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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Deaf to Reason

Columns Deaf to Reason

Dr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala

Many people who have been reading my articles in The Post newspaper since 2009 and subsequently in the Daily Nation have been advising me to stop submitting my articles to Lusaka Times because of insults from the so-called bloggers. This is I suppose means that a generation has been raised untutored in what was once called, ‘’practical wisdom,’’ which guided previous generations. And here was the preamble to one of my articles:

I have been prompted to write this article on Zambia’s political and economic history because of the following extract which a young ‘’blogger’’ had posted in Watchdog on 12th August 2014:

‘’I was surprised to find out that Zambia my country is topping the list of the poorest countries in Africa, whilst Seychelles is topping the richest countries in Africa with Botswana trailing behind. I cried the whole night and asked myself: where did we go wrong?’’

Anver Versi, the editor of ‘’New African’’ magazine wrote:

‘’One of the favourite conference topics over the past few years has been Africa’s ‘youth bulge. We are told that by 2030, Africa will have the largest youth workforce in the world. If projections go as expected, the question is what can we do with the knowledge of this fact? The optimists see this as a boon i.e., the so-called ‘youth dividend’; while the pessimists point out that a huge population of energetic young people, with frustrated dreams, may lead to social chaos unless they can be gainfully employed. Again, most people seem to accept this premise; so the issue now is, how can we set into motion measures that will ensure that this youthful energy will be harnessed into productive activity i.e., in short will there be enough employment for this demographic?’’

I then went on: I think the first thing we need to note from the above is how Anver Versi has put it: ‘’What can we do with the knowledge of this fact?’’ I repeat, what he is saying is: ‘’what can we do?’’ This simply means that he is inviting we Africans in general to begin to brainstorm on this important issue and I must therefore remind the so-called Lusaka Times bloggers to concentrate on trying to help our youths by exploring the various avenues to tackle this imminent catastrophe instead of their usual habit of concentrating on unreasonably attacking my contributions, i.e, ‘’that was why President Sata de-gazzeted you……..’’ We must not agree on the answers, but we must almost try to agree on the questions. I appreciate being shown another side of an issue and this to me means thinking is a dialogic process.

And here are some of the running commentaries from Lusaka Times’ bloggers:

1 Mr. Chitimukulu, Zambia ids poor because of people like you. Can you explain why went ahead and got land in forest 27? Greed.

RESPONSE: In fact he was the first to respond to my article. Anyway my fellow tribesmen felt that I should not stay in hotels whenever I travel to Lusaka and they acquired me a plot, which is described in the title deed as ‘’a piece of land in extent of 3062 square metres more or less being Stand No. Lusak/LN_52062/8 situated in the Lusaka Province of Zambia.’’ And I only learned of ‘’forest 27’’ from an article in Sunday Times of 22nd September 2019, where it was reported that ‘’Mr. William Harrington was calling on President Lungu to set up a tribunal regarding the de-gazetting of forest 27..’’

I do not know why the blogger picked just on me since there are some people there who have even started building houses. And I cannot just see where ‘’greed’’ comes in since I only have one plot measuring 3062 square metres! But something did catch my attention. Mr. Chitimukulu! Why, since all traditional leaders are addressed as ‘’Royal Highnesses’’? I suppose he just meant to demean my status since I was in May 2019 awarded a honourary doctorate degree by an American University in Philosophy and Letters because of my contributions to literature. However, here is a miserable creature whose simple mind is totally enslaved by inferiority complex and petty jealousy. In fact, jealousy is as strong as death and as poisonous as venom. The trouble with it is that it unleashes more harm to the person harbouring it than the person targeted. Eckhart Tolle wrote: ‘’Whatever you fight, you ignite and strengthen and whatever you resist persists.’’

1.4 Mulopwe, you are right on two things. 1. Our current situation is influenced by our past. And if you look at Africa, one of the great evils was having chiefs. They exploited their people and sold them as slaves to the white slavers. So you must be ashamed to be a chief. 2. The current political parties are not the solution. Yes I agree. But PF need to go. Of all the regimes we have had in Zambia this has been the laziest, most incompetent and most corrupt. I am quite sure even a frog would do better. I will vote for ANYTHING that is not PF. But you are wrong to blame capitalism. Why? Because your analysis of capitalism is based on propaganda that dominated the days of the cold war and not on facts.

