Category Archives: Zambian Political Theology

No Creativity, No Imagination: My reflections on President Lungu’s cabinet

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

President Lungu

President Lungu

For someone who took almost three weeks to announce the cabinet, it is rather surprising that this cabinet has very few surprises. Unprecedented in the history of our nation, Edgar Lungu becomes the first president to take 19 days to announce a full cabinet. What is equally unusual with Lungu is the fact that by the time he was taking his oath of office, he had already worked for about three years as a minister and as a Member of Parliament. So Edgar Lungu was much more familiar with more MPs than any of the previous presidents. Kenneth Kaunda had known and personally worked with most of the people he appointed as ministers in 1964, but he never took long to identify a cabinet. Chiluba had a fleeting personal knowledge of the MPs, and yet he appointed cabinet just a day after he assumed power. Mwanawasa appointed a full cabinet within days. He most certainly retained Chiluba’s ministers, but added a few individuals here and there. Rupiah Banda in 2008 also kept Mwanawasa’s cabinet but appointed a full cabinet just days after taking the oath. President Sata took slightly a week to form his team.

We can only speculate as to why Lungu took 19 days to form his full team. But looking at the ministers, it becomes quite apparent that the team offers nothing new. With the exception of a few faces, this team remains hugely uneventful.

Emmanuel Mwamba

Emmanuel Mwamba

By far, the most daring of these appointments is Chishimba Kambwili as Minister of Information. Kambwili has not fared very well in ministries that have to do with tact and diplomacy. His first job as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2011 ended in disaster. His stint at Labour was equally uninspiring. During the run up to the elections late last-year, Kambwili stormed ZNBC studios to protest ZNBC’s editorial choice. This was when Kambwili was Team Guy Scott and not Team Edgar Lungu. It is quite surprising that President Lungu has found Kambwili suitable to take over this portfolio. The selection of Kambwili though might be sending a message that Lungu is willing to put a fighter at information who will dictate news and information for the 2016 election cycle. Kambwili has several strengths. He is a great organizer, having created the Team7500, which served as his own campaign team for Lungu in the just ended election. In addition, Kambwili has turned out to be good with social media. In fact, he used his page on Facebook to organize this Team7500. For sure, both the PF and its government would do with a good social media strategy in this age where news is being dictated by likes, tweets, hashtags and shares.

Vincent Mwale - Youth and Sport

Vincent Mwale – Youth and Sport

Kambwili’s appointment is also quite ironic. During the PF squabbles, Kambwili was quite outspoken about his disapproval of Lungu and his team. In fact, the storming of ZNBC happened during that same time. On the other side of Team Lungu was Emmanuel Mwamba, a social media and public relations guru who castigated Kambwili for intimidating journalists at ZNBC. Many expected Mwamba to play some role in Lungu’s government with regard to information, news, or public relations. It is ironic that Lungu has completely sidelined Mwamba, but goes to appoint Kambwili as Information minister. This is the same Kambwili whose behavior towards journalists was anathema to Lungu’s PR team led by Mwamba.

Vincent Mwale has been a very consistent figure in MMD politics. It is rather startling that it has taken him over a decade to be recognised as Cabinet Minister material. He has been an MP under four of Zambia’s six presidents. It has taken Lungu to recognize his leadership abilities by appointing him Minister of Youth and Sport. This is quite a great choice. I just hope that Mwale will take his zeal to cabinet just like he worked tirelessly as chair of the public accounts committee of Zambia’s parliament.

Given Lubinda was almost certainly going to bounce back. As a cunning politician, he changed sides quickly when it became apparent that Lungu was going to be the PF’s nominee. He campaigned vigorously for Lungu and he has been rewarded with a strategic portfolio – Agriculture. He takes over from one of the most inefficient ministers in the history of Zambia. Lungu has done well to do away with Wilbur Simuusa.

Michael Kaingu has been appointed Minister of Education. In 2011 Sata merged this portfolio with higher education, science and vocational training. As such, it is a huge responsibility for Kaingu. This gentleman seems to be a hard worker and he is likely to do well at education. However, his role in the MMD squabbles creates a doubt in my mind as to his judgment and character.

