Monday, February 08, 2010

Chiluba is pushing his luck too far

Chiluba is pushing his luck too far
By Editor
Mon 08 Feb. 2010, 04:01 CAT

Wynter Kabimba has challenged Frederick Chiluba to sue those calling him a thief and not just threatening legal action against those calling for the withdrawal of his retirement benefits.

It is not possible for Chiluba to sue those calling him a thief because he knows very well that he is a thief and the evidence of his thefts is in the public domain. No person can fail to defend himself or herself if he or she is taken to court by Chiluba for calling him a thief because the evidence is there in our courts of law. Even the recent case in which he was questionably acquitted by Jones Chinyama, the evidence in that case is enough for anyone to show that Chiluba is a thief. Chiluba and his friends also know that the decision by Chinyama to acquit Chiluba is defective, was obtained and sustained in ways that cannot be justified before any independent and impartial tribunal. This is why to date Rupiah Banda, Chiluba’s rescuer and protector, has refused to allow his acquittal to be appealed. It is no wonder Rupiah believes sending Chiluba back to court will be like throwing him back in a lion’s mouth where he had rescued him.

There is more than enough evidence in our magistrates’ courts and in the London High Court to show that Chiluba is a thief. Actually, if one carefully reads Chinyama’s judgment, one will see that even him had serious difficulties to acquit Chiluba because the evidence that was before him showed clearly that this little man was a thief. As for the London High Court both the evidence and the decision of the judge clearly and in no uncertain terms prove that Chiluba is a thief. One doesn’t need a lawyer to represent him to prove that Chiluba is a thief. All they need is simply the evidence. And it is there in abundance.

So Wynter should understand why Chiluba can’t sue anyone calling him a thief. But what we don’t understand is why Chiluba thinks he can sue somebody for calling for the withdrawal of his retirement benefits. Those doing so are within the law and there is nothing defamatory about it because they believe that Chiluba is violating a legal condition that requires him to disengage from active politics for him to continue enjoying such benefits.

What Wynter should also be asking himself is why Rupiah is so comfortable in the company of Chiluba when he knows very well that the man is a thief who has stolen from his employers – the Zambian people and their government? Well, even the worst criminal, the most dangerous one has friends. It is said that birds come to roost with those of their own kind; “Every creature prefers its own kind, and people are no different. Just as animals of the same species flock together, so people keep company with people like themselves” (Sirach 13 : 15 – 16).

For this reason, although Rupiah knows very well that his little friend is a thief, he has no problems going everywhere with him, visiting Luapula together, doing political deals with him because he believes it will benefit his chase for another term of office. And to Rupiah, it seems it doesn’t matter who aids his retention of power in 2011 – the end justifies the means.

But the Zambian people are not fools. Yes, they have been betrayed by their leaders before; they have been lied to and have been manipulated before. But still, they are not fools. It is said that you can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. The days for Chiluba to deceive, manipulate and abuse the Zambian people are over. And those who think they can use Chiluba to again deceive, manipulate and abuse the Zambian people are deceiving themselves and will perish with him when his time for judgment comes. The judgment that was passed by Chinyama acquitting Chiluba is not the final one. With or without this appeal that they have criminally stopped to the benefit of their criminal friends and their own criminal schemes, the day of the final judgment on Chiluba’s thefts will come. And when it comes, Rupiah will also be made to account for his complicity in denying the Zambian people the justice they deserved from the thefts of this little criminal friend of his.

All those who have done or are doing everything possible to deny the Zambian people justice and favour Chiluba will be made to account and that day is near. They will have to live with the consequences of everything they are saying and doing today. We say this because “it is not right to favour the guilty and keep the innocent from receiving justice” (Proverbs 18: 5). Anyone who defends evil; anyone who thinks and speaks evil can expect to find nothing good – only disaster. Every lawless act leaves an incurable wound, like one left by a double-edged sword. This stubbornness of Chiluba and his friend Rupiah will get them into more serious trouble at the end. They are living dangerously. And stubborn people are always burdened down with troubles. There is no cure for the troubles that arrogant people have; wickedness has taken deep root in them.