RESPONSE: 1. Instead of trying to find the answer to what the youngster had posed, the blogger went on to discuss about dead history of slave trade. And the blogger in ignorance wrote about slavery and in fact he himself is not aware that his mental slavery to which the ‘’Bantu’’ education system which teachers ‘’what to think,’’ and not ‘’how to think,’’ has confined him is even worse than physical slavery he was talking about. And you can read for yourselves about what the now freed-slaves boast about themselves: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), the first national spokesman for the Black Americans wrote in his book Up From Slavery: ‘’….notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the millions of Negroes inhabiting this country, who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful conditions, materially, intellectually, morally and religiously, than is true of an equal number of Black people in any other portion of the globe.’’

The blogger went on,’’ So you must be ashamed to be a chief.’’ The shortfall is that to him, ‘’there is a beginning and an end, but no middle.’’ Such a hiatus is common, since it arises mainly from individuals whose enthusiasm runs faster than common-sense. Any human society of whatever level requires organization and speaking of “organization,” I refer to the pattern of observable regularities of behaviour by reference to which people are seen to order their social relationships among themselves. And this was how traditional leadership was birthed. Traditional authority refers to power that are associated with and emanate from the institution of chieftaincy. Traditional leadership is inherently political. This is born out of history, custom and practice, because before the present mode of governments in Africa, traditional kingship was the sole government.

A tribe is a political, social and economic unit. It’s like a social class in Europe in which people find their polyglot neighbours in times of distress and helpers in times of need. A tribe offered sanctuary in the old days of tribal wars. Anthropologists, notably Messrs. R. Nontagene and G. Balandier have written about these societies: “Tribes were communities so stable, apparently stagnant, mixed up, superimposed upon another by history…” (The Sociology of Black Africa p.25).
It must also be borne in mind that any tribe is not an inert and static think as most people think, but it is an organism which changes with time and devoted works of anthropologists, sociologists and historians bear witness to this fact and only megalomaniacs would dismiss any tribal political system as primitive and chaotic. And so it is not only political nationalism (which was adapted in Zambia after World War II), which has the monopoly of intellectual development, but traditional as well and I must make it abundantly clear that to underestimate political enlightenment of one is to make a dangerous and grave mistake. In fact with longer history chieftaincy retains a powerful genius loci.

I believe it is the blogger himself who should be ashamed for belonging to a visionless generation as Professor Ferdinand Akuffo wrote: ‘’…..in 1964, Dr. Kaunda and other heroes fought hard for Zambia to be independent. They had visions and it’s unfortunate that a more subtle form of colonialism is taking place. Foreigners are slowly taking control of Zambia by taking what gives Zambians power. Most of the companies, shops etc., are being run by them. All this is being done while Zambians sit down and follow blindly.’’ (The Post 24th September 2007)

I looked at the commentaries from those who have dubbed themselves as ‘’bloggers’’ in Lusaka Times of 19th July 2014 from which I picked up the following:

  1.  Honourable Guy Scott —— I qualify to act as President, parentage clause misunderstood by many people. There were 76 comments.
  2. Name universities or hospitals after President Chilufya Sata by Mrs Mary Nkhoma Chibesa a PF member of Chingola. There were 30 comments.
  3. PF under under pressure by UPND Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Kuchunga Simusamba. There were 33 comments.
  4. Honourable Guy Scott —- expected to arrive in Scotland to witness the official kick-off of the 2014 Commonwealth games. There were 21 comments.
  5. Ministry of Education begins piloting the use of e-learning facilities in five primary schools in Lusaka. The Parliamentary committee on education conducted a tour of some of the schools that use the facilities. There was only one (1) comment.
  6. The low academic performance in Luapula Province attributed to poor reading culture. There were 6 comments.
  7. President Sata visits his son Kazimu in a South African hospital. There were 30 comments.
  8. From the Watchdog: Ghana and Zambia irresponsible governments wasted benefits of Jubilee 2000, after which they were cleared of foreign debts worth about US$ 14 billion.

And these two countries are heavily borrowing again. There were only 2 comments.

In fact, most of the comments were totally unintelligible. I have always cherished to submit my articles to Lusaka Times because the editors stood with me during my most trying times, but I am now becoming discouraging due to unnecessary personal attacks.

The Post observed in the editorial: ‘’Our society has very few thinkers…..when our future generations ask themselves who the greatest thinkers were at this stage of our history, what will they find? We are afraid they may come up with none. If they should see an amorphous mass of mediocrity…….’’ (ibid. 29th June 2005).

36 COMMENTS

    • That is a premise. You should now say more to support and or elucidate your statement, giving reasons for what you have just said; and where available, giving examples.

      Failing that would be dismissing or ignoring what the Chitimukulu has written. If that was the intention of your premise, then it would have been best not to respond to his article at all.

