PRISON DIARY: Part 1 – Motion of Thanks
I am grateful to the Almighty God who, from His holy dwellings, arose to set up a 24/7 hour watch over me and all the inmates during my incarceration as a political prisoner for 7 days and 7 nights. Nothing can happen to me apart from what my Heavenly Father has permitted for my perfection.
To my father; May God grant you more years for the wisdom you imparted to me in my boyhood. You taught me to NEVER ever fear any human being – you consistently said that the cornerstone of integrity and dignity is to never fear man when it comes to justice and the belief system which underpins humanity.
To my mother, Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Mumbi Mukulu of the Bemba speaking people of Nkolemfumu in Kasama (my mother is daughter of Bwalya Chitimukulu who was the daughter of Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga The First); Blessed be your womb for having carried me for 9 months and for the motherly care. Your name is Mary and you wept over my incarceration in the same way Mother Mary wept over Jesus Christ. I recall my words to you before being thrown into prison, “…mum don’t cry over me because this is my destiny…behold your children out there – the people of Zambia…wipe out your tears…”. I saw you, through the small prison window, when you came as early as 5am and stayed on the lawns of the police station up to past 6pm. You set aside your God given royalty as one of the queen mothers of Ulubemba. Thank you mum!
To my siblings led by Rev. Sr. Dr. Charity Chishimba; you are great siblings. Thank you for all your sacrifices!
To Rev. Fr. Seketa; thank you for the visit and the fellowship we had in the presence of the LORD.
To my relatives, locally and in the Diaspora, who led a prayer chain…Aunt Eunice Hubbian, Mwansa Mwansa and Kunda Kunda who came from the USA and took time to pray for me in prison, among others; may God write a memorial for you.
To statesmen led by my mentor and freedom fighter Mr. Simon Zukas and Mr. Mike Mulongoti; God be with you. Sir (Mr. Zukas), the fruits that you brought were the tastiest ever!
To members of the press; thank you for the media campaign which highlighted my incarceration. Indeed, we are together in the new struggle.
To the UPP leadership; may God remember you for your courage to continue speaking for the voiceless. UPP is the only people’s grassroots movement for the change that our nation desperately needs.
To professional colleagues led my Laura Miti; thank you so much! The fruit juice you brought was the first I drank from prison and it tasted as if it was the first time I was drinking juice. Laura, I want you to know that I took that drink in tears – I literally wept for the first time and all inmates were surprised. They still don’t know why I cried…There are too many things we take for granted in life.
To the civil society led by Mr. Macdonald Chipenzi; may God remember you!
To Hon. Dr. Chishimba Kambwili, Hon. Garry Nkombo, Hon Patrick Mwalula Mucheleka, and other leaders; your surprise visit was a very big gift to me.
To the UPND youth; thank you for the visit and the supplies you brought!
To the PF secret disciples who disguised themselves when they came to visit me; thank you so much for your comforting words!
To a special inmate (name withheld) who cleaned my feet immediately my captors threw me into prison; you are blessed forever and the prophetic action you performed was not ordinary. When I was pushed into the tightly packed prison cell, my spirit dampened because it was the first time such a thing was ever happening to me. While all the inmates jubilated to welcome me in unison by shouting, “Welcome man of the people! Welcome Mr. President!”, my heart bled in anguish. I was shown where to sit on the floor and I sat down. I closed my eyes to raise a prophetic cry, in my heart, to the Father in Heaven, but the prayer was momentarily disturbed upon noticing that someone was touching my dirty feet. I opened my eyes, lo and behold, a prisoner was busy cleaning my feet which were dirty – my shoes were taken off at the inquiries and I had to walk, as per practice, to the police prison cell. This love from a detainee caused me to see the love of God. Authentic love is from people we least expect – no one has ever cleaned my feet. This act strengthened me and my village instincts of hardships were activated.
To other inmates; thank you for your sacrifices – you insisted that I should always have two “mbambo”, i.e. space to turn left and right when sleeping. This was a rare privilege and I will cherish it all the days of my life. I am also grateful for the preference you gave me when using the toilet – if there was someone there you always shouted, “quick ba President babwela iwe (be quick the President is coming)”. Being an open plan toilet arrangement, you (inmates) always looked away to avoid seeking my nakedness. This looks simple, but those who have been incarcerated before will know why I am thankful for the gesture of inmates who accorded me the respect. Surely, God will bless you!
To my children and their mother; may the LORD comfort you for the trauma you went through. My firstborn daughter, the strength of my loins, was so depressed that she stopped eating normally and remained in her bedroom much of her time.
To the many Zambians and non-Zambians who took time to pray; God saw your hearts and may He bless you for your love.
To the Government of the Republic of Zambia and all individual public officers and politicians who were behind my unlawful detention; I am not bitter against you because the only Righteous Judge is the Holy One of Israel, blessed be He. He is the God of Elijah who answers by fire and as such I cannot take it personal.
To the arresting officer and the Zambia Police; thank you for the care and professionalism though under very difficult circumstances. As the potential President of Zambia, in the waiting by God’s grace, I am fully alive to the poor working conditions under which police and security personnel work. The pathetic sanitary conditions of the police prison cells is not your fault. Whereas the arrest was effected by you, it was not your independent and professional decisions that held sway. I love you all and I will continue to pray for you because you too are facing the same economic hardships due to the corruption of the PF regime.
