(By Edwin Mbulo in Mbeza, Namwala)
ZAMBIANS are suffering and the PF is not listening, says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema. And a Seventh Day Adventist Church’s Southern Zambia Union Conference leader Dr Vanny Munyumbwe says Zambians don’t want a politician who can rule by tyranny, hook and crook. Meanwhile, mourners on Wednesday murmured in disapproval of Southern Province minister Edify Hamukale for advising them not to sell the relief food yet to be distributed to all districts by the PF government.
In his tribute to late senior chief Bright Nalubamba who was born on December 20, 1941, Hichilema who was introduced as a family representative, said the funeral was a celebration of the traditional leader’s illustrious life.
“Chief Nalubamba understood that the country is more divided than ever before…I talked to him a day before he passed on and it’s like he knew that he was dying. Let us respect his vision for development,” he said. “This is a cattle belt for the province and the entire country and God gave us a talent of cattle rearing. To my friend Hamukale, I want to tell you that the UPND is a national party, not for Southern Province only, so we respect you and your party. Stay with your party the PF.”
Hichilema said Nalubamba was a direct man, who did not want to go round issues.
“People are suffering and yet no one in the PF is listening. Let’s talk to each other freely and honestly,” he urged.
Hichilema advised the Nalubamba family members to avoid courts in the process of selecting a successor adding that the Ila people were decent with full respect of traditions.
Hichilema donated cattle and 50 bags of maize to the family.
Namwala member of parliament Moono Lubezhi, in an apparent reference to Hamukale, who in his acknowledgment for Hichilema referred to him as a leader of the UPND of Southern Province, said the people of the province were cultured and knew what to say during times of bereavements.
She referred to Nalubamba as a true statesman who served the people of Namwala with distinction.
And Dr Munyumbwe in his eulogy for Nalubamba acknowledged Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’meembe’s description of the void left by the traditional leader.
“With the departure of Bright Nalubamba, what is there for us? What does the future hold for us? We look for a country where a Zambian can go to court and get a free trial,” Dr Munyumbwe said.
He added that God had not allowed tears in the Nalubamba family to break them apart, but to wash their hands clean.
Dr Munyumbwe said Nalubamba loved his subjects.
“It is important for our traditional leaders, our civic leaders, and our leaders to respect the Bible, respect God,” said Dr Munyumbwe. “We don’t want a politician who can rule by tyranny, hook and crook. Respect God, you are in power to provide peace and space for people.”
When Hamukale was called to speak to the gathering some youths started heckling him with some running commentaries as he spoke.
Hamukale told the gathering that government would provide 100 tonnes of relief food to all districts.
“President Edgar Lungu means well, let’s work together. When we distribute this food, please don’t sale it,” said Hamukale as a youth in the audience shouted: “It is you who has brought hunger.”
Royal Foundation of Southern Province chairperson chief Chikanta said Nalubamba was a great leader.
“He is one of the longest serving chiefs in the entire Southern Province having ruled for 47 years as a leader…he was frank and development oriented leader. He was a strong voice on many issues including governance,” said Chikanta. “He belonged to two worlds, one as a freedom
fighter and as a chief. He was a very wise, intelligent traditional leader.”
Nalubamba is survived by wife Elina, 15 children, and several grandchildren.