Friday, May 28, 2021

Disorder in Court

 May 6, 2021

Well, friends. You must have been wondering why today I was on disorder in Court. A thousand apologies. I was just prepping you for disorder in a Kuta in Shangombo. 

The Kuta was held under the third baobab tree as you walk East and West from the market. 

The defendant was my beloved grandmother, of the world famous paraffin and battery acid laced seven days. She was accused of sitting on the revered ancestral stool twice.

And I have irrefutable empirical evidence that she had not done any quality assurance, before appearing before the circle of elders. 

I hear she had even glued some porcupine thorns to her eyelids to aggravate her beauty. Do not argue. My beloved grandmother is a very pretty woman. I would have married her, if my wife was not prettier.

And here is the verbatim of the proceedings.


"What is the time allowed to sit on the ancestral stool?"

My beloved grandmother

"Five minutes."


"And how many times are you allowed to sit on the stool?

My beloved grandmother



"Did you say twice?"

My beloved grandmother



"So how many times did you sit on the stool?"

My beloved grandmother



"But I have witnesses that saw you sit on the stool twice?

My beloved grandmother

"NO! They are liars! The first time I only put my toes on it for one minute. Was scared of putting my butt on it, as it had to be exorcised of the demons the last person's butt left.


"Case dismissed. The butt was not on the stool, the first time."

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

In boundaries of binary unthinking

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." - Ayn Rand

In House No 1159[1], I write.

In House No 1159 and in all the houses in the neighbourhood there was no tribe. Of course our parents, when socialising together, always made snide remarks of which group of people were the nyamazai the most, who was insolent and uncouth the most, who downed lion larger the most, or who sent children to have their willies cut the most. Didn’t bother us much as kids. After all, we all admired Shumpi irrespective of her tribe, we all marveled at the driving exploits of chabwela kumanda, we all wished we could also go to mukanda as it seemed a nice break from school (we really didn’t know at the time that, that is where willies were cut. If we did, I don’t think we would have wanted to go)!

This was in thinking of my childhood in Ndeke, Kitwe. The lessons of oneness learnt therein, are lessons I live by and find sacrosanct.

In “Of rogues, ethnicity and beauty”, a Facebook post I further write.

In another time, in Livingstone… Walked into the house, and there was this monk sitting at the dining table pigging himself, just like he always did back at college. And this was, in my father's house!

"You! What are you doing in my father's house?" He asks me. Anger and surprise creasing his face. Was I stupefied!

"I live here," I said calmly. Though a million questions were trying to jump the thought queue in my head.

"Huh!" Now the monk was clearly confused.

"Since my father is your father, then you are my brother. Cousin, I mean." Turns out the monk was visiting his uncle, my father, for the first time.

"I am sorry. I just cannot believe I called my own brother a tribalist. I am really sorry," he stuttered after reality came to roost.

"But why were you campaigning for Patrick Mpundu in the UNZASU elections?" He asked, when it seemed that his marbles were in equilibria.

"Because he made more sense than you," I had replied. [2]

Having been subjected to tribal rhetoric from political persons in Government and the Patriotic Front, yet again, there is no longer doubt in my mind that we are dealing with suffering souls that are imprisoned in the boundaries of binary unthinking.

They are trapped between exhibiting careful thought on how to continue being in government and, on how to make sense to the electorate.

Hence, in their convoluted ingenuity they scamper back to their hamlets. Puke all manner of lies about other ethnic groups, in the hope that someone will believe they think.  They even sing, “One land and one nation is our cry”!

Fact is. Their ‘cry’ is always a lie. For if it were not, they would respect the laws of the country that seek to protect citizens against hate speech. And deep down they know, a people now know who they really are. The unthinking.
Thus, it is evident, as it has been for a while now, that we need to liberate these suffering souls from the boundaries of binary unthinking. For if we do not, we will continue stoking the fires of unthought governance.
Ora pro nobis.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Fergus and the fear in my heart

