Dear Mr. Lungu,
APPEAL FOR THE PETITION TO BE HEARD
I greet you and your family in Jesus’ name.
This note serves to persuade you, for the sake of posterity, to see the crisis our country is facing from an ordinary citizen’s point of view.
The truth you need is outside State House. It is outside both your Central Committee and Cabinet. It lies in the hearts of the ‘not so liked’ individuals who owe you nothing and vice versa.
By proceeding with your inauguration you have deprived yourself an opportunity to legitimize your Presidency.
The country is divided into half in terms of allegiance. To govern such a divided country needs to ensure that most of the population be fully satisfied that they have either won or lost an election. If this fact is not established, peace becomes illusive in a young democracy like ours. A feeling of being in control sometimes betrays our own God-given intuition that what we are doing is unjust.
In view of the developments of the past three months, it has become clear that your assumed victory is in question, not only by many Zambians but by a large part of the international community. This fact can be evidenced by the many Heads of state who declined the invitation to attend your inauguration. I know my colleagues surrounding you have found a way to explain this dilemma away. In diplomacy, if only two presidents out of 54 respond to an inauguration it clearly means that they may not want to associate with that particular event.
Additionally, we should all be deeply concerned when the three church mother bodies write a Pastoral letter distancing themselves due to the lack of transparency in the last election; when local monitors like FODEP confirm that the election was fraudulent and not free and fair; when observers like the European Union and the Carter Center state that the election was not free and fair; when civil society like SACCORD question the legitimacy of the election; when ECZ itself confesses that they had given you 8,000 extra votes in places like Lundazi erroneously; when world acclaimed constitutional lawyers like Professor Muna Ndulo confirms that the ConCourt failed to discharge justice; when three Judges made a private ruling to dispose of the petition; in all these circumstances, we should be deeply concerned. (I will attempt to attach all these documents for ease of reference)
With such dissent against the last election, I wish to repeat that your hurried inauguration could have been misconceived and may not be respected by many Zambians. I fully understand that I am not your advisor, but I am a Zambian with deep interest in the integrity of democratic processes in our country. The most favorable recourse you have would be to allow the Petition to be heard. This alone will free our nation from unnecessary conflict and allow us all to place development at the center of our debate. I would like to advise that those of us who have served under a president who was petitioned understand that a petition is not an enemy of democracy but an effective healing balm of democracy.
President Mwanawasa was petitioned by Anderson Mazoka. I served as Vice President at the time. While the petition was always a source of great discomfort, it also served as a safety catch for the nation until the courts ruled on the case. Until your petition is heard, there remains no safety catch for the people of Zambia.
I don’t expect you to listen to my counsel, but if you do, you will probably become one of the very few leaders today and in history to take advise from a person they profess to hate. Someone who is not within the establishment. I however consider myself qualified to offer you my views. Firstly, I have served under a petition when I deputized President Levy Mwanawasa, secondly, I am giving counsel as a fully ordained minister of the Gospel and thirdly as an active participant in the last electoral process.
I wish to further advise that you caution and counsel those who speak on your behalf to start a new culture of answering the questions Zambians are asking instead of what they have become known for. They usually seek to insult and humiliate those who seek answers from your office. By responding with statements like, ‘Nevers is a failed politician,’ or ‘is a failed Pastor’, such rhetoric does not take away the issue at hand which is that Zambians want justice and want the petition to be heard. I urge them to first address themselves to the critical question at hand. Insulting us will not resolve the conflict on the table. Whether in their eyes one is viewed as an “irrelevant” citizen of Zambia or not, every Zambian deserves to be heard.
I wish to conclude my submission with 2 Chronicles 18:1-34. This is an account I recommend you read. King Ahab only listened to Prophets he liked. Those who were usually part of the Palace’s furniture. He supported them financially and they benefitted greatly from the riches of the King. King Ahab of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah to go with him to fight at Ramoth-Gilead. As the tradition was, Ahab called four hundred of his “palace” prophets to confirm if it was God’s will to go to battle and all the four hundred prophets gave him a green light. Jehoshaphat asked if there was any other prophet outside the palace. This was the answer from Ahab, “There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil; his name is Micaiah the son of Imlah.”
I hope you will not throw out this advice because you may have an issue with the messenger.
From where we stand, we are determined not to look back but to fight for justice and to ensure that the petition is heard.
We pray that you do the right thing for God’s people who are disillusioned and are hurting as they await justice. Mr. President, I urge you to stand with the Zambians to get their petition heard.
Sincerely in Christ,
Nevers Sekwila Mumba