SENIOR chief Puta of the Bwile people of Chiengi district in Luapula Province says outgoing President, Edgar Lungu was a careless leader who never cared for the poor.
In his congratulatory message to President-elect Hakainde Hichilema, Puta vowed never to forgive Lungu for the manner his people treated the senior chief’s young brother.
He said President Lungu defended thieves at the expense of innocent people.
Puta also charged that President Lungu incited sub-chiefs to rise against senior traditional leaders who had divergent views over his governance style.
“Abantu balecula; ifilingile fyaya kubantu fyaleya mu matumba yama (People were suffering. What was supposed to be given to them was going into the pockets of) leaders. President Edgar Lungu was a careless President ushalemona ifyo
abantu baleonaula (who never saw how people were destroying the country),” Puta said. “He supported thieving, elo umuntu nga alandako mailo kuya mwikata (and if anyone spoke against that the following day they would be arrested). That was dictatorship. My young brother was arrested. Ukubika imfumu muma (locking up a chief in) cells! Cena ico nshakamwelele Lungu. Ukuya imya utufumu tunono ukutila tuleimina fwe mfumu shikalamba! (And for that I will never forgive Lungu. He incited sub-chiefs to rise against us the senior chiefs)! Awe (no) it was very bad.”
And Puta congratulated Zambians on liberating themselves by voting for Hichilema.
He said President Lungu wanted to plunge the nation into a dictatorship to the detriment of its democratic tenets.
“Icakubalilapo, ndefwaya ukucita congratulate ba President Hakainde Hichilema ukutila abena Zambia bailubula. Ukulacita abantu nga
balelanda pama phone, ukulabapanika; that was dictatorship. (Firstly, I want to congratulate President Hakainde Hichilema, that Zambians have liberated themselves. Whenever people were speaking on phones, they were getting punished. That was dictatorship),” he said. “Change has come pa nshita iyisuma. Elyo fwe bena Zambia twailubula ukufuma kuli dictator, Edgar Chagwa Lungu (Change has come at the right time. And we the Zambians have freed ourselves from a dictator, Edgar Chagwa Lungu).”
He said under President Lungu’s reign Zambians suffered a lot in all spheres, adding that it was the reason most traditional leaders did not support him.
Puta said he did not support President Lungu because he knew that the Head of State was a full-blown dictator.
“Nde eba ba President abasalilwe ukutila Lesa abalundile inshiku ukutila bakateke bwino Zambia, pantu icakubalilapo. I know the calibre
of HH. (I am telling the President that may God give him more days so that he governs Zambia, because, firstly, I know the calibre of HH,” Puta added. “He will deliver this country, not balya bale enda ne ndeke shitatu; ba running mate ne ndeke shitatu, ukulaonaulafye impiya sha
calo (not those who were moving with three planes. The running mate also with three planes, just wasting public resources), that was very bad.”
Puta advised Hichilema not to pay attention to all those that persecuted him, stressing that even Jesus Christ suffered while on earth.
He urged Hichilema to instead focus on development so that those that despised him would see the difference.
Puta however, asked all those that plundered national resources to pay back.
“I know he has to do it. Tebalya abakweba ati balenwafye fibwalwa (unlike those who were just drinking beer). I know HH will deliver so bonse abalelanda ifibi (all those who were speaking evil) should be forgiven pantu ninjishiba ati (because I know that) my Church elder will deliver this country,” he said. “Elo cimbi ico tulefwaya, balya bambi abaibile ulupiya lwa calo bakabweshe
ulupiya lulya baiba ulwa calo. (Another thing we ask, is that all those who store public money should bring it back).”
Puta said the country could not allow plunderers to go scot-free when people had been subjected to poverty for the last seven years.
He noted that hospitals had been running without drugs while some leaders in government bought mansions and fleets of cars at the expense of poor Zambians.