Dora Siliya, Donchi Kubeba and Why I Cannot be Silenced!

First, I am the first to say I would not be the first person to throw the first stone at Dora. Second, I have admitted that Dora has spoken recklessly and has broken taboo. Third, I have pointed out that Dora’s words and our condemnation of her behavior is born out of a very unbalanced society which unfortunately judges women too harshly. More harshly than we judge the men. Fourth, I respect your opinions but I do not hope that you will respect mine. Fifth, I am concerned about the welfare of my people at home and at the same time believe that part of the problem for our people is the “Donchi Kubeba” tradition that criminalizes opinions. I am simply using Dora’s rants to drive through a point for a more humane country. A more human society. A more equitable society. A society that laughs at itself and breaks taboos. And I just hope that in all this you will not silence me and force me to do a “Donchi Kubeba.” When my time here on earth is done. I want to be remembered as one who made a different difference and inspired others to make theirs. My duty is risky because it means I must have opinions. I must speak. I must say it the way I feel in my heart and not be silenced by “Donchi Kubeba”. I must tell Rupiah Banda openly and frankly when he is doing wrong and I must praise him when he does right. I must equally have the right to tell Michael Sata and the folly of his 90-day wonder. I must be able to listen to Dora Siliya and understand what she is saying. I must be embarrassed by what she says and yet still be able to point out the fact that Dora’s rants should be put within a context that condemns and marginalizes ambitious women. I must say no to a doctrine that says men have a license to do all they want. To aspire for leadership and do all sorts of evil and women cannot, simply because they are women. I refuse to be silenced and so I refuse the “Donchi Kubeba.” When I go to sleep I want to sleep in peace, knowing that I said what was in my heart and that aspired to be what is in my heart. I will not eat at the table of corruption in the name of “Donchi”. I will not let our women be silenced in the name of “Donchi”. I refuse that our people in Milenge should tell Banda one thing and tell Sata another. I refuse that my people in Chiwempala should drink Banda’s Kachasu and deceive him into believing that he will get their votes when in fact not. I ask that people be forthright. They should say what they think. They should say what they feel. And if they feel that Banda must go…they must chase him openly and without fear or intimidation. As for me and my house, “Donchi Kubeba” does not cut it for us.

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