CHIEF Macha of the Tonga people of Choma district says the government does not belong to PF but to Zambians.
He says the lack of separation of powers among the three organs of government is causing chaos in the country.
Macha also says President Edgar Lungu lacks “presidential language” and should go to school to learn diplomacy.
“These politicians must go to school to learn diplomacy. It is very important when you are leading people to have that skill,” he said in an interview. “Even if there are people who did not vote for PF, they are Zambians. This government does not belong to PF but it belongs to the Zambian people. If there is any cake to share, it must be shared equally amongst all Zambians. We cannot say because electricity comes from Southern Province then other provinces must not have electricity, that is nonsense. Like copper which is only in Copperbelt, are you saying money realised from mines should only develop the Copperbelt Province alone? No, but it must be spread to everybody in the country.”
Macha said it was unfortunate that Tongas have continued being labelled as tribal.
“And what is surprising is that President Lungu is saying no tribe should feel inferior and no tribe should feel superior, but at the same time he is saying the Tongas will not rule. What nonsense is that? Why the Tongas?” he wondered. “This country can be ruled by anybody from any quarter of Zambia and its resources should be shared equally in all provinces for development to take place.”
Macha wondered why it was always regarded a problem whenever southerners participated in politics.
“So those promoting tribalism among Zambians must stop. Actually they are the ones who are tribal themselves,” he said. “Talk about employment, there must be a minister from each province. If I were the Head of State, I would trim government ministries. If from each province there is a minister and permanent secretary, that way we will end this tribalism talk and unite the country.”
And Macha said the incident where a Zesco pole line in chief Mapanza was cut down was solely a police case that politicians had jumped on and thereby creating confusion.
“Lack of separation of powers among the three arms of government – which is the executive, judiciary and legislature – is causing chaotic situation in the country,” he said. “And it is this same reason why it will be difficult to fight corruption in Zambia because of lack of total separation of powers among the three arms of government.”
Macha said at the moment it was mere rhetoric that there was separation of powers in the manner the government operated.
“Cutting of pole lines is a police case. Let politicians leave the case to police to gather tangible information. But unfortunately politicians have taken it up. Now that politicians have taken it up, there will be no progress in this case,” he lamented. “This has nothing to do with politics because no one can eat politics, we all eat development only. Let the police be allowed to do professional investigations, then courts of law will come in to end the matter. In the same vein, we should not vandalise. I’m not a lawyer nor a judge so I don’t want to say much about this cutting of pole line because the case is already in the hands of police.”
Macha said it was unfortunate that the country had a Head of State that lacks diplomatic language, hence ended up politicising the matter.
“It’s very unfortunate that there is bad talk in politics. There is need for politicians to learn diplomacy. Those surrounding leaders are taking advantage of ignorance of leaders because whatever happens, a leader gets blamed,” he said. “We all condemn that barbaric act of cutting down the pole line in Mapanza chiefdom but this case if we allowed the police to handle it professionally without political interference, things would be better. This is why I’m saying there is no separation of powers.”
Macha advised politicians to be diplomatic in handling matters of state.
And Macha questioned the manner in which the fight against corruption was being handled.
“We have gone corrupt in this country because we have allowed a situation where somebody steals in the morning, in the evening he is arrested, and the following morning he is released,” he said. “That is unfortunate. If someone steals then he has stolen from Zambians and therefore must be prosecuted. There must be total separation of powers seen in the manner the three arms of government operate. We should not just talk about the executive, legislature, and judiciary but must be seen to be really independent of each other. At the moment there is no separation of powers because we don’t know who the prosecutor is, who the arresting officer is. We don’t know.”
Macha said the separation of powers can help end corruption in Zambia.
“The Zambia we have today is where if it’s a police case, who talks about it? You find it’s a politician. Why? Let’s go to court, who talks about how the verdict should be, it is the politicians,” he noted.
The chief also challenged ministers to learn to go to the people and explain government policies and development.
“These so-called ministers must get out of those offices because they think they were built for them… Go to the people. Southern Province minister Edify Hamukale visited me on Monday and I questioned him about where the 650 clinics and where the share for Macha chiefdom is. And the chiefs’ palaces, where are they?” he said.
Macha urged Zambians to work hard to develop the country and not just to look up to the government for employment but to employ themselves.