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Saying the truth is a crime in Zambia – TutwaBy Mukosha Funga on 5 Jun 2017
In this audio, Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says telling the truth has now become a crime in Zambia.
And Tutwa says PF secretary general Davies Mwila must officially write to him about being fired from being the party’s legal counsel so that he can present his bills and get his money from the ruling party.
Featuring on Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme yesterday, Tutwa insisted that it was not the right time for the Patriotic Front to be involved in a power struggle.
“I do not really care what people think about me, I do not care what people say. I think for as long as I am saying the truth, the truth shall set me free. Zambia is one country where telling the truth has now become a criminal offense. I have nothing against the secretary general of the party. I have nothing personal against honorable Kampyongo or honorable Kambwili but because I am saying ‘let us cease fire for now, people have already associated me with honorable Kambwili that I am saying he is the rightful candidate. I have not said that. And some people are even saying that Tutwa Ngulube is actually endorsing another candidate, I have not said so,” Tutwa said.
Take a listen:
Tutwa said he was ready to be punished for telling the truth.
“We must be tolerant, we must allow divergent views, and we must be allowed to talk because we cannot have a political party where people do not want you to talk. Some of us are brave enough to face the punishment for talking the way we want to talk. I am ready for any punishment, if they want to punish me for telling the truth, let me be punished. I am ready to be disciplined for saying the truth, I am ready t be disciplined if it has now become a crime to advise people, I am ready to go,” he said.
“I am now trying to seek audience with the SG, I am told he was out of town, I am ready to go and repeat my words that probably we need to restructure. I can only persuade him, I cannot command him, I have no powers to force him, I can only persuade him that right now we can grow the party and when we are united, we can begin to speak as one voice. If you read the PF constitution, it is very categorical. It is one of the best constitutions I can say I have ever read because it has a succession plan.”
Tutwa observed that fraudsters would rise if the 2021 candidacy debates were allowed to go on.
“We have no quarrel whatsoever if President Lungu becomes our candidate in 2021, we are not stopping anyone from doing that. The problem we have now is that this is time to work, people must concentrate on delivering development. Members of parliament must concentrate on delivering development as opposed to fighting each other. I think also, people have misunderstood my statement, I have not said that President Lungu should go in 2021 and I have not said the President does not qualify. All I am saying is that it is wrong timing, it is premature. We cannot start debating that now, we are saying why don’t we give it a bit of time because we are coming from an election…People demanded for a convention in 2014 but now, it has become a crime, you cannot say anything about it.”
He said those who had risen against him were busy bodies trying to find some relevance.
“There are some individuals who have woken up, like you asked me a question, some busy bodies have woken up saying ‘we would like to warn Tutwa Ngulube because of ABCD’, you see, there are busy bodies everywhere we go. There are people who are irrelevant in society but looking for relevance so they would want to stand up today. In the name of the President they will swindle people, some individuals with questionable characters who in endorsing the President would want to find room for their illegalities. And you heard for yourself I think last year when the secretary general disbanded those groups because there is a danger of fraudsters popping up. If there will be endorsements, let us structure them in a manner that divergent views will be heard, let us structure them in a manner that does not allow fraudsters to come back on the scene,” Tutwa said.
“The President is an incumbent and he has a right to express his intention. Even me if I were asked today ‘would you want to be President one day?’ my answer would be yes. I am a member of parliament, the next thing I would be aspiring for is something higher, something better, to continue in my position. The president is also entitled to another endorsement, the people of Zambia have actually agreed that the president is a good president that is why they re-elected him in 2016… What we do not want is for the President to begin to feel this pressure of some people saying ‘we do not want you’ and others saying ‘we still want you’ when we are trying to work.”
Asked if he believed the PF was a democratic party, Tutwa replied in the affirmative boasting that it was the only party that had gone for a convention.
“The PF is a democratic party, the PF went for a convention. These other political parties I cannot mention here have failed to go for a convention and you can see already in some of these opposition political parties, people have actually taken each other to court, dragging each other neck to neck,” he said.
“I am PF, I am a 100 per cent PF and I do not want to pretend, if the PF is not democratic I will say it here and there, I do not have fear myself. I say things as they happen. But you see, politics is a power struggle…what is happening in the PF right now is healthy because it is reminding us of our responsibilities and duties.”
He also advised senior PF officials to avoid using emotions when debating issues.
“As leaders, we are the mirror of society. We must use language that promotes unity. The word foolish cannot be appropriate in a debate where people are talking about something serious and I do not think we should promote the use of emotions in addressing issues. Like in my case, following my statement, people have forgotten to talk about what I said and they are attacking me directly. That shows you that there is a level of intolerance in some individuals. If Tutwa Ngulube says he believes this, there is nothing you can change, that is my belief. And I am a lawyer, I know that there is freedom of expression and I know that even in the midst of confusion, you can put out a fire,” Tutwa said.
Take a listen:
And Tutwa revealed that he had never been paid for the services he rendered to the PF as legal counsel, saying once he receives his letter of dismissal, he would bill the party and claim his dues.
“I am one of the people that fought tirelessly to ensure that our president, President Lungu goes to State House. I am one of the lawyers that defended the President in all those court cases and believe you me, whether you believe it or not, some of the people that were calling President Lungu a dictator and an undemocratic president elected by a show of hands are now ministers, that is life, that is politics. So we cannot today let one person’s understanding dent the party. I am not forcing myself to be PF legal counsel. My contribution to the PF throughout all those court cases against the President, against the members of parliament, election petitions, I spent valuable time and there were times when I would actually, not there were times, I was using my personal resources, 100 per cent believing that the PF would one day pay me back. It is very clear,” said Tutwa.
“I would be more than glad if I received that letter to say I am no longer PF legal counsel then I will present my bills, then they will give me my money and I will pack my bags. I have not billed [yet] because I do not have evidence that I have been fired. If I have been fired or dropped or transferred or demoted, I do not know. What is the letter saying? Believe me, I was not an ordinary PF lawyer, I was legal counsel, I had a very high position and I deserved some respect. Even if you differ, courtesy is very important. At least he could have called me to say ‘from today you are no longer our lawyer, I would have known how to handle it. Once he gives me that letter, I would be more than glad, I am building right now, the biggest investment of my life, I want money so let him give me the letter, I give him my bills and I invest for my children. I go and work on the people of Kabwe Central, I have got work to do, we cannot keep fighting about legal counsel this and that.”
Listen to more of Tutwa’s interview:
About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha Funga is a Zambian journalist interested in good governance and anti corruption reporting.
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