply the duty of your office and you expect us to demonstrate thanks by voting you back into office? Please tell me, tell us what you did to raise the demand and price of copper and related metals on the world metal markets since you are so keen on taking credit for something that you had absolutely nothing to do with beyond the accident of being born Zambian which same accident we all share with you.
If you do not feel shame after my very strong words, the greed and subsequent violence that is in your heart will be multiplied many many times. Is this the legacy, the inheritance that you honestly wish to leave us in your twilight years? The violence that visited the late Ronald Penza was not random and those privy to the background of that assassination would do well to remember him.
My fellow Zambians, these are the few simple thoughts I have to share with you. May the God of peace be with all of us and give us the heart to forgive our elder brother and father if he arrives at that point in his thoughts.
And to General Miyanda, I must acknowledge your wisdom in advising reconciliation. Please do not give up hope even though there were more damaged votes than people who voted for you at the last election.
There is much wisdom in a united opposition and we would be all the better if this was the case.
Dr. Daniel K. Maswahu
University of Alabama in Birmingham