God bless our nation!
#UPP: #Dignity & #Justice for #All!
PRISON DIARY: Part 2 – Arrest and Detention (Day 1)
In winding up on the motion of thanks, I wish to gratefully acknowledge the role that my lawyer, Mrs. Lilian Mushota, played in trying to secure my release. Mr. Simubala Makondo was another lawyer I retained on the second day of my detention. Let me also make mention of other close family members like Chikwanda Hanene, Mr. Kondwani Kanweka and my uncle Mr. Humphrey Kunda who was a key architect in contributing to the development of Zambia’s foreign policy in the early 1970s.
My arrest was sealed when I accepted an invitation from Diamond TV who called me for a pre-recorded interview a day before my being nabbed. I knew that there was something odd about the invitation because I had strange heart palpitations the moment I accepted to go to Diamond TV, but I was not sensitive enough. I told my family about the strange feelings I had.
After the interview, Mr. Costa Mwansa walked with me into a plain clothed police ambush. We were talking as we walked to the car park, but the moment I was delivered into the hands of my captors he (Costa) suddenly kept a distance and his demeanor changed. He stepped aside and gave way for the arresting officer to step in and tap my shoulder with the words, “you are under arrest”.
I thought it was a joke and wanted to proceed to the car I used when going to the TV station, but lo and behold, another plain clothed officer stepped forward to announce my arrest. I tried to retreat, but there too was another officer announcing my arrest. My attempt to step forward was also thwarted by another plain clothed police woman who equally announced my arrest. At this staged, I realised that I was in an ambush.
When I asked for the charge, the police simply responded, “that’s not important…just accompany us to the police station…” I asked for the ID and one of them flashed it out. I told the officers that I was still not too sure if they were police men and women and complained that it was a very dangerous approach to ambush and arrest a leader on the street.
My reasoning was that anyone, including cadres and corrupt elements, can pose as police to abduct me. I am a whistleblower on many high profile corruption cases under the #BringBackOurMoney! anti corruption crusade and as such my security was paramount. I reminded them of how PF cadres wanted to abduct me when I openly challenged President Michael Sata for the presidency in the PF. All these pleadings landed on deaf ears.
To my dismay, I did not see the Diamond TV news crew filming this event. They were all just watching as this was going on.
Noting that the police were becoming rougher and tougher on me, I decided to cooperate and accepted my fate. They put me in their vehicle and on the way they took away my phones (iPhone and Samsung). On the way to the police, one of the officers received a phone call and I heard the caller instructing him, “take him to that place after the warn and caution”.
Within minutes of arrival at police headquarters, the police asked me, “have you posted anything on Facebook?” I replied, “no, I have not”. Suddenly all of them in Room 45 were annoyed that my arrest was already breaking news.
After my lawyer’s arrival, they took me to our party headquarters at No. 10, Reedbuck Road, Kabulonga where the police asked for a copy of the media statement I issued on 7 July, 2017 and I gave them.
On our way back to police headquarters, the arresting officer received another phone call and I heard the caller instructing him, “don’t take him to that place, take him to Woodlands Police instead”. It would appear to me that it became very difficult to take me to “that place” since my arrest was now a matter of public interest.
At police headquarters, I was warned and cautioned for defamation of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. After my signing for the caution, the police informed my lawyer, “madam, your client is going to be detained”. Her attempts to ask for a bond failed because officers used the pretext of ongoing investigations. The police also gave me a seizure notice for my signature in respect of my phones which they took away on the way to police headquarters. They also asked for passwords, but I categorically refused to either sign or give them my passwords.
I was then driven to Woodlands Police Station. There are two police cells – one had many people while the other had only one person who was violently trying to open the heavy grill door. The police wanted to put me in the cell in which the violent man was, but inmates shouted loudly, “officers please don’t put the President in that cell because the man who is in there will literally kill him in cold blood. He is a drug addict who become mad and he severely beat all of us in this cell until we called for police help who came in and opened that cell where he is being held alone”. I am grateful to God that the passionate plea of inmates saved my life.
After a warm welcome by inmates and all that happened as I have already penned down in part one of my diary, a Zambian SABC correspondent, namely, Paul Siambala gave me a graphic account on how he was arrested by the police in Choma. He said he was taken to Lilayi for torture and that he had been to several places for questioning. He narrated how several Zambians are being arrested and detained and these are the stories he was documenting before his arrest on account that he was sympathetic towards the opposition. Close to midnight, men in suits came to the cell, they handcuffed him and took him away. I literally failed to sleep thinking about his fate.
Another inmate who had several scars gave me an account of how he was tortured – he undressed himself to show me fresh scars. I was particularly horrified when he gave a narration on how he was driven to a named crocodile farm and his arresters threatened to feed him to crocodiles.
There were also other young people and the youngest ones were sixteen years who were arrested and detained for loitering under emergency powers. One of the youngest was a grade 9 and others were grade eleven pupils and their parents were not aware of their whereabouts because these children had no phones. I made arrangements through my lawyers to call their parents.
I was appalled when I interacted with another inmate who was detained for days over a traffic offense. It was a named Permanent Secretary who hit into his vehicle, but the the PS abused his authority by instructing the police to detain the gentleman.
Our nation needs healing and God is looking for saviours for the birthing of a prosperous corruption free new Zambia.
God bless our nation!
#UPP: #Dignity & #Justice for #All!