Lungu stated at one point that he was going to split some ministries. It seems he has backpedaled. It doesn’t make sense to have one minister take care of Works, Supply, Communications and Transport. This ministry needed to be split. I just hope that the President will go ahead with plans and streamline this ministry. Yamfwa Mukanga is a good choice for this portfolio. Education, higher education, vocational training, and science is one other ministry that needs splitting.

The following portfolios should be merged: Gender, Traditional Affairs and Community Development. They take up too much space and could be better streamlined. From the address of President Lungu it appears Professor Nkandu Luo might not take up the Gender portfolio. If she declines, it will mark a remarkable fall for a woman who was the rising star in the PF government. Her fight with Bashi Lubemba has had an effect on her plummeting relevance.

This cabinet has six women out of 21. This makes it one of the least gender-balanced cabinets in our history. It is remarkable though that the Vice-President is a woman. It has about 9 Bemba-speaking members. This makes the Bemba-block the most powerful chunk in the cabinet. It has four Easterners and three from Barotseland. Even though it has about 50% Bemba representation, I have no issues with its tribal composition. The PF remains primarily a Bemba-speaking party.

Munshya wa Munshya

Munshya wa Munshya

Lungu has taken a very comfortable posture. He has not stretched nor challenged himself. He is a lawyer and it seems this has come through the choice of cabinet, bizarrely risk averse. He has fired almost all of the ministers that did not support him during the PF squabbles. He has taken an adversarial stand. This is a bit concerning to me. As president, Lungu needed to appear like the big man that he is by absorbing a few of the ministers from the camp that did not support him. It is woeful that Kapeya, Chenda, Simuusa and Sichinga have not been retained. We know Lungu is the boss, but appointing an “adversary” would have shown his true greatness. For now, Lungu took 19 days to come up with a cabinet that lacks both imagination and ingenuity. But it is too early to tell how this team will perform. I wish them all the best.

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Suggested Citation: Munshya, E. (2015). “No Creativity, No Imagination: My reflections on President Lungu’s cabinet.” Elias Munshya Blog (www.eliasmunshya.org). 12 February 2015

My Tribe Is NOT Zambia: Erasure, tribalism and the challenge of national cohesion

E. Munshya, LLB, M.Div.

To help fight the scourge of tribalism in Zambia, some of our people are buying into several slogans in the hope that these slogans will help build some national cohesion. There is one particular slogan that I find patently problematic. This slogan states, “My tribe is Zambia”. The goal of using this slogan is to try and have the user know or convince others that they are above tribalism by emphasizing the fact that the only tribe that matters, should be the “tribe” called Zambia. I have a problem with such sloganeering, because it really does not help fight tribalism but could actually be used to perpetuate it.

It should be clear that Zambia is not a tribe and it was never meant to be a tribe. Rather it is a republic that is formed by people who belong to different tribes, persuasions and races. As such, there is no way that “Zambia” can fulfill a goal that it was never meant to fulfill in the first place. Zambia has not replaced our ethnic heritage; rather Zambia is a creation of people who already belonged to different ethnic groups. When we say that all these tribes do not really matter and all that matters is “Zambia” we are robbing our nationhood of a clear philosophical basis grounded upon the tribal diversity of this space we now call Zambia.

Munshya wa Munshya

Munshya wa Munshya

Stating, “my tribe is Zambia” has the potential of erasure. The most potent tool against tribalism is not erasure of tribes, but rather the respect for all tribes. That which we fail to do by respect of tribes cannot be achieved through contempt for those tribes. If we cannot respect Tongas and Lozis and Tumbukas, we do no service to the destiny of our country by trying to erase the experience of Tongas, Lozis, and Tumbukas. What we need in Zambia is acknowledgement and respect for the “Zambianness” of all tribes. The paramount assumption should be that all tribes contribute equally to the Zambian project. There is no tribe that contributes less to Zambia, but rather that all tribes are part and parcel of the Zambian venture. If we acknowledge that fact, it will lead all of us to a more respectful attitude towards the other. It will make us realise that on our own, we cannot make Zambia, Zambia. It takes the effort of all. And these “all” are the different tribes that make up our nation. It was not the intention of the Republic of Zambia to erase the reality of ethnic diversity, but rather the republic exists as a result of this ethnic diversity.

