LARSON Mutembu says people are upset with President Edgar Lungu and his ministers.
He notes that home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo, every time he speaks, “this young man is always threatening. He is a thug police minister.”
Ahead of Monday’s youth protest over governance issues, Kampyongo warned that, “those who will dare the State will have themselves to blame. Inspector General of Police [Kakoma Kanganja], please activate your troops and deal with non-law abiding citizens accordingly. We want the country to rebound strongly after COVID-19.”
In a 23-minute video recording that has gone viral, Mutembu, a preacher, said all the wrong things should be blamed on President Lungu because he is in charge of the country.
Mutembu also condemned the arrest and continued detention of photographer Chellah Tukuta.
On Monday, Copperbert police commissioner Charity Katanga confirmed the arrest and charging of Tukuta with four counts of criminal libel and two counts of threatening violence on the Copperbert.
Tukuta is facing similar charges in Lusaka.
“Now, when things get wrong in a nation we need to appeal to the President, or we need to blame the President because the president is the one who has got power over everything. He’s the one who has got the instruments of power; he’s got power over the police, over the Army, over Zambia Airforce, and so forth including the Office of the President,” he said. “Today as I speak, many Zambians are upset, many Zambians are angry over the arrest of Tukuta Chellah, a Zambian photographer who expressed his views about corruption in the nation. And, of course, he mentioned many others including the young lady Dora Siliya. And today Chellah Tukuta has been arrested, he’s now in prison. I’m glad that many young people are speaking out.”
Mutembu warned President Lungu that his time of reckoning was coming.
“I tell you, your time will come. Look at many other dictators in Africa how they have ended. Where’s [former Libyan leader Muammar] Gadhafi? Where’s [former Zaire president] Mobutu Sese Seko? Where’s [former Uganda dictator] Idi Amin? Where’s Omar al-Bashir in Sudan?” he asked.
Mutembu called for the mobilisation of funds to help Tukuta fight his cases in court.
“In fact, I was going to say Tukuta, whoever is connected to him, should create an account so that people should be able to deposit some money to help him fight this corrupt government from the courts of law. And we need many more Zambians, many more young people. We need our royal highnesses to speak out; call a spade-a-spade and denounce any oppression of Zambians by the political leaders,” he said. “We also need the preachers to speak. I appeal to you preachers in our nation, especially in Lusaka, speak out! You see, these ministers coming to your churches to beg for your members to vote for them. But time has come for you to speak to these ministers. Of course, many of you are not able to speak to them publicly. We don’t expect you to speak to them publicly for various reasons. But we ask some of you who are so close to the President, to the ministers to go to them and speak to them, and tell them things that are not right.”
Mutembu called on Zambians in various circles to speak out against injustices fomented by the government.
He warned his fellow clergy that God would punish them if they did not speak out for the people.
“And so I appeal to you ministers of the gospel, speak to politicians, speak to the President, speak to the young ministers like [home affairs minister Stephen] Kampyongo, speak to [PF secretary general] Davis Mwila, speak to young [Lusaka Province minister Bowman] Lusambo; speak to all of them. Speak to them and put sense in their heads. And, you have young ministers like Kampyongo threatening people. Every time he speaks, this young man is always threatening. He is a thug police minister,” said Mutembu. “The Catholic bishops have spoken, and we expect you, fellow evangelical preachers, Pentecostal charismatic preachers, speak to the President. Don’t just be excited because this government wants to build a national house of prayer. They can build you that national house of prayer, and I tell you, it will be Ichabod. The glory [of God] will depart from that place because if you condone sin, if you condone people being oppressed, the glory of God will not come in there. You will go and pray; the glory will not be in there. It happened in the Old Testament days, it will happen now if you don’t speak against oppression of the poor or the injustice that is being done to our people.”