By Sycorax T.Ndhlovu
Most Zambians say that it’s socially, culturally and religiously retrogressive and shocking for United Party for National Development (UPND)’s leader, Hakainde Hichilema to tell wives to deny their husbands conjugal rights as reported in Daily Nation(14/7/2016; p.1).
Reportedly, Mr Hakainde commonly known as HH while on his political campaign trail in Chingola district urged women to tell their husbands to defect from Patriotic Front (PF) to UPND so that he can win in the August 11, 2016 elections.
Reacting to the UPND leader’s statement urging women to deny their husbands marital rights if they don’t defect to UPND, Pastor Saxon Lusengu said such statements show how HH disregards God’s order on marriage. Pastor Lusengu reminded HH of God’s words on marriage in Hebrews 13:4 where it states: ‘Marriage is honourable in all; and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.’ Pastor Lusengu argued that it’s wrong to bring politics in marriage.
HH’s appeal to wives is also against Ephesians 5: 22-24 which states: ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as to the Lord. For a husband has authority over his wife in the same way that Christ has authority over the church; and Christ himself is the saviour of the church, his body(Good News Bible).
Therefore, HH’s advice to wives would make wives not to be submissive to their husbands!
Appreciating Ephesians 5: 22-24, verse 25 states: ‘Husbands, love your wives as Jesus Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.’ This means that husbands can only love wives who are submissive to their (husband’s) authority in marriages.
Therefore, if HH urges wives to refute their husbands’ conjugal rights, is he in line with Biblical teachings on marriage? Does he want to promote marital conflicts and fuel divorces in marriages?
Moreover, Matthews 7: 12 teaches us to do to others as we wish others to do to us. Now if HH tells wives of those belonging to PF to deny their husbands marital rights if they don’t defect to UPND, suppose it was another presidential candidate telling HH’s wife, Mutinta to tell him (HH) that he should withdraw from UPND’s presidential candidature; and defect from UPND to PF or else HH wouldn’t be given chances to enjoy his conjugal rights, how would HH perceive his wife for making such demands; and putting such a condition? How would HH perceive the person urging Mutinta to deprive him (HH) of such rights?
Since wives also enjoy such rights with their husbands, how does HH expect such wives not having sex with their husbands satisfy their sexual appetite?
Hence, Pastor Lusengu argued that HH’s counsel to wives is wicked meant to force sexually starved husbands to involve themselves into immoralities. But one can also add that even the same wives denying their husbands such rights can also be involved in immorality to quench off their sexual feeling pressures while waiting for their husbands to defect to UPND!
Consequently, a Lusaka resident, Frank Tembo, 63, wondered whether HH knows Zambian cultures as they relate to marriage or not. He also questioned whether HH was urging all wives in Zambia to do so; including those of our traditional leaders; or he was only advising Tonga women; probably because of some Tonga traditional practices which might allow such advice to wives against our common African culture and Biblical teachings.
‘HH’s request to wives whose husbands are in other parties was a direct insult to married men;’ Mr Tembo observed. He said had it been in other provinces, the UPND’s political rally would have been stopped; and the UPND’s leader taken to traditional leaders and counselors for him to explain what he meant by such statements to wives whose husbands are in other parties.
‘Should HH and UPND be a factor in our marriages just because HH wants to be in State House and be buried at Embassy Park when he dies?’ Mr Tembo wondered.
Wilson Chanda, in a telephone conversation from Luwingu district, said no morally upright wife can accept such HH’s appeal to wives. Mr Chanda, 58, wondered how Ms HH would take such a request from another man to HH himself. He added that with such statements attributed to the UPND’s leader, HH has demonstrated that he is a disgrace in our culture.
‘How does HH perceive married women for him to expect a sensible wife to accept such a request against her husband?’ Mr Chanda wondered.
Another Lusaka resident, Ephemia Mwila, 62, expressed shock that such a statement is coming from a person aspiring to lead this country. She wondered how a well, culturally brought up wife could bring politics into a bedroom. Ms Mwila said, in our culture, denying a husband his conjectural rights can be the end of marriage! ‘Is HH fueling divorce in marriages?’ Ms Mwila asked.
Imagine another presidential candidate told HH’s presidential running mate, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba(GBM)’s wife, Chama to deny GBM his conjectural rights, can’t GBM assault, batter and disfigure Chama because of disobeying Biblical teachings on being submissive to one’s husband?
Such statements from a person aspiring for republican presidency reminds one of what former vice president in the previous Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD)’s regime, Enock Kavindele said that the UPND’s leadership is still too immature to run public affairs of this country.
Supporting such an observation on UPND leadership’s immaturity, a Lusaka resident, Fabiano Alistaliko Zulu said HH’s desperation for State House has made him (HH) childish and talk nonsense. Mr Zulu, 64, added that, by so saying, HH has proved that he has little or no understanding of African culture; adding that this has proved that HH is still immature; and therefore not fit to govern this great country.
Most people wondered if, as a church elder in Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) as we are constantly told, this is what he (HH) or they (SDA’s elders) preach to wives with husbands in other political parties in their church now.
It was argued that no one is against a wife making suggestions to a husband. But it was the type of issue which a wife can put as a condition for not providing conjectural rights to her husband which one was against. And no one is against HH being in State House. But it’s what HH does which prevents him from becoming a republican president.
Does HH want to worsen divorce rates in the country? Should marriages end in the country just because HH wants to be in State House?
Most Zambians interviewed on such an appeal from the UPND’s leader to wives wondered if husbands will be enjoying their marriages if Zambians make a mistake of electing HH as a republican president.
They observed that this is proof that when HH and his presidential running mate, GBM, are in power, at any time; especially when such conjectural rights are at the peak level of demand, HH and GBM would just wake up; and around 03:30hours announce on ZNBC radio and television live broadcasts telling wives not to offer such services to their respective husbands until further notice.
Despite being in multi-party politics, with what HH has told wives to restrain their husbands from being in other parties except in UPND, when Zambians make a mistake of electing HH and his UPND to form government after next polls, one expects many social and cultural upheavals which might negatively affect not only marriages but might also negatively affect Zambia as a Christian nation.
And since he has demonstrated that he is biased to women for whatever reasons, his haphazard rules and policies might be favouring more women than men as it was in former Malawian government during late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s regime where husbands were treated like second class human beings by their wives because of powers from the late Dr Banda.
With such strange and unfortunate statements attributed to HH, concerned Zambians demand a public apology from the UPND’s leader to all husbands, wives and to Zambian Christian churches for showing disrespect to our African culture and to Christian values as far as the relationship between a wife and a husband in bed is concerned.
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