To fight tribalism in Zambia, we must also interrogate the assumptions exhibited by some of our people. Zambia is not a Bemba country to which they invited other tribes such as the Tongas or Lenjes. Zambia is a diverse nation to which all tribes contribute equally to its subsistence. As such, removing some tribes from national memory does not resolve the tribalism problem it just exacerbates it. All tribes must be visible and none should be assigned to the garbage bin of obliteration.

Zambians should listen to each other. We should listen to how various tribes are experiencing the Zambian promise. We should not shut each other up. If the Zambian project is not working for some of our people, it is time for us to listen to each other without judgment and without threats of “tribal” accusations. To listen to each other, we must draw the discourse from the urban centers of Lusaka and Ndola to the interior of Gwembe and Mapatizya. We should ask each other, do the people of Milenge and Mongu perceive the Zambian project in the same way? Before we accuse any tribe of being more tribal than our tribes, let us take the time to listen to each other. As such, let us take the 2015 elections as a way to begin conversations, not as a way to stop conversations. The people of Southern Province made their voices heard through the ballot, it is time to listen before we accuse.

Zambians should learn to respect each other’s tribes. Respect is predicated on numerous elements. Each of us should love our heritage. We should celebrate our traditions. We should feel free to speak our language and enjoy the intonation inherited from our forefathers. But after we have done that, we will realise how our own heritage is so inadequate to fully express the Zambian spirit. It is this humility that should push us to want to respect the heritage of others. By respecting the culture of others, we are becoming totally Zambian, as Zambia itself is best expressed by the respect we feel for the peoples that comprise its confines. Respect for others means, a Bemba person should have that humbling respect for a Goba and vice-versa. It also means that we take the time to acknowledge that the Zambian greatness lies not in ourselves alone but in the collective effort of all – the others and me. This can best be done in an environment that respects others and not the one that seeks to erase the other.

All political leaders in our country should be aware of the power of tribal balancing. Regardless of how technically astute a cabinet is, I would not support it if it only comprises people belonging to one tribe or region. If Chagwa Lungu dared to appoint an all Nsenga-cabinet, I would be the first one to protest against such an act. Through tribal balancing, you are acknowledging the strength of others and you are also showing our nation that you respect the other. Even God in the Bible asked Joshua and Moses to select 12 men, one from each tribe to perform specific tasks. God balanced tribe in Israel. If tribal balancing was good for Israel, it is surely good for our people.

President Kenneth Kaunda also realized the power of tribal balancing. He deliberately sought to appoint a diverse cabinet. Assuming that he was from Chinsali, he made sure that people belonging to other tribes held the positions of Prime Minister. This was a very powerful way of saying; the Zambian project truly belongs to all. Merit in that case, was clearly supplemented by a touch of balance. It cannot be on merit that which produces a board filled with Bembas alone!

We do misconstrue the One Zambia One Nation motto if we think that it means that “tribes” do not matter. The motto actually is an ideal way of saying that the Republic is a product of various peoples who come together to form it. Such an understanding of One Zambia One Nation, does not lead to erasure, it instead leads to a healthy respect for all. And it is this respect for the other that we all need as we navigate through the challenge of tribalism.

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This article appeared in the print edition of the Zambia Daily Nation on Friday, 30 January 2015.

Suggested citation: Munshya, E. (2015). “My tribe is not Zambia: erasure, tribalism and the challenge of national cohesion”. Elias Munshya Blog (www.eliasmunshya.org) (29 January 2015)

Vote for Peace, Vote in Peace!