“And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.”
- Kahlil Gibran
The gecko on my wall has crawled back into the crevice in the ceiling. My beloved grandmother, the one of the world famous paraffin and battery acid laced seven days, has stopped tormenting me over her fear of the dark.
It is now somberly silent, but for the occasional whispers of wizards and witches on low flying exercises outside my window. We need a law to provide for radar control for these chaps. No different from the fact that we need a new supreme law to perpetuate our unthinking pursuits of political hegemony.
Dear Fergus Cochrane-Dyet.
In your farewell eulogy, you decided to question as to why we are not writing laws of empathy for ourselves. We are actually a country of laws, not men.  We have a law for literally everything one can think of. Some laws just give me a mental high.
Like those on Cattle Cleansing; Control of Dogs (I think this law should stipulate that it is not cool to put those little dogs in a pouch and carry them like a baby); District Messengers; European Officers Pensions; Mental Disorders (which is a law on how much we care); Standardisation of Soap (which I thought provides that all soap should be Ebu); Traditional Beer (bwalwa, mowa, lwalwa, bucwala, bukoko or chibuku, except paraffin and battery acid laced seven days,); and, Witchcraft (Huh! "Witchcraft" includes the throwing of bones, the use of charms, being a witch doctor is actually an offence under this law).
Well, I am sure some could have been repealed or need to be repealed. But we just love laws, so most of the archaic ones are still there in those big green books, the artistic murals of Law. Yes, those books that are evidence of who deforests more.
Apologies. Somehow the grey chaps upstairs got too excited that I am again creating inkblots of thought. This is a letter to that fellow from Little Britannia. Fergus Cochrane-Dyet. He is rather a good fellow.
Sir. You, among many things, ask why we are not empathetic to the likely impact of the unsustainable debt levels on those we leave behind, those that fall before us; why we are empathetic to those who we give the responsibility to give milk to the baby, but who we actually see proudly drinking the milk instead of the baby; and, you ask what empathy NDF Bill 10 deserves.
Please sir. I think you were talking of some country on Mars. Not the country of my birth. Ours is a country that is so Christian that, we have a ministry that equips us with telescopes so that we stately peep under some chap’s skirts.
If I may remind you. On Tuesday January 5, 2016, the Great Leader assented the supreme law amendment that we gave onto ourselves at a big ceremony at the Stadium. We howled in happiness, and danced like red ants had crept up our twine patched crimplene long johns.
Today we are being told it was actually red ants that made us dance. And that Bill 10, idolising those that are drinking the baby’s milk is the feast we need. They are saying it tastes like dingi*.
The laws of empathy you seek that we write for ourselves have to be understood in the context that dingi tastes better, when it is rotting. Frog marching for Bill 10, idolising those that are drinking the baby’s milk is like savouring dingi. No exhaustion from hunting the beast. Just dig in, with a skeletal beak and sit back with a toothpick savoring the morsels.
But there is fear in my heart. The fear in my heart is that, there are many of us that are now so famished that digging our skeletal beaks into the dingi is the only way we can show our love for the Great Leader.
See. We inked our thumbs at the ballot for him, dropped the ballot paper in the box and happily walked home as that is our understanding of democracy. Not the laws of empathy you are agitating us to write.
Shh! Please read this letter using a broken mirror. Rather confusing times. Really wonder as to who the red ants crept up on. Me. I am very safe downstairs. I think.
Wishing you all the best, in your next assignment.
Ora pro nobis.
* Dried game meat

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The poo poo of our fears

The dreary wind hisses,
in awkward tunes that clouds a wilting fate.
Then rain,
the heavenly teardrops,
seeming endless.

The soulful sky bleeds again,
to overfill ones hopelessness,
to further ones emptiness of the will to win again.

Pale grey eyes,
deep into that which has no image,
the mind dwells in thoughts that lack meaning.

The screaming silence,
terrorises melancholic hope.

The tempest of impunity rages in earthly passion,
once given,
life now draws last rivulets of faith.

We saw them before,
we knew who they were,
in enjoying the poo-poo of our fears,
we let it be.

The storm is coming,
the last grasp,
will only be on a straw
that snaps before the storm.

Ora pro nobis.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A year of the gecko

“Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy."
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

A gecko is a creepy-crawly that often, when seen, results in involuntary ceiling-high jumping competitions of fright in some, and deep reflective melancholic times in others.

This year ending, had evoked memorable gecko-like behaviours in me, as we continued witnessing a government swing on a pendulum leaning on morass.

We competed the most in ceiling-high jumps of fright when we learnt that the country’s external debt stock has increased from US $8.7 billion as of end 2017 to some indeterminate figure pivoting at US $9.4 billion mid this year. Our fright was founded on the past experiences of high debt levels and its effect of likely lower government spending on social sectors like education and health., which inarguably affects the poor and vulnerable the most.  

