Ntambalukuta, Please Pray For Us: An open letter to Kenneth David Kaunda
E. Munshya, LLM, M.Div.
Kuli ba Kaunda, Intanshi mutende!Thank you for the speech you gave on Africa Freedom Day, 25 May 2015. On that day, the president of our republic, Edgar Chagwa Lungu decided, for some reason to give you an honour and recognition of “Founding Father of Zambia”. I am still not too clear about what that means exactly. I have always thought that you are the father of Zambia, to some extent. You helped lead this Northern Rhodesia to independence, combined it with Barotseland and named the territory Zambia. For that, I thought you needed no formal recognition since history itself will always recognize you as deserving of that honour. I am also reminded that it is actually the MMD’s Levy Patrick Mwanawasa who honoured you with the highest honour in our land by conferring upon you the distinction of Grand Commander of the Eagle of Zambia, First Division. In that regard you stand in a class of your own. Many received your May 25 speech with a lot of joy and gladness. For those of us who hold African traditions dearly, we interpreted your speech as a way to bless your children. We took it as a way to bless your grandchildren and speak well of their future. Literally, at 91, Ntambalukuta you belong to the top 0.1% of our population. God has been good to you. For some evangelicals, your speech was also intercessory. You stood in the gap for Zambia to release “its people and the presidency from every negative forces made against Zambia.” You also submitted “souls now living and those that will be born later to the salvation and Lordship of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father.” These are very deep words. They are very powerful. To me you sounded like you have now returned to the faith of your father, David, who was one of the first African missionaries to evangelize the modern day Zambia. Even if you claimed in your 1973 book, Letter to my Children, that you found your fathers’ faith not as satisfying, it seems from the 2015 Africa Day speech that you have wholly returned. And for that, I must thank you for making the deep personal recommitment to the God of David Kaunda, that great Malawian evangelist. You, Ntambalukuta, have preached just like David Kaunda would have preached. Ntambalukuta, perhaps with the awareness of our common mortality, I notice in your speech that you declared, “Zambia shall forever enjoy tranquility and remain a united and peaceful people under the motto: One Zambia, One Nation”. These words are also deep. Well done. You see, perhaps, that the greatest legacy you want to leave for Zambians is that legacy of a “One Zambia, One Nation” motto. Beyond, this declaration though, it is important that you try to help the nation settle the Barotseland issue. Do not just make spiritual declarations; it would be good for you to facilitate a peaceful discussion with some of our citizens who believe that you gave them a raw deal in 1965 and beyond.
Without burdening you further, Kanabesa, I would like to ask that you continue to pray for us. I have a few prayer requests to present to you. It is your wish that this nation continues subsisting in peace. You have also prayed that our country remains under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Your speech is very similar to the discourse your successor Frederick Chiluba made when he declared Zambia as a Christian nation two months after defeating you in the 1991 elections. In fact, I am wondering whether you had a little help from Chiluba’s speechwriters.
As a father who fought for independence and ruled our country, your prayers have more gravitas than those done by the many foreign prophets who are ever so eager to drop a few lines about Zambia. So please, Ntambalukuta, pray for us.
- Pray for us so that we are delivered from the spirit of kaloba. Kanabesa, as things stand now, the destiny of this country is being mortgaged at a rate we have never known before. Very soon we are likely to be a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) again, if we continue this senseless nkongole. Please help us pray for our nation so that we get delivered from the spirit of shylocks.
- Pray for us so that we stop leaders from stealing. Our country has never lacked prayer warriors. We have plenty of them. In fact, by use of television satellites we have preachers beaming live prophecies meant for the president and his cabinet. More than just these prayers, Kanabesa we need deliverance from theft and corruption. Help us pray that President Lungu will not steal money from the treasury. Please help us pray that President Lungu, his cabinet and their children will not help themselves freely from the sweat of taxpayers. Kenneth Kaunda, pray for us.
- Ntambalukuta, you have declared great unity and freedom for Zambians. There is a demon we need deliverance from that is closely connected to your wishes. It is known as the “Public Order Act”. Kanabesa, I do not need to preach to you about it, because this is a spirit you know very well. In fact, you inherited it from the colonialists. You used it very well through your time as president. Your successor, Chiluba, also used it against you. The current president, and your son, Bo Lungu is still using it greatly to curtail the free exercise of constitutional liberties. Bo Hichilema, another of your sons, cannot visit Milenge or Kanyama without a police permit from Bo Libongani. Please pray for us, as this is unacceptable. I hope you too will realise how unjust it is for Zambians to get permits to visit Bauleni.
- During the 2015 Good Friday weekend, police futilely invaded church services in Lusaka searching for “illegal” immigrants. We protested against this action. Please pray for us that President Lungu will respect constitutional liberties, particularly the freedom to worship the Lord to whom you have dedicated this country. Arresting illegal immigrants while they are worshipping is an abuse of state power.
I have a lot of prayer requests, Kanabesa. But for now, let me end here and continue working for the great future of this country you founded. In a little way, by asking the presidency to adhere to the rule of law, I feel like I will be making real your wishes and your prayers for a greater Zambia. Ntambalukuta, pray for us.
Munshya wa Munshya