 E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Michael Sata with Edgar Lungu

Michael Sata with Edgar Lungu

The time is finally here. In a few days, Zambia goes to the polls. What a milestone. Mature nations and great democracies use the ballot as the only legitimate way to change or not-change a government. For this we must commend ourselves and thank God Almighty for having given us the grace and the opportunity to partake in the sacrament of our democracy. I call Zambian democracy a sacrament because it is a system we have chosen for ourselves. It is also a political system we believe God has ordained for us. As such, we come to the table of democracy with gratitude and hope, knowing that it will help us to choose a leader to take our great nation into its future. As Zambians we must take democracy seriously. We must guard it with our very lives. We must do all we can to sustain it and to make it flourish. There is no one who can make our democracy better and greater apart from ourselves. Democracy does not flourish just because of good laws, or good structures. Democracy flourishes due to the diligence of the people concerned. It is the people who are the genuine vanguards of any democracy. In fact, it is the vigilance of our people that will brook the verve of our democracy. We are happy and excited that on 20th January 2015, we the people will choose.

Munshya wa Munshya

Munshya wa Munshya

Democracy however, is not without its challenges. Freedom could be a burden sometimes since it calls for responsibility. Democracy asks a lot from us. In fact, it demands a lot from us. We must be ready to give democracy its drink when it is thirsty. We must be ready to spare bread for democracy when it is hungry. We should be ready to be the legs, the hands and the feet for democracy when needed. It is in this vein that we must be clear in our resolute. Zambians must reject anything that could disturb our peaceful democracy. Once we elect to choose leaders through the ballot, we must ensure that we continue to elect leaders through the ballot. There are temptations to go for the shortcut. These are shortcuts we must not entertain. And I am excited that on 20th January 2015, we the people of Zambia are exercising our liberty to choose a president. It is the people’s choice that will matter on that day. When going to the ballot booths, I appeal to our people to be peaceful. If someone wants to cause confusion, let it not be you. I appeal to our people in Choma, in Chama and in Chipili to remain peaceable. It is the people’s vote that should speak on Tuesday and not fists. In Zambia the only political fight we should entertain is the fight done through the ballot box and not through the boxing ring. I appeal to our people to heed the Electoral Commission of Zambia. I appeal to our people not to wear provocative party regalia on Election Day. There has been enough time for campaigns. Tuesday will be the day to cast our ballots and not the day to wear our various political costumes.

To the candidates in this election, I appeal to you to appeal for calm among your supporters. Political violence is not a preserve of any one political party. As such, all candidates should take a comprehensive approach towards condemnation of electoral violence. From Mwinilunga to Lunga, and from Mpulungu to Mazabuka, there should be no reason why we should be exchanging fists of rage. Hichilema, Lungu, Mumba as well as all the other contenders should let their supporters know that violence will not be tolerated. The people of Milenge, Serenje and Sesheke all need peace!

400px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Zambia

One Zambia One Nation

After candidates have condemned violence, the next logical thing they should do is to respect the voice of the people. Candidates should be as peaceful as we want the ordinary supporters to be. Lungu, Hichilema, Mumba, Nawakwi and all the other contenders should be prepared to accept defeat if they are beaten in the elections. The whole reason why we are subjecting ourselves to a transparent electoral process is to allow the ordinary people of Zambia to make their voice heard through the ballot. No candidate should bury this voice. As such, the most logical thing to do after the elections is for the losers to graciously accept defeat. Losers should not take our country into the brink of feuds. Both MMD and PF should accept defeat if they lose. Additionally, both UPND and FDD should also accept defeat if they lose the election. It would be a terrible situation if these parties refuse to concede defeat. It is true that losing upsets. It really does hurt a lot. But in the interest of democracy, we should be able to accept the will of the people that they exercise through the ballot.

We must desist from making alarming statements about suspected rigging and stuff like that. I really do believe in the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Justice Mambilima and her great team at ECZ are working hard for their country. They need to be commended and appreciated during this time. Ordinary Zambians should also feel free to openly encourage Mambilima and her team. They are doing a great job and we look forward to a free and fair election on the 20th of January.