If you do no wrong, no wrong will ever come to you. Do not plough the ground to plant seeds of injustice; you may reap a bigger harvest than you expect.

In their narrow mindedness; in their minds that are polluted with tribalism and nepotism, they think simply because Chiluba hails from Bemba-speaking Luapula then all the Bemba-speaking people, especially those from this region, will support him and those he supports. The people of Luapula know who Chiluba is: a shameless thief, liar. They also know that the money he stole was not shared with them. The people of Musangu village are as poor as any other group of Zambians whom Chiluba stole from and abused. But Rupiah can’t see this because to him tribe matters a lot and that’s why he could not even understand why the Bemba-speaking people of Northern Province were not appreciative of his help and support to Chiluba. For Rupiah everything starts and ends with one’s tribe. But Zambia has changed. Rupiah lives in a Zambia that doesn’t exist. Zambians today know that their problems are the same everywhere and that building a nation where only one group is benefiting, is doing well, will not do. If this country is to be good for anyone of us, it has to be good for all of us. This is a Zambia our people are seeking today – a more just, fair and humane nation.

This type of awareness may prove difficult to appreciate for Rupiah and his little thieving friend. Their eyes are blinded by greed, vanity, selfishness, pride and arrogance.

Selfishness or pride is the primary block to awareness in our lives. Love is the greatest virtue: love your neighbour as yourself. If one loves one’s neighbour as he or she loves oneself, one cannot steal from his people the way Chiluba did and one cannot defend one who has stolen from his people the way Rupiah is doing. We are all brothers and sisters. Christ is the vine and we are the branches of the same vine (John 15:5). Christ is the head and we are the members of that same body (Col. 1:18).

If love is the sum of all virtues, selfishness, pride and arrogance are the root of all evil, for they destroy love and true brotherhood. Adam sinned because he did not want to accept his creaturehood and submit himself to the laws of God. He would rather be equal to God. Original sin is nothing but pride, lack of humility and honesty. When Adam was asked why he disobeyed, he put the blame on Eve, putting her down in order to paint himself a good guy. When Eve was questioned, she put the blame on the serpent in order to paint herself free of guilt. Thus pride, lack of humility and honesty, failure to accept being wrong when one is wrong, or the desire to be better than others is at the root of the first, second and third sin in the Bible. Pride, in fact, is at the root of all sins.

No wonder that Christ would say that the condition to follow him is the denial of self: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Buddha would ask one to get rid of ‘desire’; while Gita would require one to cultivate ‘nishkama karma’; and St Ignatius would ask the retreatant to rid himself of all inordinate attachments.

It is important for Chiluba to value himself at his true worth. Admit when you are wrong, and you will avoid embarrassment.

There is no need for Chiluba going around threatening people, accusing them of this and that. Actually, when a wicked man curses his enemy, he is simply cursing himself. Curses cannot hurt you unless you deserve them. They are like birds that fly by night and never light (Proverbs 26:2).

And as for Rupiah, he should know that one “who makes friends with good for nothings is a disgrace…” (Proverbs 28:7).

Rupiah’s dependence on Chiluba for political survival will not do; “depending on an unreliable person in a crisis is like trying to chew with a loose tooth or walk with a crippled foot” (Proverbs 25: 19).

The best thing for Chiluba is to shut up. Every time he opens his small mouth, filth comes out of it to annoy and irritate the Zambian people. Chiluba is pushing his luck too far. What he is doing is actually to mobilise people and public opinion against himself and his friend Rupiah. They are going too far in their arrogance and insensitivity. A well-known thief, one who has stolen from the people cannot continue to behave in this manner with impunity. Soon the people’s patience will dry up on him. Chiluba is pushing his luck too far.

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