The Nsenga people of Eastern Province say “mulandu uli nga nchishupu”, meaning a crime is like a fart; you never know when it will pop out and when it does, you can’t control its smell. Sometimes, we human beings try to hide our true character from the public, in the hope that as long as we misbehave in privacy, we are safe. But just like a fart, even the most silent one can be traced to the source – as Honourable Lawrence Sichalwe has come to learn.

Unlike many people who heard the news that the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs ‘accidentally’ posted a pornographic video in a WhatsApp group, we were not shocked at all. We understand that the minister is a human being like anyone of us. Away from public eyes, he indulges in any kinds of naughty behavior that gives him pleasure. What puzzled us instead was how the PF leaders in that WhatsApp group named “What government is doing” attempted to cover up the minister’s violation.

When the youths demanded that the law must take its course on the minister, they were harassed and told to have respect for elders. In short, what the PF leadership was asking the youths to do was to stop laughing because it was an elderly man who farted. This was very unfair because so many citizens in this country have been arrested and condemned to prison for doing exactly what the minister did. If it’s considered a crime when an ordinary Zambian commits it, then how can it cease to be a crime just because the offender is a Cabinet minister?

This is exactly the reason why we say it is very important for those who are in power to make laws from a point of view of those who are outside government. The minister has not denied posting the obscene video in that WhatsApp group, he has already pleaded guilty to the public and apologized. So, we don’t see anything that is there for the police to investigate. Our point is that there are laws in this country which need to be revised, but if lawmakers like Honourable Sichalwe don’t want to do that, then they must be prepared to face more and more public humiliation when such things happen.

Police spokesperson Esther Katongo is right when she says Honourable Sichalwe committed a crime regardless of the fact that he posted by mistake; and in all fairness, he deserves to be prosecuted and punished. But a little common sense is all that is required for anyone to see that the minister is just a sinner among sinners. The only difference is that his sin has crawled to the public.

It’s like fornication in Church. So many youths engage in casual sex after choir practice, but it only becomes a punishable offence when the girl gets pregnant or the couple gets caught. Right now, it’s Sichalwe who is on the hot seat, but there are several other ministers who are as guilty as Sichalwe. As we speak, God is looking down on them and they know themselves that what they were doing over the weekend is worse than what the Traditional Affairs minister is guilty of.

Let’s be realistic and check if the minister is the only government official who saw and circulated that video. Honourable Sichalwe did not download that video from somewhere to post it. He received it from someone and he found it exciting enough to share with more viewers. The video was clearly labeled “forwarded”. So, who sent that pornography to the respected Honourable minister?

One thing for sure is that a michopo seller in Chawama would not dare send such obscene materials to a minister, knowing it would get them in trouble. It can only be someone who has a certain level of freedom, a person who knows the minister’s taste in bed or what sexually humours him. Someone like a girlfriend. But since the Honourable Minister is from a marriage background, we would like to give him a benefit of doubt by assuming that he has been sticking one faithful partner.

We can generously extend the benefit of doubt to his woman, by assuming that she has more decent ways of proposing adventurous sexual pleasures from her Honourable lover, than sending him suggestive videos. So this leaves us the high possibility that a fellow Cabinet minister forwarded the video to the minister.

If the police think this is too far fetched, let them ask Honourable Sichalwe to name the person who sent him that video, that is when the whole country will know that those who are preaching morality have no morals whatsoever. Our calculated guess is that over 50 percent of our Cabinet minister watched and shared that video. They are as guilty as he is, but they are laughing at him because he has been exposed.

We are not here to judge Honourable Sichalwe, but we are interested in hearing what the minister in charge of morality and spiritual guidance has to say about this behavior? If it was upto her to judge, would she forgive the minister or not? If yes, what about the other Zambians who have been sentenced over the same crime? What a shameful government of hypocrites!