Do not forget this is a year, in which we also hit the ceiling when we learnt that monies meant for the vulnerable among us, that led to the British suspending its contribution to the social cash transfer, was actually ‘taking a nap’ in some bank account. So we howled that the British imperialists (oh, and Africa Confidential) owe us an apology, as they were tarnishing the image of our holy nation.  In our howling, we even forgot that the State had already sanctioned an investigation as a response to the British government’s suspension of aid payments amid the allegations of corruption and fraud.

Well, I must admit. The revelations of fraud and corruption in the 2017 trends report of the Financial Intelligence Centre, the continued observations of misappropriation of funds in the Auditor General's report, still no idea how essential drugs took a leisurely walk from government warehouses, made me jump so high that my head got stuck in the ceiling. Well, some medics came in a very expensive public ambulance, and saved my sorry head!

Then there were those low jumps of fright, were we simply muse and say – well it is not falling on me. There were several, but the most memorable include.

The anarchical use of the law to suppress dissent, as witnessed in the trial now known as ''42-for-42''. That is, the protest questioning the purchase of 42 fire tenders at US$1 million each.

Pilato arrested after returning from South Africa, where he fled after receiving threats for his Koswe Mumpoto song. Don’t blame the guy for cutting and run. He has a dental formula I would kill for. He surely did not fancy it being re-arranged by political thugs. Well, glad he came back home.

Opposition party leaders and NGO personnel continued being ‘frog marched’ from districts and even church premises, as the State continued negating freedom of movement, expression and assembly with impunity.

But what the heck! Let me not lie.

2018 was not all about the gecko on the wall resulting in involuntary ceiling-high jumping competitions of fright, there were also deep reflective melancholic times.  

How a State till end year has not provided answers on the death of Vespers Shimuzhila, the University of Zambia (UNZA) student who died from suffocation during riots at the institution. What those fellows in sisal wigs are still pondering in the Judicial review proceedings challenging the Speaker of the National Assembly decision on the impeachment motion.

Anyway, in hindsight, there is no doubt in my mind that 2018 was just another year of the gecko.  We squealed, we reasoned, yet we moved on like we are just tourists in our own country.

It is like even though we jumped in fright, we knew that it will actually not fall. We reflected on the transgressions of the State, but we moved on immediately another gecko appeared.

About it all, we forgot that, as Sri Aurobindo writes, “our actual enemy is not any force exterior to ourselves, but our own crying weaknesses, our cowardice, our selfishness, our hypocrisy, our purblind sentimentalism".

And, indeed, our polite reverence of creepy-crawlies.

Verbum satis sapient.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

In God's country

From the archives The Monitor Newspaper July 11, 2003

God is omnipotent. God is respect. God is Christopher. This I know and I do not need any self-godly chosen individual to tell me so.

I also know that God is not neurotic or hysterical; God dwells not in the sanctity of a few self-godly chosen individuals; and, God seeks not that I shall be saved by chanting, wailing and raving about how glorious God’s name is. In addition, God chooses not a nation, for God discriminates not.

God seeks not that I am Christian, Moslem or Hindu. God seeks that I walk not with Christopher, but that I walk in Christopher. For God teaches me that, the fish lives not in the waters; the fish lives with the waters.  In teaching me this, God seeks that I am the epitome of humaneness.

This is God, as I know him. It is as God seeks to be known.

I write this because this is God’s country, for God so chose, is the Christian claim. Fact is, Zambia is not a Christian nation. Zambia, like many developmentally lost nations is simply a nation calling out to ecclesiastic intervention into its self-afflicted socio-economic and political abnormalcy. 

There will be no ecclesiastic intervention as far as God’s manifestation in current and past events in this country show a God-loving people exhibiting hypocrisy, naivety, fear and political immorality. After all, the country’s history is replete with so-called people that answered the calling of God being messiahs of governance impunity.

In any case, God did not declare Zambia a Christian nation. Frederick Chiluba did, and it was for political interests that he did so. Sects of the Christian faith jubilated Chiluba’s unconstitutional declaration.

What is clear in my mind is, if this is God’s country, how then can an act of impunity be celebrated? God is respect, and the constitution before it was adulterated manifested this respect. The constitution of Zambia respected my choice to seek God in whatever faith I so wished. 

It is in this viewpoint that for a minister to assert that the Christian faith is superior is a simple manifestation of impunity and lack of respect. The ‘honourable’ Nyirongo is on record as having asserted this, when followers of the Islamic faith held prayers during a football match at independence stadium a couple of weeks ago. 

