(By Oliver Chisenga in Kasama)
A KASAMA resident Francis Musonda says President Edgar Lungu has seriously disgraced Bembas by branding them thieves.
“Takalabwa mwebwa, kalaba uuwakasosele (he who says it may forget but he who is disgraced will never forget),” he told The Mast in Kasama.
Musonda, a resident and descendant of Chief Makasa, said President Lungu might have forgotten his statement that out of 10 thieves, six are Bemba, but the words remain fresh to those it injured in the Bembaland.
During an Economics Association of Zambia gala dinner in Lusaka last month, President Lungu said he was looking at statistics that indicated that out of 10 thieves, six were Bemba.
“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.
But Musonda lamented that President Lungu’s statement was disgraceful to the Bembas.
He further said what the Presidency declared is policy and goes beyond jokes and cousinship.
“Ifya fuma mukanwa kakwa President ni policy, takwaba icimbuya. Ifyo kateka alanda lifunde nabantu bakakonka, President tajokinga mubantu awe…that’s why nangu mwamona pachintu bwingi elo President akukonka ati Musonda isa kuno, ndekufwaya ku State House immediately ninshi amenso ya bantu nipali iwe mpaka alanda ifyo alekufwaila, nga ni appointment filya fine, nangu ninchito balekupela. Presidency is an institution that should not joke publicly (what comes out of the President’s mouth is policy, there is no cousinship. What the President says is law and people follow, the President does not joke publicly. It is for the reason that if the President calls you out of the public saying Musonda, I want to see you at State House, all eyes will be on you until he discloses why he wants you),” Musonda said.
“Lifunde, President ta joking, so filya ba President, bakateka ba Lungu balandile ifwe nga abaku Lubemba balitusebanya, tatwachipokelela bwino iyo pantu ifyalanda kateka lifunde. Twalisebana nga aba Bemba, musebanya sana (it’s policy, the President does not joke. The President embarrassed us by what he said about us, we haven’t received this well because what a president says is law; it’s a serious embarrassment).”
Musonda further said there was no way thieves would be asked to vote for upright people and as a consequence their vote in the 2021 elections will be channelled to another candidate rather than President Lungu.
He added that it was an insult for him (President Lungu) to seek a vote from thieves.
He insisted that President Lungu should seek audience with Bemba chiefs and apologise and in turn the traditional leader would cool their subjects.
“Kaili tuli ba pupu ao kuti twa votela umuntu uuletweba ati tuliba mpupu? Elo takwaba apology nangu imo so bakateka balifisendele serious. Bafwile bachita apologise kushamfumu elo nomba ishamfumu shaeba abasha babo ati iyo ba Kateka nabachita aplogise, nomba takwaba apology nangu imo…eminsula tulelandapo ati bakana ukuchita apologise, twalisebana tuliba mpupu. Teti umuntu ulelanda ati tuliba pupu mwamupela ivoti awe…tatwakalabe, tachipwa kaili knose eko twaya bakali imwe mpupu. Ulubemba lwalitukwa kuli ba President Lungu, takalabwa mwebwa, kalaba Uuwakasosele (since we are thieves, can we vote for a person calling us thieves? And there has not been any apology, so the President was very serious over the issue. He should apologise to the chiefs who should then tell us their subjects that the President has apologised; but there is no single apology. This is the indifference we are talking about that the President has refused to apologise, we are embarrassed that we are thieves. You can’t give a person who calls you a thief your vote. The Bembas were insulted by President Lungu. He who is disgraced does not forget, the one who forgets is he who says it),” Musonda lamented.