Michael Sata with Hakainde Hichilema

Michael Sata with Hakainde Hichilema

There is more to this election than just winning and losing. This election is also about replacing President Michael Chilufya Sata whose untimely death was painful for his family and for the nation. As a great tribute to his life, we must ensure that this election is held in the most peaceful of atmospheres. If PF loved Sata and indeed if UPND too loved President Sata, we want them to show it through a nonviolent electoral period. The same goes for Heritage Party, the MMD, the FDD, the ACP, UNIP, the Fourth Revolution and the so many other parties contesting the presidency.

When this column returns next week, a new President would already have been sworn-in. We have no idea who that individual is. But whatever the choice of the Zambian people, I will be happy with it! Let us continue to pray and hope that the next leader takes our great nation into the future we need. Happy Election Day Zambia!

Video

For Tuesday’s election in Zambia, here is my endorsement

“Ifintu ni Inonge”: The making of the Edgar Lungu candidacy

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

It is November 30 2014. Delegates have gathered at Mulungushi Rock of Authority in Kabwe. The Patriotic Front is supposed to be having its Extra-ordinary conference. The acting president of the Patriotic Front, Guy Scott, called the conference, but for some reasons best known to himself he has decided not to attend the conference. He is not prepared to officially open it. As the delegates gather and wait for the official opening, it becomes apparent that their president would not show up. In fact, he would not even come near the venue of the conference.

Then enters Inonge Wina, the chairperson of the Patriotic Front. She ambles to the platform at Mulungushi and makes an announcement. She is calling the meeting to order. In spite of the absence of Guy Scott, the general conference must go on. She mentions that she had been in a meeting with Guy Scott and it seems like he would not be attending the conference. However, PF must move on to select a leader to succeed President Sata.

Wina enjoys reading, gardening and cooking. She holds a degree in history and sociology. She was the first CEO of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) shortly after independence. She has worked in the government as a civil servant and as a politician. As a passionate women’s rights advocate she volunteered her time on various boards. In 1996 she was elected national chairperson for the NGOCC, an alliance of civil society organisations. Her active political involvement started with the United Liberal Party in 2006. After winning the Nalolo seat in 2011, she was appointed to cabinet in the new government.

In making that announcement in Kabwe, Wina brought to culmination a whole month of speculation and crisis within PF. She had made it very clear, that as Chairperson of the Patriotic Front, she was not going to be intimidated in the discharge of her duties by Guy Scott or anyone acting on his behalf. By standing up to power, Mrs. Wina had drawn upon the inspiration garnered from her own lifetime. Born in 1941 at Suibumbu Village in Senanga, she had served in civil society promoting gender equality and advocating for women’s rights. For her, resolving the crises in the Patriotic Front was just one of those duties in her life.

Ifintu ni Inonge

Ifintu ni Inonge

At first, she appeared to have been a neutral arbiter of conflicts beginning to surface just after the passing of President Sata. The main players in the conflict were Guy Scott on one side and Edgar Lungu on the other. She appears to have been quietly trying to have these two camps iron-out their own differences outside the glare of the public. But Scott’s infamous act to fire Lungu as Secretary General before President Sata was even laid to rest, rubbed many PF stalwarts the wrong way. As a peacemaker, that she is, she joined several PF leaders to have Scott rescind his decision to fire Edgar. To his credit Scott reversed his decision. Relations in the PF then went from bad to worse. It seemed that most of the MCCs had picked their side. They wanted Lungu. Most of PF MPs as well had decided to back Lungu for the presidency. On the other hand, Scott visibly did not seem to like Lungu. But in spite of Scott’s clear contempt for Lungu, it appears like there was consensus in the central committee, in cabinet and among PF parliamentary caucus that Edgar was going to be the PF candidate.

