YES, I don’t respect Edgar Lungu!
By Prof. Michelo Hansungule
Two weeks ago, Kasama District PF members and officials demonstrated against me to protest what they said was my disrespect towards their president Edgar Lungu
Given, I am not a politician but an ordinary citizen merely expressing my views on the paramount issue of governance of which I am entitled as my sacred right, I find this demonstration unprecedented, childish and plainly stupid.
Some of the placards they used carried words like:
Abash careless talks
It is undemocratic to insult a sitting president
He is duly elected president with a popular vote of 1.860,877 translating to 50,35%
In red ink, they wrote Warns Prof Hansungule; Respect our president
They alleged that I insulted and even defamed their president and called on police to launch a manhunt against me and ensure I was arrested.
The cadres were led by Kasama District Secretary, Kelvin Sichizya and provincial Vice Chairperson Peter Mwansa. Kelvin Sichizya reportedly told the media that that the party cannot tolerate Prof. Hansungule’s allegedly remarks on Lungu as quoted in the Globe Newspaper publication of 12-18 February 2018
In their facebook message circulated the day prior to the protest, they made even worse spurious allegations against me including:
a) That I am Chief Advisor to UPND President and to UPND
b) That UPND is a tribal
c) That I am tribal
Obviously, I am entitled to my fundamental right to respond and will do so frankly and as honestly as possible.
First, I find this protest stupid, I mean plainly stupid and wonder if the so-called demonstrators understand anything? What were these men and women trying to achieve with their action? Could it be that they are not aware that there is a constitution in Zambia which guarantees the right to hold leaders accountable? Why are they apparent so dismally ignorant of the existence of basic rights to opinion, expression of those opinions and the corollary right to express those opinions even if in the most apprehensible way and that even this is protected by the constitution and by applicable international law?
But before I proceed, let me assist them put to rest their main concern. Yes, I do NOT respect Edgar Lungu, no I don’t. So, you are right I don’t respect him. Please I invite you to inflict the heaviest punishment on me for NOT respecting your president. Without your prompting, I am guilty of disrespecting your president as charged. I noted that on your posters, you wrote my name ‘Prof. Hansungule’ in red bold letters. Red implies blood and by using it, you are gunning for my blood. Let me tell you. I have been ready to die for what I believe from since I was a child. You don’t have to put it in bold red letters, just come and kill me. In any case, The Almighty God has blessed me to live this long, why should at this age fear death? Using red ink, you seem to be suggesting this would be the most heinous punishment you will inflict on me for disrespecting your president? Just come and execute the task.
After all, PF has shed a lot of blood of innocent young women and men all in the name of politics. The young woman Mapenzi’s blood and others will haunt you. If as I believe there is God in Heaven, I am sure you will find Mapenzi when you go to Heaven. If God will allow PF to enter Heaven, in my presence, I will return back to earth. If God will entertain PF political violence, because I cannot fight God, I will return to earth. So, do not just warn me, come and execute your warning.
By their own words, Kasama PF instructed police to launch a manhunt to arrest me. Why a manhunt, I don’t understand? I am here at the University of Pretoria in the Center for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, do you have to instruct police to launch a manhunt? The University of Pretoria is in Hatfield along Lynnwood Street, you will find me in the Faculty of Law building. You can reach me on Cell (+27) 72 450 65 49, anytime.
But I ask a basic question, is Zambia police going to operate this way? The police which I have been part of a cadre of professionals imparting knowledge on how to execute their functions and how to do so professionally will now be instructed by Kasama PF district branch to arrest me for not respecting your president? Is this not an example of what I have been writing about in questioning the way we have been governed in Zambia since your president took over power? So, police are now getting instructions from party cadres on whom to arrest and why? You have destroyed this country Kasama district PF.