  1. So where did the Chitimukulu study and only he alone was taught how to think and his critics what to think? In his writing he strikes me as someone who respects tradition. So why has he accepted a residential plot in forest 27 where there’s no sewage treatment plant to protect indigenous people who depend on water that percolates through forest 27 from pollution? Doesn’t the Chitimukulu see a moral dilemma here?

  2. Your Royal Highness, I am one of those who feels chieftaincy has failed us because you have reduced yourselves to receiving handouts from the government of the day to, among other things, renovate or build those ramshackles you call “palaces”. You can do better than that. You strike me as an intelligent, fiery and vibrant chief, but the people continue to wallow in poverty partly because chiefs like you, Sir, allow govt authorities to treat you as campaign managers in their pursuit of political power. I have great respect for you but,sorry to say, you together with the Litunga have not led the way to bring prosperity to your chiefdom. I personally know a chief who hides his wealth because his subjects are wallowing in abject poverty. Instead of improving their lives, he spends time in…

  3. Musa: U don’t describe a chief like that. Look, it’s not done even if he’s not your chief. He isn’t mine either but I can respectfully disagree with him.

  4. Reading this article explains why Sata locked you out from the Palace. You have misguided priorities. Instead of focusing on mobilizng your people for development you spend lots of time with a pen writting artlcles which are meaningless to your subjects since a large percentage of them cannot read. You must remember that you are a chief and not university professor. If you want to continue writting go open a newspaper. In the current setting you still remain a misfit in the running of the Bemba economical land scape. Bembaland will not see meaningful economic growth under your leadership. SATA was right !

  5. Are you touch with your subjects? I doubt it. You are full of yourself. Probably Micheal Sata was right to lock you out. Tauli mfumu iwe!!!

  6. Sosala has cheapened the Mwine Lubemba title. Someone close to him should advise this man to stop writing and exposing his lunacy further. In his position, he should know that respect is earned and he deserves none

  7. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    Chitimukulu demanding to be called ‘HRH’ is the worst form of narcissism ever. You don’t force people to call you some title… read carefully he’s actually inviting the readers to call him ‘Doctor’ ‘HRH’ Chitimukulu… laughable indeed (except it is not fun).
    Chitimukulu, I have got news for you: Welcome to the new era of cyber anonymity where you have to have a thick skin if you put out some writing that invites comments. Out here respect is an alien thing, and just ask the likes of Trump, Obama or the late Mwanawasa. You want respect, well stay in your palace hut in your traditional animal clothing and show up on LT… here they will tear you apart and treat you like Mushota, BR Mumba Jnr or MMD Chief licker’. You want to go blow for blow like in the Octagon, good luck with…

  8. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    ….You want to go blow for blow like in the Octagon, good luck with that. I mean try emulating The King Litunga who is very intelligent but doesn’t go round trying to show it off. FYI Forest 27 has CORRUPTION written all over it, stay away from it if you are indeed your Royal Highness. By the way you are a Brigadier General Miyanda Wannabe (but he has a much thicker skin than you crybaby HRH).

  9. Just too many Boneheads blogging and with no respect or regard for anyone else. I suggest you all go back to school!!! learn, learn, learn and learn some more, and whilst at it, learn some manners too.

  10. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    .. .”You want respect, well stay in your palace hut in your traditional animal clothing and don’t show up on LT…”.

    FYI the beauty of cyber anonymity is that a so called blogger may even be one of your wives or your guardian or even someone sitting to you right now. You can’t trust anyone out here. Who do you think dobbed you in about Forest 27? By the way your excuse of hotels and what not is lame and weak. First you shouldn’t even be globetrotting to Lusaka that often… stay home and attend to your traditional duties or quit if you want to live in Lusaka. And 3062 square metres is just too big a plot, jeez!

  11. Disagreement shouldn’t and doesn’t mean disrespect. There’s a world of difference between them. Civilisation depends on knowing this simple difference.

  12. Ubufumu buchindika abene, mutuka mfumu tatuka imo. Even in olden days there mannerless slaves who hid behind the Watch Tower movement. We now have intellectuals that can’t even express themselves eloquently, how do we expect them to solve the myriad of problems facing our society? Their vanity causes them to insult the best, it’s the only thing they can do efficiently

  13. Thnak you ba Chitimukulu. Many people who have been reading my articles in The Post newspaper since 2009 and subsequently in the Daily Nation have been advising me to stop submitting my articles to Lusaka Times.
    As long as Lusaka Times pays you for all these articles just continue. The websites have a tendency not to pay their writers thus cheapening the trade and they ake money themselves out of these articles because its what attracts an audience for the high advertising rates they have.