Inonge Wina

Inonge Wina

With the worsening relations within the PF, it was clear that resolving the conflict required some courageous leadership. It was at this juncture that Inonge’s guidance was going to be evident. She determined that the best way to resolve these problems was to give people what they wanted. She was not going to play neutral anymore. She had taken time to listen to the MCCs, to the MPs, and to the cabinet members. Consensus seems to have gone towards Edgar Lungu and she seems to have decided to make that happen. In many ways, therefore, she chose Edgar Lungu and she was going to do all that she could do to have the PF pick the candidate that consensus seems to have settled for. It also seemed clear that in spite of the emerging consensus, it was only Guy Scott and a few of his colleagues that did not want Lungu. Scott was going to do everything in his power to block Lungu. But doing so would not come without cost to the Patriotic Front. It is this cost, that Inonge wanted to avoid. And so the battleground was marked and the swords were drawn, Inonge Wina had picked a side and she was going to fight to the finish.

Consistent with Guy Scott’s reactionary and clueless leadership, when he noticed that Inonge had taken sides, he decided to drop her from PF. She responded with the bulk of MCCs to suspend Scott. Until that time, the pro-Lungu MCCs had lacked a credible spokesperson. All that changed when she emerged as the spokesperson for them. She brought credibility and integrity. The more Scott reacted against her, the more unreasonable he appeared. When on 30 November 2014, she stood at that platform to call the conference to order, it was all clear that Lungu was going to be elected. If PF stalwarts had picked Edgar, it was just natural for her to be the facilitator of that process rather than being the hindrance to it.

When later, in December she was asked about what had actually transpired at Kabwe, her answer was to the effect that she decided to go on with the meeting because she was concerned about the ruling party supporters who had travelled long distances to come and attend the meeting. She did not want to disappoint them. She wanted to have them go back having elected their leader. And so it was her pragmatism that finally won the day. Zambia needs pragmatic leaders like her.

Guy Lindsay Scott of Zambia

Guy Lindsay Scott of Zambia

After the election of Edgar Lungu, Scott proved that he still had some fight in him. He went ahead and conducted a fresh accreditation process and held another conference on Monday, December 1. But as far as Wina was concerned, the PF conference had already elected Lungu. What Scott was doing according to her, was illegal. She decided to go to court to compel Scott to not go ahead with his conference. Having obtained the injunction against the Monday meeting, Inonge Wina addressed the press with new PF president Edgar Lungu and presented to him the party’s adoption certificate. The work she had started was going to be brought to completion. At that same meeting, Lungu fired Bridget Attanga as Secretary General of the Party and replaced her with Davies Chama. This is perhaps one of the most significant tactical decisions that would prove decisive in giving Lungu the PF presidency.

Edgar’s route to the PF presidency has been fraught with great difficulties. Without the resolute leadership of one Inonge Wina, it could have been even more challenging. Lungu won because Wina did all she could to have him become the candidate. A president Edgar Lungu should look no further than Inonge for the choice of our country’s vice-president should he win in January. Inonge Wina has really earned her stripes. Vice-President Inonge Wina has a good ring to it. Ifintu ni Inonge.

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Suggested citation:

Munshya, E. (2014). After Sata: Inonge Wina and the making of the Edgar Lungu candidacy. Elias Munshya Blog. http://www.eliasmunshya.org, 30 December 2014

A Great Man Who Died “Empty”: Tribute to Dr. Myles Munroe (1954-2014)

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

The news came as a shock to me. Like most deaths, the passing of Dr. Myles Munroe was completely unexpected. He was flying to a meeting he was hosting in The Bahamas when his private plane hit a crane and disintegrated. All the nine passengers including Dr. Munroe’s wife Ruth died on the spot on November 9 2014. The Prime Minister of Bahamas, Perry Christie, remarked that the passing of Dr. Munroe was a huge loss to the island. Indisputably, Dr. Munroe had risen to be the most internationally influential preacher the commonwealth of Bahamas has ever produced. On many levels, the passing of Dr. Munroe has been a loss to his family, his church, his international followers and indeed to his native country. Munroe held three bachelor’s degrees, a Master of Arts degree and an honorary doctorate degree. He was a lecturer, advisor, pastor, and best-selling author.

