[By Michael B Munyimba]
It is difficult to believe that certain individuals could actually be assigned with the mandate to hold very senior public offices in a country such as ours, looking at their strange level of questionable wisdom.
You will see some fellow looking so handsome with an impeccable style of dressing. Some with even a very powerful education track-record with their suitcases full of assorted degrees and other professional and academic portfolios. But let them open their mouth, the junk that will spew out will baffle you!
Now, we all have heard sayings and idioms to the effect that the tongue can be more dangerous than even a loaded gun, such that if not carefully watched it can set communities ablaze – even countries. For those of you that have been following the violent xenophobic clashes in South Africa, you know that most of them emanated from the deliberate carelessness in speech of probably just one man who enticed mobs of hundreds of thousands to rise against foreigners. The late King Goodwill Zwelithini of Kwazulu Natal was one such powerful man. For those that may not know, King Zwelithini was the great grandson of the legendary King Shaka Zulu, a king that was highly respected and feared. King Shaka’s subjects never questioned his authority and wisdom, and his military conquests against several rival tribes in his region and afar only helped to consolidate his subjects’ trust in his rulership such that they obeyed everything he told them. And so it was, and has been for all the consequent kings that reigned after him – and that included King Goodwill Zwelithini who succeeded Shaka several hundreds of years later.
One morning around 2013, King Zwelithini told thousands of youths at a gathering in Durban to rise against foreigners because, according to him, they were taking their jobs. Even though a number of them may have not liked or supported his thoughts, the majority took his word as a supreme order and took to the streets and literally ran amok, plundering and looting property belonging to innocent foreigners who worked hard to acquire them. They even killed hundreds of them with machetes, knives and guns in a mass slaughter that left the streets stinking with blood. What caused that? Careless blubber by just one individual!
In 1994, Rwanda was plunged in one of the worst and most devasting genocides in African history simply because the then president Juvenal Habyarimana, who had started using anti-Tutsi rhetoric, got killed in a plane crash together with Burundi president Cyprien Ntaryamira. The Hutus took it he was killed because of his talk against the Hutus and the Hutus attacked the other tribe, killing over 1,000,000 Tutsis! What caused that? Careless talk!
Over 20,000 Joshua Nkomo’s Ndebele supporters were butchered in Matebeleland in 1983 by Robert Mugabe’s Shonas in what they called the Gukurahundi, loosely translated, “the early rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rains!” Why? Greed of the then president Mugabe who wanted to remain in power forever. Because of greed, they sacrificed innocent lives.
Now let’s come back to our own Zambia. I don’t t want to waste your reading time reminding you of just how close we were to a civil war especially just before the August 2021 elections. Not a single day passed by without those in the ruling party trying to incite tribal divisions amongst us, to the extent that even songs were created. Fortunately, with the coming in of the new government, that was subverted and the nation was miraculously saved from the looming calamity; and all seemed well, until just recently.
Suddenly, we have a new force of danger knocking on our door in the form of Given Lubinda, the Raphael Nakacindas of this world and the Sean Tembos. How could senior members of this society just go out there dishing out blatant lies to the unsuspecting citizens? How could the whole of Lubinda be telling people that HH had ‘removed’ the church in Zambia and that he was in America discussing his government’s support for gay rights when he knows very well all that is false? How could he sink that low? This is the guy who was justice minister, for God’s sake, someone who should know the implications of such heinous statements!
We all know that what President Hakainde Hichilema relinquished was merely the ministry of religious affairs and not the church. This is a new ministry that Edgar Lungu just created, the church has always been there. Does it mean that Zambians were not praying before that? This was just a way of trying to eliminate unnecessary costs of government and Given knows that, so why would he twist the truth? Is it not just that he’s trying to galvanise public hate for the presidency and the government, just as he’s been trying to do with the issue of gay rights?
Now, let me offer some piece of free advice to Mr Lubinda and all his friends as I conclude this.
Gentlemen, what you are trying to do will not do you any good but will soon lead you to early prison.
The people of this country will not allow you to plunge it into anarchy. Remember, PF is no longer in power. As the President rightly put it, behave yourselves, stop poking sleeping dogs. You had your time in power, go and rest. Don’t take that leniency promise for granted, it can be revoked. So, mind your language, no one will rescue you. Mr Lubinda, we know you have a certificate in Strategic Planning, sir. But if your rantings are part of your ‘strategic plan’, you may ‘strategically’ find yourself in a ‘strategic’ prison where the country will be free from your dangerous acts of sabotage on national development. As for the Nakacindas and other ‘zero’ guys, go home; go and try farming. You may do well there, though you may need the President’s advice there too, he’s a professional at it too.
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