Citing figures, you said it is undemocratic for me to not respect your president because according to you, he was democratically elected, who told you? The Hakainde Hichilema and Godfrey Bwalya election petition case was precisely on this point, what happened to it? In bringing this case to the Constitutional Court, the two petitioners were in fact trying to legitimise the election of your president if their grievances had been heard as by law and they had lost the case but you banned the Court from proceeding to do so. Isn’t this a classical case of a country descending to the bottom? The three so-called ‘judges’ who acted in such an unorthodox manner as to rescind their own unanimous decision just two days before in any democracy would be languishing in prison. I am sure that a day will come when these ‘crimes’ will be punished.
Because you cited figures purportedly from the Electoral Commission in demanding that I respect your president because according to you, he was democratically elected, I ask you to produce evidence to support your contention? Where are the statutorily required G 12 Forms for the Lusaka 2016 elections? Unwittingly, you have re opened the election petition the Constitutional Court illegally dismissed without hearing by citing the figures which purport to be you8r president’s results; let’s look at the whole Hichilema/Bwalya election petition case in this medium and settle it.
Your president did not win the 2016 presidential election, that’s why you so eagerly say he won it. You even give me figures which are already in public domain what point are you trying to make? These figures were questioned as provided by law and taken to court in the hope the court would hear the questions and decide on them.
Let me volunteer some information for you Kasama district branch PF on why I do not respect your president. It is fact Edgar Lungu did not win the 2016 elections because it remains undetermined by the Constitutional Court as by law provided. You know this much. The current Constitution has a clause to the effect that courts shall not use procedures to avoid substantive justice. In fact, Edgar Lungu has never won any election. He did not win the PF presidential election in Kabwe. He never did. The debacle that followed in Kabwe is common knowledge.
After Hichilema and Bwalya filed their election petition, the constitution says quite clearly that the Speaker of Parliament should act as president until determination of the petition. When this matter came up, I wrote Speaker of Parliament Patrick Matibini that he had abdicated his constitutional duty in not assuming the duties of president which are given to the office of speaker by the constitution and not by Edgar Lungu whom he was waiting to hand power to him.
Matibini responded that he was still waiting for the Hichilema/Bwalya case to be determined by the Constitutional Court hence he could not respond to my letter without incurring contempt of the court. We all know Matibini lied. There is no such case and this information is public knowledge on the website of the judiciary.
In my letter to Matibini, I explained that Edgar Lungu acted illegally in not ceding power to the former as per constitution immediately Hichilema/Bwalya filed their petition. Without mincing any words, I said this constituted treason and because Edgar was not lawfully president during that time as per constitution, he was susceptible to be prosecuted for treason. Immunity clause only applies to a sitting president in respect of acts or omissions he causes or incurs while in office. Clearly, by the constitution, the Speaker and not Edgar was in office during that time.
There are many reasons I can cite to you why I don’t respect your president, many. But I must say you on the other hand are entitled to respect him, it is your right. I on the other hand, do not respect him and in fact, as long as these facts remain, I will NEVER respect him. So, don’t bother yourselves with demonstrations against me, just kill me. This is the easiest you can do to ‘solve’ the problem. I said you can find me at the University of Pretoria. In Zambia, I come from Village Meleki or Siatumpota in Chief Mapanza. You do not have to ‘hunt’ for me. I do not come from Malawi. I am a descendant of indigenous Zambians.
On the other hand if Edgar had won his ‘elections’ genuinely, fairly and in freedom without the violence which characterised Lusaka in particular in the 2016 elections, why not, why should I not just respect him but even congratulate him. Imwe Ba Chinsali district PF, why are trying to bury the extremely high levels of violence against UPND in Lusaka during the 2016 election campaigns, why? Obviously, it is because you are privy to it. I was in Lusaka two weeks prior to the 2016 elections, and personally witnessed the unfree and unfair political atmosphere that characterised the campaigns leading to these elections. Anyone found wearing UPND political party materials was dead. And when the election came and the purported outcome was challenged by the opposition as they are entitled by law, you ban the court from entertain the petition. Is this what you call an election?