  14. This Chief has failed to stick to jis lane.Bloggers are not your subjects,you cant dictate to them how they should address you.Wisdom demands that you keep to your lane or you will be bruised. Mind you in Tanzania chieftaincy was abolished a long time ago,and that is the route we should also take given the nonsense we have had to put up from chiefs.Most aare just sychophants of their subjects and the state

  15. Twali na ba Chitimukulu Chitampakwa. Not iwe!!! You are cheapening our royal establishment of Mwine Lubemba. You are now making us laughing stock of Zambia. Will u please shut up for once and focus on developing our land. That is if you have enough brain capacity to develop our land.

  16. Chiefs are mostly ship skin for ruling political parties. Most of chiefs will side with ruling parties even if it is against their subjects or friends.

    Most of these chiefs practice draconian rule whereby they can grab land for poor subject instead of just punishing a subject for their wrongs. I have seen chiefs threatening to expel subjects if they do not vote for a particular candidate.

    I think there will always be chiefs but it have been better without them.

  17. Chiefs aren’t in any position to mobilize resources to effect the so-called development because they collect no taxes from their subjects. It’s therefore being mischievous to expect them to spearhead development. So don’t blame the Chitimukulu or any chief for that matter for lack of development in chiefdoms.

  18. When you see a lizard running into a bushfire,just know that it’s hotter where it’s coming from: African Proverb.

  19. My word, just when the Chitimukulu is driving a point home that this fora is devoid of reason and intelligence, look at the attacks on him above??? The same cadre of unthinkers will go and support Mukuni and call him a freedom fighter??? Zambia’s opposition has sunk to the lowest in its history, no wonder the country is polarised.

  20. Chief Lubemba, lam one of your followers. We are not dead to reason, there is a remnant. Your article’s bridge the gap of reasoning in pre and post independence. Thank you for giving life to reasoning.

  21. LOL, did this man just insit of being called a Dr (honorary)? Did he seriously get hurt and claim whoever did not address him as Dr. was jealous of him?
    Lets be serious, in the same way that you have the right to express yourself by publishing whatever, everyone else here has the right to disagree with you.
    Simply because people disagree with your thoughts doesnt mean they are jealous.

  22. This is like PF all over again, if someone doesnt agree with anything they say, then they are enemies sponsored by the opposition.
    in the old days, prior to British arrival, chiefs had absolute power where disagreement was punishable by death.
    We dont live in that time. If people can disagree with the President (who has the power to fire your behind) why then should you be insulated?
    And don’t take pride in owning a small piece of land in a protected forest.
    chief ought to be envinronmental heroes, speak for preservation!

  23. Our Royal Highness, I gone through all the comments and this has shown that people really appreciate your work, looking at the comments some are good and some bad it’s normal, today youths have no respect to any body, charity begins at home,God give everyone free air, rains name it but,we don’t appreciate,we start killing one another, adultery, theft and so many to mention, Jesus was hated and killed,it is about this world.

  24. President Sata was correct! Paramount Chief Mpezeni is wiser than mwine Lubemba. Shilubemba you and chief mukunya ohh sorry mukuni same!

  25. @#29, I was about to say stuff about Chief Mpezeni just to disprove your drivel but my wisdom tells me to respect the chief Mpezeni regardless.

  26. @Mafikizolo
    Get yourself thick skin against some expressions which you may wish to characterize as utter nonsense. rubb1sh. I didn’t throw but he did. Find threshold above normal and focus your reactive radical species on sosaala. Apparently I’m closer to him than you do. President Sata was closer to him than you do.

  27. It’s a pity the argument and debate culture appears foreign to most Zambians.
    They prefer to argue “argumentum ad hominem “.

    This is actually a fallacious strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character,motive, or other attribute of the person ( in this case The Mwine Lubemba) making the argument,rather than attacking the substance of the argument.

    Unfortunately most of the bloggers have little or no capacity to address issues per se in the debating arena.

  28. Your Royal Highness, since you have touched on the subject of Forest 27, how would you feel if this encroachment was in your kingdom on which your the source of the main water supply for your kingdom lay? Forest 27 is a dangerous project that sets a bad precedence for the whole country. By accepting and condoning this project, a green light is given to the destruction of other water catchment areas around the country. Who will say otherwise when an an example has been set by the most powerful in the capital. And why do you need a house in Lusaka anyway, don’t you have enough land in your kingdom?

  29. It’s unfair to look to chiefs to help with many social-economic problems in various chiefdoms. Chiefs hv no state apparatus no matter how much they want to pretend by sometimes calling their chiefdoms Barotseland, Nsengaland, Bembaland (Lubemba), Lambaland etc. They hv no powers of coercion, to collect taxes etc. How can they possibly do anything?

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