I had the privilege of being introduced to the books and tapes of Dr. Munroe very young in my life. I started listening to Dr. Myles Munroe in my teenage years. My friends and I found the teachings from Dr. Munroe to be quite spiritually stimulating, emotionally vigorous and intellectually challenging. In the early nineties, a deacon in my home church in Chingola, the Grace Fellowship Family Church, lent me a book by Dr. Myles Munroe. I was only sixteen. But the book “In Pursuit of Purpose” changed my life. Henry Charles Sichone was a very dedicated church leader in Bishop Mumba Kalusenga’s congregation. He now provides leadership to a ministry called “Praise Ministries”. He had a home library where we could borrow books. It so happened that while he was sorting his books, I saw him tack away the book “In Pursuit of Purpose”. When I asked if he could lend it to me, he cautiously gave it to me with strict instructions that I return it in good condition. I had no idea just how much of an impact that book would have on my life. I am really glad that I came across that material. Dr. Myles Munroe helped shape my life through that book.

The Word of Faith Movement has received a lot of criticism. However, I find that some criticism to be quite unfair. While it is true that some within the faith movement only taught the idea that in order to make it in life you have to just “claim it”, there were other teachers who taught hard work, self-discipline and perseverance. Dr. Munroe belonged to the latter. There are several principles I learnt through the life and ministry of Dr. Myles Munroe.

First, Munroe taught about personal purpose. He taught that one’s fulfillment in life depends on them doing and becoming what they were born to be and do. This statement is quite liberating. I remember as a teenager reading through this statement and determining from then on that my fulfillment was not dependent on what my parents told me but on what I felt was God’s purpose for my life. It was this sense of personal purpose that led me to enroll in a theological college immediately after High School in Chingola. I have tried to pursue my personal purpose since then.

Second, Munroe taught about excellence. It was not enough to just know one’s purpose. Each person must work on excellence. The whole reason why we have a purpose to fulfill in life is because purpose brings something we can excel at. This is perhaps one of the most fundamental principles. The purpose of life is not to be rich or to be powerful, but rather to satisfy the primary reason why you exist. It is not about trying to be someone else, but it is about being an original. For some personal excellence might mean having to integrate several facets of life. Munroe was a preacher, lecturer and leadership consultant. It took excellence to integrate all these roles.

Dr. Myles Munroe

Dr. Myles Munroe

Third, Dr. Munroe taught about death. According to him, the grave is the richest place on earth because in it is buried great dreams that were never fulfilled. To motivate people, Dr. Munroe came up with a plan. The plan was about disappointing the grave. Instead of dying with a lot of potential, Munroe encouraged people to die “empty”. For him, a good death meant dying after you have fulfilled your purpose and emptied each and every piece of ideas or thoughts for the good humanity. Two weeks before his death, Munroe encouraged a TV audience to die like he was planning to die “empty”. The thought of human mortality does besiege each one of us. Existential questions abound in our minds. However, we should concentrate on ensuring that each day we live is spent emptying ourselves for the good of humanity. Indeed, after many lessons from Munroe, I am determined now more than ever to not only live purposefully, but also aspire to die “empty.”

Like many of us, Dr. Myles Munroe did have critics and detractors. He too had some debatable teachings. I am familiar with some of the controversial teachings later in his ministry. However, these controversies were never grave enough to warrant the criticism he received from some quarters. As a dispenser of concepts and ideas, Dr. Munroe did get into trouble. One of the most controversial aspects of his teachings has to do with his “Kingdom Theology”, which did seem to justify colonialism. Additionally, his teaching that “Christ” could be distinguished from “Jesus” was also quite controversial. For sure, the orthodox view is that, the man Jesus is actually the Christ. The humanity of Christ cannot be separated from the divinity of Christ. The human Jesus is the divine Christ. Weaknesses sometimes do show that we are all just human after all. Even the unimpeachable life of a great man like Myles Munroe could have some blemishes here and there. That is the hallmark of our own fallible humanity.

