We have followed closely the allegations that opposition leaders Fresher Siwale, Mike Mulongoti, Nason Msoni and Saviour Chishimba have made to the effect that President Edgar Lungu is not a Zambian citizen.
Initially when this debate was thrown to the public, we gave these men a huge benefit of doubt because we have a lot of respect for them, especially Mr Mulongoti who recently served this country at a very high level in government. We had reason to believe that they knew what they were talking about.
But we are afraid that the more they talk about this issue of President Lungu’s nationality, the more we seem to be losing them. We are concerned that they are slowly losing our attention on this matter, and we believe that they are losing the attention of many other citizens who initially gave them a listening ear.
There are many Zambians, including ourselves, who think that President Lungu has failed to govern because he is a weak, selfish and visionless Head of State who thrives on dictatorship. We would be glad if our President would be constitutionally removed from his position today, on grounds that he fraudulently won the election in 2016, or for abrogating the Constitution, or indeed on grounds that he is a foreigner.
But that does not mean that we must clap for any hate speech meant to excite the public with baseless accusations and unresearched claims. We feel it is our duty to tell our fellow citizens who also want President Lungu to go, that they should not feed the public with empty noise.
Our opinion is derived from the press conference that these ‘brave’ men held on Sunday at which they escalated their petition against President Lungu’s identity. We were left feeling very sad, not because our parents were not making sense, but because we realized that these are the opposition leasers with whom we have left the responsibility of taking out the Patriotic Front.
We particularly felt sorry for Mr Mulongoti because most of the interesting arguments he tried to put across were overshadowed by the misguided shouting and screaming of his colleagues over President Lungu’s nationality.
“We have a Head of State who does not believe in holding press conferences where he can address the nation. The burning of markets, why is it that each time the President leaves the country and he comes back, there is a fire? These leaders of the PF are just shading crocodile tears because they know what is happening. They have no feelings for the poor people of Zambia. They have chased the youths from the streets and so they have no jobs. They have no plans for them, and now they are burning down markets. We want to appeal to this government, don’t traumatise our young men like they are criminals. President Lungu, please have a heart for your people,” said People’s Party president Mulongoti.
“There is so much money being wasted on by-elections, but the government is failing to pay contractors, where is the money coming from? Surely, that is money coming from proceeds of crime. The legal minds, why are you so silent when the President is abrogating the Constitution with impunity? Where are you women and men of silk? If you are silent, you are inviting impunity from crooks. Are you waiting for them to be arrested so that you can make more money from representing them?”
His colleague Siwale who leads the New Labour Party spent close to an hour labelling, not only President Lungu, but Chief Justice Irene Mambilima, Emily Sikazwe, and all heads of investigative wings, as foreigners who have destroyed the country.
“I was arrested on a charge of defamation of the President. But how can I defame a President who is there? I can’t defame the President when the office is vacant? …Irene Chirwa Mambilima was principal at Legal Aid when she employed Jonathan Mutaware as Edgar Chagwa Lungu so she must explain her role in the construction of the identity theft that involves Jonathan Mutaware. By abetting a crime, she is also a criminal and this country cannot afford to have a Chief Justice who is a criminal,” said Sikazwe.
“Worse still, we allow these refugees to take up leadership like Irene Mambilima, Irene Chirwa. Emily Muntabi Sikazwe, a refugee who came in 1990 to run your elections. Are there no Zambians that you can entrust your entire election to a refugee? The reasons why oversight institutions in Zambia are failing like Parliament, the Judiciary itself, ACC, Drug Enforcement [Commission], police, is because we have surrendered these institutions to refugees. Go and do your research, you will find that the ones who are running these institutions are refugees.”
The other one, Mr Msoni claimed to know Petauke like the back of his hand and he was even losing breath as he tried to convince people that the village President Lungu claims to come from doesn’t exist.
“I want to give a background of Mukwama and Simambumbu villages. From what we know as Easterners, Simambumbu was never a proper village, including Mukwama village, they were not properly constituted villages. These were transit points for our brothers and sisters from Malawi, in transit either to go and work in the Mines or to go to Welela in Bulawayo and those who were going to work in the gold mines in South Africa. Perhaps that’s where the name “Petauke” came from. Those who used to come from Malawi would sleep in Mukwama and Simambumbu, and that is what quickly came up to be known as “Peta-uke uyende”. So Mukwama, Simambumbu, all those are fake villages,” said Mr Msoni.
We are respectful of the elderly in society, but at the same time, if we don’t tell them that the zip is open, people will continue laughing at them. We have chosen to advise these parents to cover themselves at the expense of looking a little disrespectful.
To suggest that Zambia is collapsing because all the people running government institutions including Cabinet Office are Malawians is a worthless attempt to manipulate public opinion. It is acceptable under freedom of speech and expression, but it also says a lot about the person giving such an opinion to the public.
It is also within his rights for Mr Msoni to tell himself that there has never been any villages called Simambumbu or Mukwama in Petauke District, but to call for a press conference and persuade the rest of the nation to believe the same, is an insult to the people who live in those villages.
If Mr Msoni truly knows where these two villages are located in Petauke then he must ask himself which road the migrating Malawians were using for them to lodge in Simambumbu and Mukwama before proceeding to the Copperbelt, Bulawayo and South Africa the following morning.
Anyway, our point is that we love these elderly opposition leaders and we know that they are sacrificing a lot of their personal time and resources to speak on behalf of the voiceless Zambians. However, we feel they have mishandled their argument about President Lungu’s identity and people are now as lost as they are.