Edgar Lungu’s careless – loose, lax, remiss, unguarded, incautious, unthinking, reckless, indiscreet, injudicious, improvident, imprudent, unwary, cursory, inconsiderate, irresponsible, indolent, insouciant, lackadaisical, mindless, slapdash, slipshod, slovenly, thoughtless, unmindful, disregardful, oblivious, listless, nonchalant – talk will soon prove very costly for him and his league.

Addressing an Economics Association of Zambia organised gala dinner in Lusaka last Wednesday, Edgar said out of 10 thieves, six were Bemba.

At the same event, Edgar quoted “someone” who told him that Chinese were like cockroaches because they survived everywhere.

“ The other day I was doing statistics and I came across one damning fact that out of 10 thieves, six will be Bemba. And I said ‘why’ but they said you have forgotten? There are so many Bembas. So, invariably, you’ll find that when you collect 10, six will be wrong ones,” said Edgar. “So, if the Chinese population is 1.8 billion, and then the world population is…you will find Chinese all over and when you say ‘eliminate Chinese from Zambia’, you are wasting your time. Similarly, when you say ‘eliminate Bemba from Zambia’, you are wasting your time. So, if you say ‘they are thieves’, yes you are bound to find a thief because they are many.”

What statistics was Edgar doing or looking at that put the Bemba at 60 per cent of our country’s population?

Edgar’s statistics are wrong. The ethnic composition of our country is: Bemba 21%, Tonga 13.6%, Chewa 7.4%, Lozi 5.7%, Nsenga 5.3%, Tumbuka 4.4%, Ngoni 4%, Lala 3.1%, Kaonde 2.9%, Namwanga 2.8%, Lunda (north Western) 2.6%, Mambwe 2.5%, Luvale 2.2%, Lamba 2.1%, Ushi 1.9%, Lenje 1.6%, Bisa 1.6%, Mbunda 1.2%, other 13.8%, unspecified 0.4%.

And in terms of language it is: Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.7%, unspecified 0.2%.

So where did Edgar get his statistics of 60 per cent of Zambia’s thieves being Bemba?

And Edgar today ranks number one in terms of corruption accusations. Is he Bemba?

It’s not difficult to understand why many Bemba speaking people are expressing displeasure or anger at his theft statistical claims. Firstly, Edgar statistics are patently false. There are no such statistics. These are his own concoctions. But why come up with such wrong statistics? To humiliate or annoy the Bemba people?

Edgar seems to have something against Bembas! Look at his treatment of Chishimba Kambwili, Harry Kalaba, Kelvin Bwalya Fube, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Emmanuel Musonda Chilubanama, Felix Mutati, Dr Fred M’membe, among many other Bembas! Is it because they are many, as he claims?

Edgar’s contempt, hatred for Bembas is increasingly becoming very difficult to conceal. The only Bemba Edgar can stand, it would seem, is only one he can use like a mop without complaining or resisting.

But did Edgar really need to say it this way? He didn’t. But he can’t resist going for Bembas, insulting and humiliating them with false statistics which he is now referring to as “damming facts”. What damming facts? Can this nonsense be “damming facts”?

Albert Einstein said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

Inappropriate words that have come out of a careless mouth cannot be gathered and put back. And Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was right when he said,

“There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.”

Even about the Chinese, who are supposed to be his paytmasters, is that really the best way to defend their presence here? For whatever reason, human beings cannot be compared to cockroaches.

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