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!

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