Musician and human rights activist Fumba Chama, fondly known as Pilato, says the arrest of National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili is another example of how Zambia has become a country of emotions.
On Wednesday, police in Lusaka arrested Kambwili and charged him with Defamation of the President for allegedly calling the Head of State “a dog from Chawama” during a conversation with an unidentified person recently.
But in a statement shared on his Facebook page, Pilato, who wondered how exactly Kambwili had defamed President Edgar Lungu, argued that it was impossible for the Head of State to be defamed because he had always defamed himself whenever he refused to address issues affecting Zambians.
“President Lungu can never be defamed. The President defames himself every time he refuses to address real issues that affect our people. When the prices of mealie-meal skyrocket and the President fails to address the issue, he defames himself! When he fails to address the corruption in his government, he defames himself. When he fails to manage the economy of the country he is President of, he defames himself. It must be understood that the Presidency is not just filling up the position, but taking the responsibilities of a President. It is not just the title, but the actual work, so when someone who is called a President fails to preside over the affairs of the country, he undermines himself or herself and such persons defame themselves,” Pilato argued.
He urged those in leadership not to govern the country through emotions.
“It is not about what the law says anymore, but how the leaders feel. My humble reminder to the President, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Police Inspector General, is those offices you hold are not and cannot be governed by your emotions. You may not like what Dr Kambwili says, but don’t force the law to fit into your feelings. Let your feelings fit in the law. It is not automatic that what offends you qualifies to be a crime every time. You are not the Constitution. I would like to appeal to your fragile selves to act honourably and stop defaming the offices you hold by arresting people that express themselves on your style of leadership. When you mess up the country, you should expect its people to question you. Their questioning may not be soothing music to you, but it is still questioning,” stated Pilato, with the hash-tag “#FREEKAMBWILI”.