That this God’s country is everyday waning into an abyss of socio-economic despair is inarguably, in part, because we have as leaders individuals who, not only do not respect the citizenry, but perpetuate the disrespect through infantile attributions of God’s calling.

This impunity and disrespect is today manifest in Nevers Mumba’s assumption that he is the substantive vice-president, just because president Levy Mwanawasa first nominated him as MP, then appointed him as vice-president. Mwanawasa appointed Nevers Mumba as vice-president, and it is his discretion. Nevertheless, a president’s discretion is bounded by the rationality provided by a country’s laws or behavioural limits, and the contentions, thereof.

If it is that this is God’s country, and Nevers Mumba is a man of God, then it should be expected that Mr. Mumba (hon. PhD, Flint College, Michigan) knows too well that his continued pursuance of the duties of a vice-president is morally unsound.

Many have argued (e.g. respected professor of law at Cornell, Muna Ndulo), that the act of nominating an individual an MP demands that such a person takes the prescribed oath of office of Member of Parliament. Being an MP is the condition for being a vice-president, and not the simple nominative act of presidential discretion.

Mr. Mumba is not an MP. Or could be, the Speaker acted ‘in camera’ and swore the man of God into the house. Who knows, miracles happen in Zambia, and the Press were not privy to the communication between the Speaker, president and vice-president.

In any case, if Mr. Mumba has taken the oath of parliament, a historical perusal of his acts preceding his appointment to Veep shows acts that one does not expect a person that knows God to have accepted the appointment.

In September 1997, in defence of his decision to join politics, Mr. Mumba argued that “politics was about people and that it was a Christian's responsibility to steer the nation on a God-fearing path.”  Surely, a God-fearing path demands that one respects and protects other’s and one’s moral soundness. The question is: has Mr. Mumba manifested moral soundness?

In December 2001, during the court contention of Mr. Mwanawasa’s election, Mr. Mumba is reported by Reuters as saying - "We do not want the chief justice to swear in a new president before these allegations of massive vote-rigging are thoroughly investigated."  The allegations are today the grounding of an election petition, thereby indicating that there are now being subjected to judicial interpretation.

A president was sworn-in, and that president appointed him, vice-president!

Mr. Mumba’s argument so far has been that the president’s corruption agenda is also his bidding. The cardinal point that shows a questioned integrity or moral soundness is that Mr. Mumba knows to well that the allegations of electoral corruption still stand, yet he accepted the appointment of Veep. A suspected crime is a suspected crime, until the courts clear it.

In addition, around the same time was it not Mr. Mumba who said: "We want at least the Zambian people to feel that what they voted for is what they have in office… until this is achieved, the opposition front shall not rest until we make sure that the will of the Zambian people is respected and honoured."

Further, in January 2001, Mr. Mumba is reported to have said “only crooks, thieves and those who buy votes from the electorate can win an election under the current electoral process.”  Mr. Mwanawasa was sworn in as the winner. Now Mr. Mumba, is Mr. Mwanawasa a crook, thief and vote-buyer?

Interestingly, Mr. Mumba has always argued that Zambia does not require a man with vast knowledge in managerial and business skills to turn around the economy but a man of morality and integrity.  If he believes he is a man of morality and integrity, unfortunately his historical and present acts do not attest.

In retrospect, when conceived beyond politics, Mr. Mumba’s continued pursuance of Veep duties exemplifies a narcissistic God’s country. 

Indeed, Zambia is God’s country, where men of God walk the earth with impunity. What then stops me, a mere mortal, from watching Big Brother Africa – an anti-Christ, anti-African reality show!

Saving Christopher

From the archives Monitor Newspaper October 10, 2003

This week I am starting the case for saving Christopher. I have no apologies if readers find the language sometimes hard. But, like Stephen Lewis (UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa) noted in January this year after his tour of Southern Africa, “..., the time for polite, even agitated entreaties is over.” Our present times are no longer the age of timeworn politeness or civility, simply because we are living in times of impunity and hypocrisy.

The citizenry and indeed all that dwells on this planet must realise that democracy, the very much touted commodity of governance in the 21st century is slowly becoming the yoke of our enslavement, debasement and impoverishment. This is done with impunity, mostly, because we still have inane and absurd beliefs of respect, when politicians (in government and the opposition) do not show any iota of respect for the citizenry.

