SAMUEL Mulafulafu ‘curtailed possible dozing’ at a public discussion in Lusaka on Friday evening when he charged that Zambian politicians are thieves and crooks who have let ordinary citizens down. He made the remarks, during the plenary session at a Non-Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) – organised public discussion at Kapingila House.
The public discussion was centred on the topical national dialogue bill 2019 that would lead to the formation of the National Dialogue Forum (NDF).
Mulafulafu, a former CARITAS Zambia executive director, said the whole dialogue process was a sham and that “it should stop.”
“We are being seen as zombies, senseless people in this country. It (dialogue process) started with a good language and we all had hopes. But the stage at which we are now, we are wasting money! There are people who are starving out there with drought and so forth; let them take money there,” Mulafulafu said.
“The issue of having dialogue for political parties is nil. Politicians have let us down; they are thieves, they are crooks; they are never honest!”
There was a noise interlude, following Mulafulafu’s remarks, as some people in the audience felt he should express his opinion while self-styled politicians clamoured, seeking justification for someone to “insult” them.
The public discussion’s moderator Dr Charity Musamba’s pleas for order were swallowed by cacophony. In the meantime, Mulafulafu remained unruffled, still holding the microphone and itching to speak. Once some semblance of order returned, Mulafulafu said national dialogue should be all-encompassing.
“It should not be an aspect for [only] political parties. We have been let down all along. We are wasting time [and] we have to re-think this process; we stop it,” charged Mulafulafu, drawing ovation from many people in the audience.
In guiding the audience on how the plenary session would be, Dr Musamba asked those who were “sensitive and uncontrollable to leave the room”
“I know [that] some of you don’t even call for meetings and when we come for your meetings, we follow your rules. Colleagues, there are rules that we’ve set and if they are violated and you are making noise, how do we correct the situation?” said Dr Musamba.
“All we do is we take note. There is no need for us to start screaming when we know [that] the point has been taken…. I’m the one moderating the discussion and if you are very sensitive and uncontrollable, please leave the room. I’m not here to be arguing with politicians!”
Another member of the audience, Jack Kalala, a former State House chief policy analyst during president Levy Mwanawasa’s reign, called for seriousness when discussing national matters.
“We should be serious; we should not be emotional. This thing that we are doing about the Constitution, rushing it, we are just wasting our time,” Kalala said.
He noted that the Republican Constitution should be written by people who had no vested interests.
“So, for me, what is important is that if we have to be serious, let’s get an independent body to lead the discussion. In this case, I believe that the Church is the best institution to lead the dialogue,” said Kalala.
Other eminent personalities in the audience were ActionAid Zambia country director Nalucha Nganga-Ziba, UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka and the opposition party’s members of parliament in Brenda Tambatamba (Kasempa) and Patricia Mwashingwele (Katuba), NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale, Bishop John Mambo, Brebner Changala and Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) executive director Andrew Ntewewe, among others.