PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu must realise that 2021 is just around the corner and in Bemba we say wituka ing’wena amatako yacili mumenshi, says Gilbert Bwali Musonda.
Musonda, National Democratic Congress member of the central committee, said it was very disappointing that “we have a president who can promote tribalism in our country”.
Reacting to President Edgar Lungu’s recent remarks that out of 10 thieves, six are Bemba, Musonda said what was said about his tribe and his people was nothing short of an insult.
During an Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ)-organised gala dinner in Lusaka fortnight ago, President Lungu said he was looking at statistics that showed that out of 10 thieves, six were Bemba.
At the same event, President Lungu quoted “someone” who told him that Chinese were like cockroaches because they survived everywhere.
“I wish to note that development also calls for the support of non-Zambians residing and conducting business in the country…. This cry about Chinese won’t help us! Chinese population is about 1.3 billion. The other day I was doing statistics and I came across one damning fact that out of 10 thieves, six will be Bemba. And I said ‘why?’ But they said ‘you have forgotten? There are so many Bembas’. So, invariably, you’ll find that when you collect 10, six will be wrong ones,” President Lungu said.
On Chinese in Zambia, the President wondered how one would think of chasing them from the country when “in Europe they are there, in America they are there, in Australia they are there.”
“Someone told me they are like cockroaches…. So, let’s take a realistic approach to this and defend non-Zambians who are residing with us. Allow them to conduct business so that we work together and prosper our country. Let’s not be xenophobic, it will not help us.”
President Lungu added that the Chinese, typical of cockroaches, were resilient and able to survive in extreme temperatures.
But Musonda insisted that President Lungu must apologise or risk facing the wrath of all Bemba speaking people in 2021.
“First and foremost, it is very disappointing that we have a President who can promote tribalism in our country which holds the motto ‘One Zambia One Nation’ as it was declared by our first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda. During an Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) Organised gala dinner in Lusaka some two weeks ago, President Lungu was quoted saying ‘out of 10 thieves, six were Bembas. President Lungu also stipulated that ‘the other day I was doing statistics and I came across one damning fact that out of 10 thieves, 6 will be Bembas, and I said ‘why’ but they said you have forgotten? There are so many Bembas. So invariably, you will find that when you collect 10, six will be wrong ones Lungu claimed. It is unfortunate that such a statement was issued by the Head of State who should be in the forefront in bringing about unity in our country,” Musonda said.
Musonda further dispelled assertions that President Lungu’s remark was a traditional cousinship statement saying statistics were not a part of that traditional structure.
He added that the President, who was surrounded by Bembas in government, was implying that he works with thieves.
“However, President Lungu must apologise to the Bemba speaking people for tribal remarks and he must not forget that Bembas have largely contributed to his current status in the country. Further, he should not claim that he was playing Chimbuya with Bembas, because statistics has nothing to do with chimbuya (cousinship), we are all aware that President Lungu is surrounded by the Bembas, which clearly indicates that he is working with thieves.”
Musonda further warned all chiefs being paraded to do damage control on behalf of the President saying Bemba land was bigger than individual traditional rulers.
He urged Bembas to rise and defend themselves.
“I want to warn the chiefs who were paraded to do some damage control that Bembaland is bigger than one chief. President Lungu must take note that Bemba vote amounts to 34-35 per cent in Zambia. If President Lungu will not apologise, we will teach him a lesson in 2021. In Bemba we say ‘wanyela kuntulo’ because Bembas have largely contributed to this country just like any other tribe and in return they get insults. It’s high time Bembas have to rise and defend themselves, because we are fed up of being insulted. President Lungu must realise that 2021 is just around the corner and in Bemba we say ‘wituka ing’wena amatako yacili mumenshi’, elyo batila akakunyelele takalabwa (don’t insult the crocodile while your bums are still under the water and they say you can’t forget what has defecated on you)’. President Lungu must give a second thought to his statement. His sentiments had nothing to do with chimbuya (cousinship) but purely insults. I argue that all Bembas must rise and condemn President Lungu’s insults that out of 10 thieves, 6 are Bembas,” Musonda said.
“I take great exception to such kind of chimbuyaship and if this is the extent to which it has reached where we get insulted, I would rather not be part to such demeaning cousinship pantu takwaba icimbuya chansele, Ba Lungu balilufyanya ku mutundu wesu uwa Cibemba, bafwilefye balomba ubwelelo, bafumyepo ifilumba pantu tapali uko fikabatwala (there is no cousinship based on insults, he erred against out tribe, he should ask for forgiveness, remove pride because it will take him nowhere),” said Musonda.