Dear Henry Kanyanta Sosala (Chitimukulu mwinelubemba)
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you.
I normally refrain from addressing Royalty because I have been taught that royalty is above politics and almost always seeks to unite us and not to encourage us to make important decisions based on tribe. I believe that your kingdom has accepted and embraced subjects of various ethnic backgrounds including some whose eyes seem shut (please this has nothing to do with documented lack of vision).
Your article in which you propose an insertion of a clause in BILL 10 that will form a tribal quadrumvirate called the Council of Paramount Chiefs makes sad reading. Your proposal fails to consider the regional links among Kalonga Gawa Undi, Nkosi yama Nkosi Mpezeni and Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu. This failure to admit the regional skew in your proposal appears to be in line with those that have emphatically felt nobody from Barotseland should ever rise to the pinnacle of Zambian political power.
Your Royal Highness your assertion that Bemba heros are mostly identified by their demonstrated willingness to side with their traditional heritage than national heritage is regrettable. Elevating your subjects to heroes on account of their family and tribal dispositions without showing any willingness to demote others to villains on account of toxic tribalism is most unfortunate.
Your account on the gallant Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe’s resignation for wanting to stand with his people is actually an indictment on Her Honor Inonge Wina, our Vice president and automatic president in the event of incapacity of our already “incapable” president. ‘’The people from Southern, Western and Northwestern parts of Zambia, the people of Barotseland have suffered physically and sometimes been beaten. They have suffered demotions and suspensions because of my being Vice-President. I cannot sacrifice any longer these people. If such activities continue, they would lead to difficulties in the nation. I, therefore, refuse to be part and parcel of any bloodshed that may be the result of self-aggrandizement.’’ Try to imagine these words coming out of our current VP and judge for yourself their appropriateness.
Your Royal Highness, there are many ways of interpreting wise words that have been uttered by wise men. Selective distortion implies that we are all prone to cherry picking. My understanding of English man Walter Begehat whom you quoted as having said: ‘’Royalty (tradition) is a government in which the attention is concentrated in one person doing interesting actions. A Republic (politics) is a government in which that attention is divided among many, who are doing interesting actions. Accordingly, so long as the human heart is strong and human reason weak, Royalty (tradition) will be stronger because it appeals to diffused feelings and Republic (politics) weak because it appeals to the understanding’’ is that Royalty must never be allowed to serve political roles if governments are to be successful.
I am of the view that our MPs are never elected on tribal basis and should therefore not be expected to pander to tribalistic expectations. Parliament does not enact laws for Nsengas or Bembas or Ngonis or Tongas or Lozis. It enacts laws for Zambians and the MPs are expected to have Zambia at heart and not the respective kingdoms from which they hail from.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
My being Pamela Bwembya does no in any way mortify my true origins. If my father,s father was Bemba does that imply that his wife was Bemba too? Don’t I have four grandparents from whom I inherited my current set of genes? My mother had her own parents and they don’t have to be Bembas just because I am a Bwembya. One of them can be Kaonde while the other could be Namwanga. If anything, we should accept that our country has both matrilineal tribes (Bembas, Tongas etc.) and patrilineal tribes (Namwanga, Tumbuka etc ). While my NRC shows that I am a Bemba from a Bemba village the matrilineal traditional kinship attributes my clan (mukoa) to my mother’s side and my mother’s mother (grandma)’s side. It is in that line that my inheritance lies. Yet for all geopolitical purposes I am your subject and a Bemba because of one grandparent and geolocation related factors. From the national perspective, I am still entitled to own any state land if it is legally offered to me anywhere within my country.
You are hoping that UPND Mps show a bit of collective responsibility by siding with their compromised traditional leaders…okay! We never elected them because they were subjects of their traditional leaders. A Zambian MP does not need to be Bemba or Lozi; they can be of any origin like Kirti Patel or Rolf Shenton. Being a Zambian does not require one to be from one of our 72+ dialects.
I found your post to be highly manipulative. I pray that you will move away from your current trajectory so that our traditional inclinations, like religious inclinations are above partisan politics.
Your humble subject
Pamela Bwembya….in national, not traditional interest.
CHOOSE BETWEEN YOUR KING AND HAKAINDE ON BILL 10, KANYANTA SOSALA OF THE BEMBA CHALLENGES BAROTSE UPND MPS
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL 10 of 2019: A CHALLENGE OF LOYALTY BETWEEN POLITICS AND TRADITION
Dr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala
Their Majesties, the Litunga, Kalonga Gwawa Undi, Nkosi yama Nkosi Mpezeni and Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu Kanyanta-Manga II have been meeting for the past few months to discuss various national issues. And it was observed that their active participation in the national affairs of our nation would only be effective if their role was spelled out in the Constitution and this could therefore be done by the insertion of the following new clauses in Bill 10/2019 i.e., after clause 58 on page 18 and after line 27:59.
The Constitution is amended by the insertion of the following new Article immediately after Article 168.
168A (1) There is to be established a Council of Paramount Chiefs.
