Miyanda Warns Chiefs To Expect More Of Sata’s Outbursts

godfrey-miyanda-zambia-reportsSTATEMENT: OPEN LETTER TO CHIEFS IN ZAMBIA

The latest threats by President Michael Sata delivered personally in the House of Chiefs may be an ominous sign of what is yet to come and must be taken seriously by all citizens and in particular all chiefs in Zambia.

There was no need and there is no need for His Royal Highness Chief Jumbe to apologise because “he did no wrong”!

The President’s address is like the biblical “writing on the wall”. First it was Parliament, then some Church leaders, followed by Senior Chief Nzamane and Chief Madzimawe; then Senior Chief Mwamba and now Chief Jumbe.

Next it will be you; so you must consider an attack on one chief as an attack on all of you. That is why we call upon you all to use the President’s speech as material for your full debate.

You may wonder whether it is legal or proper for you to “discuss the President’ address”. The Constitution provides for Members of the House to debate matters before them.

When the President addressed the House he placed all that he said on the House Agenda. Take advantage of this and make strong resolutions which should be passed on to the Executive and Parliament to desist from dictatorial tendencies.

Please do not rubbish the President’s address but instead use it to assist you in correcting and formulating better policies and etiquette. You may consult your subjects in your chiefdoms to assist you to prepare appropriate responses from the floor of the House.

By the way, Chief Jumbe was correct (and the President was wrong to denounce him) in advising His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Mpezeni to avoid partisan politics.

His advice is supported by Article 129 of the Constitution which commands that “a person SHALL NOT, while remaining a Chief, join or participate in partisan politics”. Chief Jumbe understands the Constitution better, hence his timely advice to Paramount Chief Mpezeni!

We declare that the President does NOT have the powers he claims to have over chiefs or traditional leaders.

There are procedures to be followed before removing a chief from his or her throne. This power is reposed, NOT in the President, but in the communities themselves through their systems of selection and succession.

We disagree with the President that his parading of Paramount Chief Mpezeni at a PF campaign rally in Chipata was a courtesy call, unless this is a new meaning of the word.

Courtesy calls are paid at the office or residence of the one being called upon. Protocol demands that such courtesy calls be made at the palace of a chief. But we know that the President was using the chief to campaign for him and he should admit this truth.

In fact he also paraded District Commissioners at the same rally, all of whom made campaign speeches for the PF candidate.

Rather than be cowed into submission we urge all the chiefs to debate fully the President’s address, which is an affront to the whole House of Chiefs and the chiefs that were gathered therein.

The Chairperson of the House of Chiefs, Her Royal Highness Senior Chief Nkomeshya Mukamambo II, was equally insulted because her presence was ignored by the President when he used the occasion to conduct unrelated business!

We disagree that parading of Paramount Chief at the PF campaign rally was to show courtesy and respect.

We urge the House of Chiefs to debate whether this conforms to the traditional way of calling on chiefs, namely at their palaces. They should demand and resolve that the President stops parading chiefs like school children.

We call upon our President to desist from governing by intimidation and instilling fear in citizens.

Threats are not a sign of power or authority; oftentimes they may point to a state of insecurity and/or fear by those uttering them.

Our Chiefs must not fear one of their subjects who is now called PRESIDENT; respect and fear are two different things. Yes we must respect our topmost servant but not fear him. In turn he must earn the respect by his conduct, especially in public.

The fact that the President disowned and publicly rebuked the Attorney General, his official Chief Legal Advisor, confirms that he respects no one, not even the laws that he swore to defend, protect and observe!

We are no longer safe under this system of abuse of power. The sooner the Government begins to rule by example the better for us all!