Dr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala
‘’Kalulu tapusuka mipya ibili,’’ is a Chibemba proverb which can literally be translated as: ‘’The hare does not escape the burning plains twice.’’ The actual lesson is that no one should take his luck for guaranteed or push one’s lucky star too far. And this applies to me because in the first place, President Michael Sata de-gazetted me and later President Lungu gazetted me. I must not, however, ’’try to push my lucky star too far,’’ because Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND have resolved according to the Deputy National Secretary-General Patrick Mucheleka to dethrone me as Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu as soon as they step into the corridors of power.
I think the only option is: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. The problem is that some people create their own storms, but get mad when it rains.
Andrew Roberts in A History of the Bemba wrote: ‘’’The most important social institution among the Bemba people other than the family is chieftainship. There are over thirty clans represented in Bembaland, but the one clan with political significance is the Bena Ng’andu, the ‘people of the crocodile.’ This is the royal clan, to whom is reserved succession to many chieftainships……no other chiefly clan in the region has gained such power for its tribe as the Bena Ng’andu. It is above all this institution which generates and perpetuates historical traditions. The social basis of oral traditions among the Bemba is thus primarily to be sought in the institution of chieftainship. The affairs regarding which the Bemba look to history for guidance and inspiration are the affairs of chiefs; And yet although such history serves to affirm and reinforce the power and prestige of a ruling group, it is nevertheless accepted by the Bemba at large as being in an important sense their own history. The glory of the Bena Ng’andu is something in which all Bemba can share and derive a sense of communal pride.’’
The question is: why did President Sata de-gazzete me? It was because he knew me as a controversial strategist who operated behind the scenes since I was with him in the United Progressive Party (UPP) that was led by Mr. Kapwepwe. His fear was that it would be highly dangerous for me to be at the helm of Bemba power. A.L. Epstein, a social scientist who carried out a research on the copper-belt wrote in his book, Politics in an Urban African Community: ‘’The Bemba-speaking peoples, make up by far the most numerous category in towns. The Bemba are a proud people, conscious of their military past and are known to Europeans and their fellow Africans alike for their arrogance…’’
The late Mr. Valentine Musakanya said the Bemba aristocracy and arrogance always believe not only in their inheritance, but also in the vocal aggression…. Their aristocracy has no foundation in wealth or known education but essentially in just being Bemba. The Bemba being a born-warrior regards “the innate temperament trait” as his only survival instinct and strongly believes that fear and coward-ness are the gateway to self-destruction. And hence the saying “cibe cibe, umwenso ni mfwa.”
President Sata was very uneasy with my becoming the Bemba leader as you can see from what The Daily Nation reported in the obituary: In 2014, Mr. Lewis Changufu was almost arrested for calling for a meeting to discuss the impasse between the PF government and the Bemba Paramount Chief. Quoting intelligence sources, then President Sata was reported to have instructed state agents to find anything that could incriminate Mr. Changufu. ‘’ We have been asked to come up with anything that can link Mr. Changufu to crime. The President wants him arrested ASAP (as soon as possible) (ibid. 28th April 2016).
On the other hand, the Chinese government wanted to assist traditional rulers in Africa and formed what was called Africa Opportunity Co-ordination Organization based in Nairobi. Dr. Wang came to Zambia and asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to give him the name of a chief who would represent us there and the Minister chose a relative, but Dr. Wang discovered that he was not given the right person and so he travelled to Kasama and told me that I was the right person. And when he went back, he sent the following letter of appointment ‘’ With your royal position and high level of traditional knowledge and experience of the traditional norms and culture in Zambia, Africa AOCO board has appointed you to spearhead the formation of Pan African Development Committee in chiefdoms not only in Zambia, but in Africa as a whole.’’
But that did not go well with powers-that-were since their preferred candidate was not picked up and so they became irritated and decided to destroy my character and integrity internationally. The Minister accused me of ‘’masquerading as Senior Chief Mwamba’’ (The Post 1st May 2013). And on 9th instant The Post came up with the front page headline: ‘’Sosala masquerading as Chief Mwamba declares Sata.” (ibid.) Dr. Wang later sent me a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding that was drawn by the Ministry of Chiefs appointing the same chief as Zambia’s representative, but the whole thing has now died a natural death.
And in fact I was warned by Dr. Mbita Chitala about my articles in The Post as well as by Mr. Sikota Wina when he visited Kasama. However being a free-thinker I am supposed to be ‘’audacious,’’ i.e., to be extremely bold, daring, recklessly brave and fearless. I can therefore never be a convert to anybody’s opinions whether political or otherwise. And I have always been encouraged by Edgar Allan Poe’s words: “In criticism, I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.”
I have even continued now to educate people on our local radio stations. And I feel totally liberated because one of the tenets of being a free-thinker is the ability to tell people what they need to know, rather than what they want to hear. It was the great Greek philosopher, Socrates, who felt that it was necessary to create mental tensions, so that individuals could rise from bondage of political myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative and objective analysis. And therefore the poor masses in villagers should not be perpetually condemned to choose in the false and highly perverted blinding conditions. The authenticity of one’s choice must be promoted by his ability to understand, at least, the falseness of the conditions under which he must choose, so that he can rise from the bondage of falsehood to the majestic heights of understanding
The Daily Nation newspaper of 4th July 2014 came up with headline: ‘’CHITIMUKULU WAS DULLY INSTALLED —-PARLIAMENT. It then went on:’’ The government has been advised to recognize the appointment of Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu. Supporting the motion tabled by the Committee on delegated legislation, Namwala MP Moono Lubhezi told Parliament that Henry Kanyanta Sosala was dully installed as Paramount chief Chitimukulu and that government should correct the Statutory Instrument de-gazetting him so that he could be recognized. Ms. Lubhezi said that the House of Chiefs did not receive any complaint about the installation of the new Chitimukulu and that the government should recognize him.’’
On the other hand, President Sata had a strategy of dealing with me. The plan was that I was to be arrested and Mumba Yulaya was to be installed as Chitimukulu, but by God’s grace, the plan was prematurely aborted a week before its being executed because Honourable Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba resigned as Defence Minister: ‘’ …it’s important for Zambians to know that I hail from the Bemba royal family and there is no way I am going to forsake my own blood for the sake of politics. So for me as GBM, I am sorry. I am a very principled person and I resign from government.’’ The ancient scholar, Eliphaz said, ‘’God upsets the plans of the crafty, so that nothing they try seems to succeed. He traps the wise in their own schemes and what they thought would succeed, doesn’t.’’ (Job 5: 12, 13).
(TO BE CONTINUED)