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Will the lions that spared Daniel spare the others?

[By Michael B Munyimba]

The Biblical story of Daniel and the lions that couldn’t feast on him in that den bears a strong semblance to one story that is unfolding in our country.

Now, for the sake of those who may not know it, this Daniel was an upright lad; reliable, honest and faithful in his devotion to God, traits that won him great favours from King Darius. The king loved and respected him so much that he made him supervisor over 120 governors, lieutenants and other senior officials. That did not go down well with his colleagues who were treacherous, dishonest and unreliable. They decided to venture on a fault-finding mission. Finding none, they said to themselves, “We are not going to find anything of which to accuse Daniel unless it is something in connection with his religion.” So they decided to trap Daniel by maliciously tricking King Darius into issuing a bizarre order that they knew Daniel would defy because it went against his religious beliefs. And true to their plan, Daniel defied the evil order the king was tricked to decree, and as per the pronounced repercussions, Daniel was cast into a den of lions as punishment.

Now, I am aware that a number of you may have never seen a lion before, live at close range, except on still pictures and television. To say it’s a fierce beast that no one would wish to meet anyhow, lest one pees in fright would, be a gross understatement.

The beast is so muscular and savage looking you would quickly understand why legend pronounced it king of the jungle.

Can you now fathom being thrown into a closed pit with probably 10 of these flesh and blood hungry creatures! Just imagine the fear you could have had, had it been you, as you landed there and waited to be torn into shreds! But, guess what, Daniel was not scared. He knew he was innocent and believed that God would somehow rescue him. And guess what, God’s angel appears and shuts the mouths of the vicious beasts and all they could do was stare at him!

So, upon finding him alive in the morning, the king ordered that he be pulled out and indeed, there he stood, unscathed! Now, here is the key point, the king then ordered all those that had accused him falsely to be cast in the same pit lo-behold, “Before they even reached the bottom of the pit, the lions pounced on them, and broke all their bones!”

Ok then, lets now come to the issue at hand. It is general knowledge that had Bally lost this election, he would have probably been arrested by now under a false charge as usual, if what Edgar Chagwa Lungu (ECL) had promised was anything to go by. It’s on record, ECL openly uttered that promise to miners on the Copperbelt in front of ZNBC cameras.

The former presido ‘downloaded’ this message when he ‘propagated’ that Vedanta mumble-jumble during his final campaigns. He said Hakainde Hichilema (HH) had a deal with Vedanta to sell the mines and that once he was re-elected, he was going to resurrect old cases.

Now, which cases was he referring to exactly, the same old, ridiculous allegations of HH having sold mines 30 years ago? Those, of course, were going to be baseless. Everyone knows that HH was neither president then nor minister of finance. He was merely a private consultant hired to evaluate mines and other companies government had already decided to sell. If he had over or undervalued them, the government of the day had the right to go ahead or reject his evaluations. Governments have come and gone, and none of them ever took HH to task over that because there is nothing to talk about.

Now, let me just take you back to the Daniel story so that you understand why I said his story resembles this one. Remember what Daniel’s accusers said, they said, “We are not going to find anything of which to accuse Daniel, unless it is something in connection with his religion.” So, in Bally’s case, we don’t know what next was coming.

Now, you imagine how HH felt when he heard the whole head of state say ati imilandu iyakale ndeibusha (that I will resurrect old cases). It was like Daniel in that pit of lions just waiting to be torn apart! The fear and anxiety must have been overwhelming.

This was not an ordinary threat but a head of state with all government machinery capable of overriding election results. But thanks goodness, the lions once again refused to open their mouths and devour the anointed one! The funny part is that the same people who had promised Bally the dungeon are now the ones seeking forgiveness.

By the way, who called for that meeting of ECL and Bally at Rupiah Banda’s home just after the elections? Could it be that someone dashed to a former head of state who also happens to be a kinsman to help negotiate for ‘peace’? Several staunch ‘fishermen’ on the boat have suddenly abandoned it and their captain and are now extending janza (hand)!

Bally has no problem with that, he has promised no vengeance whatsoever for all the painful past. But not so fast, boys, the President has granted full independence to responsible wings to investigate whoever they deem so. So, all those who deliberately embezzled state funds shall be visited by the long arm of the law: Drug Enforcement Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Financial Intelligence Centre, and all. The treasury is empty and it’s only natural to find out why and how; nothing personal.

And just before I conclude, the President should not feel guilty or fear to appoint any qualified Tonga to any position. We know the pressure of being labeled nepotist or tribalist by some people, but that should not cause these people to be sidelined. Just like others, they too are Zambians and should not be left out for fear that the President will be called a tribalist. How many Bandas, Lungus or Mutales are still in high positions even as we speak? We are One Zambia, One Nation.

So, Mr, President Sir, go ahead and appoint whoever you like; Luvale, Kaonde, Tonga, Bemba and all, you are commander-in-chief! The same people who were accusing you of corruption are in fact the culprits.

Go to ZANIS, for instance, and ask them why Patrick Lungu’s post, who was appointed Permanent Secretary, has been vacant for almost a year. It’s because his deputy, the person who was supposed to take it, is Tonga and they couldn’t take that! Let us be one.

As for all those people who accused Daniel falsely, we are wondering if the lions in the den shall spare them too! Pick it up DEC, ACC, FIC. Till next week Wednesday, I am off to feed the lions! SHARP!

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