The Bible in Proverbs chapter 17 verses 28 teaches us the value of knowing when to speak. It says “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent”. Indeed, it is wise to see and hear well, but to say very little. You learn by listening, not by talking. Others will assume your silence indicates careful observation and deep consideration of the topic being discussed. They will assume you are in deep search for the right thoughts and words before speaking.

This teaching is from the realisation that the tongue is dangerous and can easily hurt others. That is why God gave us two ears but only one mouth.

But the Bible also recognizes in Psalms 39 that there is a fire to speak that burns in some people. They cannot quench this fire; they cannot control their infatuation to let out what is on their minds, no matter how senseless it may be. There are some cursed and unruly mouths that find pride in telling everyone within hearing distance that they are foolish and ignorant.

On Thursday November 9, 2017 we tuned-in to Parliament Radio, like many Zambians, to hear lawmakers debate the 2018 budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. The members of parliament were discussing the operations of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, it’s funding and the monthly TV levy charged to viewers.

We heard various wise debates, some were thought provoking while others seemed to lack the basic understanding of what was being discussed. As debates went on, one mouth stood out and left us astounded. It was the voice of Lunte PF member of parliament Honourable Mutotwe Kafwaya.

Mr Kafwaya courageously expressed his views about the mandate of ZNBC and went further to say which news sources the journalists working for the national broadcaster should be allowed to cover.

“Many people when referring to ZNBC say that this institution only shows the President, the Vice-President, ministers and government officials, to the exclusion of other players; specifically the opposition political players. I do think to some extent this is true. But I ask the question, why should opposition political players want to dominate ZNBC when in fact they don’t carry government policy? The purpose of ZNBC is to show the Zambian people what government is doing for them. If we say everyone must have the same share, we will be hearing such things that ‘there is a presidential election petition in courts on ZNBC’. This is not what we want to see on ZNBC,” said Honourable Kafwaya, proudly.

“Mr Chairman, ZNBC is an institution for government and not an institution for the opposition. Therefore, ZNBC must promote activities for government. Those who say we must have a fair share; it is a dream which I don’t see being fulfilled unless the purpose of ZNBC changes. What economic development will you get from an opposition? If you want to bring those oppositions and line them up on ZNBC then we are not promoting what the actual purpose of ZNBC is!”

Considering that the people of Lunte constituency have downgraded from the likes of Felix Mutati, we can only sympathise with them for relegating to a loud and insensitive man as their representative in Parliament. Frankly, Honourable Kafwaya owns a very dangerous mouth that finds no shame in voicing out ignorance.

These are the kind of people described in Psalms 39. They have a burning sensation to talk for the sake of being heard. They take no consideration into thinking about what they say and they care less about the feelings of those who hear the ignorance in their voice. The self-conscience that pushes them to quench the lust for senseless talk is usually overridden by a bloated ego of pomposity. They just have to talk and talk and talk, no matter how many people get hurt by their annoying speech.

ZNBC is for government officials only, not members of the opposition who do not carry the policies of the government? Surely, how can anyone accurately describe this MP’s reasoning without offending those who elected him into parliamentary office?

We are not surprised that citizens took turns insulting Honourable Kafwaya on social media platforms because, to suggest that taxpayers who support opposition political parties have no right to be covered by the national broadcaster, is outright dullness – which he should not blame on his laziness to read the ZNBC Act. A little application of common sense would have reminded the Lunte MP that he himself is not a government official, but deserves ZNBC airtime to explain developments taking place in Lunte, just like Gary Nkombo of Mazabuka; for the simple reason that they are both part of the governance system of this country.

But supposing that common sense was not so common in Honourable Kafwaya’s head, which is evident, what does he have to say about PF officials and cadres who are lined up on ZNBC to denounce members of the opposition. What policies does Kennedy Kamba talk about when he appears on ZNBC news? How can it be normal in Mr Kafwaya’s head that government officials should feature on private radio stations, TVs and newspapers which are solely owned and funded by private individuals, but citizens who oppose government policies must not be allowed to appear on ZNBC which is owned and funded by the public?

This is indeed a very sad state of affairs for, not only the people of Lunte who elected an empty tin, but all ZNBC viewers who pay TV levy every month just to watch the President’s travelling policies. It is more painful to all citizens who pay tax to government so that Honourable Kafwaya can eat free food at the National Assembly and belch out ignorance.