"A great man who died empty"

“A great man who died empty”

Years after I first encountered the teachings of Dr. Myles Munroe, I got to listen to him personally at a leadership conference in Swaziland. It was around the year 2000. The first meeting was at Lugogo Sun Hotel where he taught about leadership. The second meeting took place in Manzini where he spoke about the principles of purpose. It is these same principles that I had read about in his book “In Pursuit of Purpose.” I was just so glad that I could listen to him live. He appeared to be a very courteous fellow. After the Manzini meeting, I rushed to the stage, handed him a paper and he autographed it for me and for a hundred others that had jostled for the front. I have always had in my mind a desire to visit his home base in the Bahamas. But he died before I could travel to listen to him there. For sure, he died a great man. But he also died empty. He fulfilled his purpose and I just hope that each one of us will live to fulfill our own purpose and then die “empty”.

Rupiah Banda should form his own party and stop “ubuloshi”

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Nevers Sekwila Mumba

Nevers Sekwila Mumba

If RB wants to stand, it would be great for the likes of Mulusa and RB to form the Movement for Bwezani and Mulusa (MBM) so that they can field RB. They should leave the MMD so that the party functions under the leadership of its elected president. What RB is doing to MMD, is not leadership but treachery. This is not how an elder statesman behaves, this is the way a spoiled child behaves. In other words and indeed for a lack of a better term what Rupiah Banda is doing can be called “Ubuloshi.”

No one should ever defile Rupiah Banda’s right to aspire for the presidency. He is a very old man, but he is a citizen nevertheless with full constitutional rights to stand for the presidency. Our constitution gives rights to babies as well as very old men and women. However, what is really offensive and unacceptable is corruption, theft, treachery, nepotism, and “ubu loshi”. You might ask me what is “ubuloshi”? I do not mean that RB ni ndoshi, here is my definition of political “ubuloshi”. Going behind the back of an elected leader and engineering a “political comeback” by poisoning the minds and hearts of the very people that were responsible for the failure of the MMD in the first place.

Handing the torch of leadership to the young is not easy. It requires great discipline from the old. It is remarkable that Mandela did it. Banda has the right to contest on his party which he and Mulusa will form, but he should not bring this confusion and tumult to the MMD. Why should these UNIPIsts be allowed to kill the MMD just like they killed UNIP? Nevers Mumba could not have come up with any magic to change the declining fortunes of the MMD within 3 or 5 years. It would take time and sacrifice and discipline. Evidence is there to prove that parties usually decline when they have a transition in the presidency. The same happened to UPND, but UPND is on the upswing, do you know why? It is because, they kept the young HH even when everything was showing that he was losing it, and now the UPND is being rewarded.

The same should happen to the MMD. Give Mumba a chance. A chance to make mistakes. A chance to be himself. A chance to reinvent the MMD. A chance to work on himself as a leader. A chance to be a true political candidate. But even before he could even cough, Rupiah the poisoner Banda wants to come back through the back door.

So what happened then to the speech RB gave in 2011. What happened to all those lectures he gave at Boston University ? This is the problem when a leader hires speech writers to do speeches for him. RB is not committed to any thing he read because the speech was just written for him. My advise to RB is to go back to his lectures at Boston and to reread the speech his consultants wrote for him in 2011.

As for Mulusa and all the young like him, it is disappointing, very disappointing to say the least. For now, we await the formation of a party of Mulusa, Muhabi Lungu and RB because Nevers Mumba is likely to win the court case.

If the MMD is not happy with Nevers, wait for the general conference and vote him out fairly. Not this game. If Nevers is being disrespected because he is a former pastor, then we all who are connected to churches should be very concerned. You killed MMD. You stole using MMD. You did all sorts of wrong using the name of the party, and now that you wanted someone to lead you you went begging to Nevers and you elected him overwhelmingly. It is shocking that you want to kick him out and bring back the very guy who made MMD to lose in 2011. Ninshi? Sata afwa and Rupiah Banda feels like he can bounce back?

I do love Rupiah Banda. He is a very kind old man. He looks to be very humorous. He is a statesman. He has respect all over the world. But this treachery is unacceptable. My advice to him is ” Bo Bwezani, form your own party and leave MMD alone.”