In your facebook, you accused of belonging to the opposition UPND. On your posters, you accuse me of being sympathetic to the UPND. If I do, what is your problem? Isn’t Zambia a free country not by your design but by design of the people of Zambia? You are PF, is this my problem? This is very childish to say the least. What is wrong in a democracy with being sympathetic to a political party or belonging to it, grow up Kasama district PF! Don’t be so childish. We are in a democracy where everyone is free to belong to a political party of their choice or to not belong. In case you don’t know, this is one of our basic rights in the constitution and one which I expect you to freely exercise.
On your facebook, you said I am the Chief Adviser to UPND/HH. I don’t know exactly what you wanted to achieve with this? UPND and HH have their own advisers who are appointed according to UPND constitution. This accusation intrigues me to say the least. But I must say though if indeed I am HH’s Chief Adviser, I must be an extremely bad one. For instance, HH is on record to have said he will not get Edgar Lungu arrested when he assumes power. I, on the other hand, hold a strong view that governments in Africa must fight impunity by ensuring that through applicable legal processes that like Jacob Zuma in South Africa, now, and before, their crimes are duly punished by law. So, it means HH did not take my advice? There are many things I disagree with HH yet I understand from you I am his Chief Adviser?
Lastly, you accused UPND and me of being tribal which implies that the two of us (UPND and I) are biased towards Tonga people of whom Hakainde, the president of UPND and I are. Well, UPND is entitled to respond on their behalf but I must ask you, so you have ‘Tongalised’ UPND Vice President Godfrey Bwalya? You have ‘Tongalised’ indefatigable UPND Chairperson Mrs. Nalumango? You have Tongalised UPND Chairman for Labour Freedom Fighter Percy Chanda? You have Tongalised UPND Vice Secretary Mucheleka, and many others not Tonga in UPND? The last time I checked, all these were from the north you tribally inclined good for nothing cadres. When did all the non Tongas in UPND become Tonga? Please educate me from the north?
Because you don’t know, you can foolishly make all these allegations against me simply for exercising my constitutional right to criticise your president. In fact, I am told by some of those who demonstrated or joined along that most of you did in fact not know who you were demonstrating against and why? I am told the whole thing was so stupid and childish that if I was there, I too would have joined you to demonstrate against me without your recognising I was the subject of your protest. Because of the ‘H’ Hichilema and I share as our surnames, some protesters were shouting Hichilema instead of Hansungule.
It is a laughable stupid charade.
Some of my children are Bembas. My late eldest brother married a beautiful lady from Luapula province and introduced me and my family to Bemba people. This lady gave us beautiful children who we cherish so much. I remember when her husband first brought her to our village years ago when I was doing Secondary School, we took pleasure in teaching her how to handle the plough during farming, how to go into the cattle kraal. Because she could not speak Tonga and my parents could not speak English or Bemba, I naturally became her best friend acting as her and my parent’s translator during their communications, something I very much enjoyed to do. I introduced her to the village, the nearby river munyeke and to the village in general. She learnt very fast and easily integrated into our family.
My best friend from Form One at St Edmunds Secondary School through the University right up to now as I write this response is Bemba from there in Kasama. All through this time, we have maintained this friendship. Just recently, he reminded me that though both of us were poor from poor
backgrounds, I gave him his first bell bottom pair of trousers while at University. You don’t even know when bell bottoms were fashionable wear to men. It was such a pleasant feeling to be reminded because I had completely forgotten about it. He even still remembers the colour of the trousers.
Let me tell you Kasama PF district branch, Zambia has moved very far away from where your tribally inclined sick minds are. You are stuck in history, wake up! Remember, it is settled principle that whoever points a finger at another as being tribal is because she/he is tribal.
As I conclude, I want to thank you most profusely Kasama district PF for doing what I would never achieve in my now long lifetime, for so effectively popularising my name Hansungule in Kasama. If you had not protested against me, who in Kasama and other parts of Zambia, for that matter, would know me? I waited till now to respond because I had expected and in fact hoped other PF structures in other parts of the country to also take to the street against me, unfortunately, they appear to be wiser than I thought. But thank you Kasama district PF for making ‘Hansungule’ a household name in Kasama.