(2) The Council of Paramount Chiefs shall consist of the Litunga, Kalonga Gawa Undi, Nkosi yama Nkosi Mpezeni and Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu
(3) The members of the Council of Paramount Chiefs shall elect a Chairperson
And a Vice-Chairperson every five years from among themselves.
(4) The functions of the Council of Paramount Chiefs are to provide advice to The President and the House of Chiefs as prescribed.
The challenge here lies among UPND Members of Parliament from Western Province, who according to their party’s directive are opposing Bill 10 and have been instructed to immediately walk out of Parliament whenever the Bill is tabled. And therefore in this respect, every Honourable Member of Parliament will have to decide whether to be loyal or show allegiance to politics or tradition! In essence, this actually means, they have to choose to be loyal either to Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, the UPND President or to His Majesty King of Barotseland, the Litunga (who is honoured and distinguished with the supreme title of Litunga i.e., earth and owner of the land).
King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “What has happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again.’’
Hence the saying: “a driver who does not use a mirror to look back will one day make a fatal accident.” It is also said that the world is three days, i.e., yesterday, to-day and tomorrow. And if you do not know yesterday, then you won’t know what day today is and certainly tomorrow will take you by surprise.
In his paper, Barotseland: The Secessionist Challenge to Zambia, Gerald Caplan wrote: ‘’… in 1963, the UNIP-ANC coalition government initiated reforms in the Barotse Government. Mwanawina was informed that the Katengo, one of the traditional councils of Lozi Government was to be an elected body. The results gave UNIP, a victory exceeding its own most optimistic predictions.
They collectively gained 84 per cent of 25,000 votes cast…….. and thereafter when a Lozi delegation met representatives of the central Government, the traditional contingent predictably argued that, if Barotseland were to remain part of Zambia at all, it must be on the condition of virtually complete local autonomy. Less expected was the support this stand received from the delegate’s elected Katengo councillors, all of course UNIP members.
Attempting to be both Lozi patriots and Zambian nationalists, they differed from the Litunga’s appointees only in degree, not in kind. They wished to remain ‘part and parcel of Zambia’, but with Barotseland’s special status left intact.’’
We have to realize that tradition has a much longer span of life than politics. And besides, traditional rulers stand on a superior moral ground than politicians. An English man Walter Begehat was quoted in the book, Studies in African Politics to have said:
“Royalty (tradition) is a government in which the attention is concentrated in one person doing interesting actions. A Republic (politics) is a government in which that attention is divided among many, who are doing interesting actions. Accordingly, so long as the human heart is strong and human reason weak, Royalty (tradition) will be stronger because it appeals to diffused feelings and Republic (politics) weak because it appeals to the understanding.”
During the 2014 Easter commemoration, a Catholic priest, Father Charles Chilinda in his sermon said, “…but like in all political spheres, power is femoral, transient and short-lived as well as delusional because reality often catches up with an unexpected vengeance.”
We have to understand that a “stand” is not necessarily a point of view. Taking a “position” requires us to choose to either for or against a certain issue, but taking a “stand” recognizes all points of view and allows each one to exist and be heard. There is therefore a difference between taking a “position” and taking a “stand.”
Mr. Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe (the most famous and highly respected Bemba political hero) and Mr .Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba are the names that are etched in our archives among the principled Bemba politicians of conscience.
Mr. Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe resigned as Zambia’s Republican Vice-President because “The people from Northern part of Zambia, the Bemba-speaking people have suffered physically and sometimes been beaten. They have suffered demotions and suspensions because of my being Vice-President. I cannot sacrifice any longer these people. If such activities continue, they would lead to difficulties in the nation. I, therefore, refuse to be part and parcel of any bloodshed that may be the result of self-aggrandizement.”
Mr. Mwamba had risked his own life besides his businesses by standing on the principle of being loyal not only to me personally but to the Bemba people and tribe. Mr. Mwamba being a member of the Bemba royal family failed to betray his tribe for the sake of money and position. In fact before Mr. Mwamba had paid a courtesy call on me in Kasama, he even took a precaution step by inviting two officers from the Office of the President to monitor our meeting. But President Sata later censured him “for failing to show collective responsibility on his part as a Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament for the ruling party.” (The Post 24th December 2013).
And defiance Mr. Mwamba resigned as Defence Minister: “ …it’s important for Zambians to know that I hail from the Bemba royal family and it is therefore unacceptable for President Sata to stop me from visiting my grandfather. There is no way I am going to forsake my own blood for the sake of politics. So for me as GBM, I am sorry. I am a very principled person and I resign from government.”
“Collective responsibility” in this respect meant that Mr. Mwamba would have forsaken his cultural heritage for the sake of being a Cabinet Minister and PF member of Parliament! The Honourable Members of Parliament from Western Province are in the same predicament of “collective responsibility” as members of UPND.
And whatever decision the Honourable Members of UPND will ever take will be etched in the archives of Lozi political history, just as we remember the heroic decision to stand for tradition by the members of the Katengo, in spite of being UNIP members, way back in 1963.