The power that as a people we have over politicians does not seem to be realised. It is absurd of people to kow-tow before and after politicians.  A politician does not feed you, nor do you owe him or her your servitude. It is the politician that actually owes you his or her servitude.

Lest you forgot, a politician is just as ordinary as yourself, only difference is, this is an individual that seeks to represent you (and the ideals you subscribe to) in your everyday interaction with the State.  And not a single individual, other than a dictator, can represent you without your sanction. Consequently, it is irresponsible to sanction someone to represent you, and then allow them to behave with impunity and in a manner that kills Christopher.

That in this century, our relationship to our representation is that of servitude, is because as a people we accept and sustain impunity and hypocrisy.

Okay, so there are no WMDs in Iraq. Of course, there were no WMDs, except the ones in Collin Powell’s PowerPoint presentation at the UN. George and Tony being allowed impunity could not differentiate a PowerPoint presentation from reality, so they went looking for things that only existed in a presentation.  Any way, forget global impunity, hypocrisy and idiocy, it rarely saves Christopher, and that is fact.

How about on the home front? Children are being defiled at an alarming rate, so every Tom, Dick and Harry says, and the media is having a field day.  Last week, there was even a protest march. Members of civil society, politicians and yes, children went to air their grievances to Mr or Mrs. Freedom Statue along Independence Avenue in Lusaka. They went to tell him/her, that the law on defilement should be stiffened, defilers should be castrated, and so many other blah blahs.

Without seeming to minimise the problem of child abuse and in particular defilement, from beyond politics, the fact is the Freedom Statue is not the entity to which such grievances or protests should be addressed. As more grey hairs pop up on my head, understanding humans, is becoming an exercise in futility. It is clear the act of doing anything right in this country is shockingly far-fetched. Could be that is why, even our governance is in a serious mess. Or it could be, ‘being seen’ or the ‘wannabe’ syndrome is inadvertently now a state of our existence.

I was asked if I would march, and I said yes. But when I was told we would be protesting at Freedom Statue, the meaningless of the protest was evident and not worth participating in.

The protest march should have been to State House, cabinet or parliament, and not a damn statue. Could be we respect politicians so much that we seek not to disturb their peace in their places of work, so we humbly march to a statue. What impunity!

Impunity is a crime. The perpetuation of impunity by parties affected by impunity is also a crime. It is absurd that this country’s citizenry continually behave in a manner that not only perpetuates impunity, but also sustains and nourishes it.

Our everyday existence as Zambians is riddled with impunity. Walk into any service providers’ place (public or private), in over 99 per cent of the cases, the service provider at the other end of the table or counter will look at you like you are lost, or you are simply wasting their time. Tragically, the majority of Zambians seeking the service that took them there will simply timidly take the nonsense.

How often have you walked into your Bank, and you have been subjected to a wait of over half an hour, just because despite the Bank wasting money on constructing 10 counters or so, most of the time only 50% of the counters provide service.

In our understanding of the effect of impunity and hypocrisy, the answer that always fails us is how we contain impunity and hypocrisy in our poorest of the poor country.

From beyond politics, the answer is simple.

All donors and supposed international development agencies should vacate the nation space defined as the state of Zambia. Donors and supposed international development agencies have been round this country since the time I used to believe James Brown was cool, yet zilch has been done to change Christopher’s plight.

All civil society leaders that claim to fight for what is just, should shut up. Just is not about politicians and the State. Just is about Christopher.

All politicians that exhibit monkey-like tendencies of swinging from branch to branch under the misguided assumption that it is only by being in the ruling party that one can contribute to the development of this poorest of the poor countries should be weeded.

All presidents that parade such individuals as saviours should be impeached.

Lest I forget, in addition, all politicians holding government office should relinquish their office and vamoose. All civil servants who owe allegiance to the president should be arrested. They are a travesty of the expectations of a civil servant.

Take away the franchise from all citizens that continue voting for individuals that exhibit monkey-like behaviours, such citizens are demented and not worthy the right to the franchise.  These individuals simply epitomise the likely dangers of democracy of rule by the majority through mediocrity. The franchise should be the preserve of reasoning individuals.

So Mr. Liato, Tetamashimba retained their seats, and the MMD is asserting its political hegemony. Who cares, after all a one party state is what appeals to the citizenry? Mr. Imenda was allowed to contest his seat despite the courts affirming that his last election was fraudulent.  Can not fault him, after all the continued adherence to illegitimate laws allowed him. So again, who cares?