I am Still Doing Politics, But Differently – Chilufya Tayali

Chilufya Tayali

EEP President Chilufya Tayali


Silencing of critical and effective voices, has always been part of human history. In fact Jesus was killed for being a critical and effective voice against the power that oppressed people, especially the poor, at that time.

So, when you see some of us being arrested and dragged to court, it is nothing peculiar to the current Govt, even the PF did the same. Other leaders, too, did the same, to protect their power.

This is not to encourage dictatorship, injustice or abuse of power, those in leadership can do better, instead of being fortified that, their predecessors did the same, it is not a justification at all.

My reflection this morning, is on those who speak, those who offer checks and balances, as I reflected on the martyrdom of Saint Stephen.

St. Stephen was martyred within a couple of years after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. He was one of seven deacons who the Apostles appointed to assist them in their work of caring for the poor as the Church began to grow.

The man spoke with boldness and at times provocative or infuriating, especially to the authorities.

Imagine telling people, ati, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors.”.

This made people upset and they wanted to sort him out, or rather silence him. This is exactly what happens in our current day situation. If you speak boldly (like the way I do sometimes), you infuriate some people, especially those in authority.

The issue is, how can one be an advocate and yet survive the wrath of those in power. This is the question I have been trying to answer in my recent political and general public activities.

For some time I chose to be like Stephan and I almost got the worst, when those guys with military guns came to my house. No matter which way you look at that situation, it still remains a very dangerous moment, which threatened my life.

Currently I am still appearing in courts for whatever I said at some point, some of which I regret and I have apologized, but those in power are still on my neck, they want to punish me.

I have reached a point where, I have no defense, not out of guilt, but it is difficult to fight the powers that be. Hence, I have resolved to use a different approach of positive engagement.

It is not that, I don’t see some of the negatives, but I want to engage in a better way, where those in power don’t feel threatened but see my point.

To others, this is cowardice – bumushanina bwali – but I think I am better off alive like a dead hero. I am very sure, I can still be effective using a more sober manner of engagement than being provocative or infuriating.

Therefore, don’t push me to be militant or call me names to incite me, I am not going that route, but if you want it that way, please feel free to speak for us all.



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