By Sunday Chanda
Following a video being circulated by Opposition members, let me state that *”Uubomba Mwibala, alya Mwibala lelo tabatila ulye nembuto Kumo”*, is a Bemba idiom meaning that while a person is expected to be rewarded in a manner they deserve from their labour, they are not permitted to consume the seed (What they don’t deserve).
In the words of scripture, the Bible speaks to this same scenario as follows: *“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain” (Deut 25:4)*
The idea behind the law *to not muzzle an ox while it is working to produce grain is that the ox deserves to partake in some of his own labor and so the command is to not to muzzle the ox.* This means they allow him to eat from part of his labor while he treads out the grain. It seems cruel to make an animal work for man to produce food while depriving it of the same thing.
This is also the principle that can be taken out of this verse in the way we treat laborers. *That is, the laborer should be treated fairly and not be deprived of the wages that they deserve.*
What the labourer or Ox is not allowed to do is to eat the seed.
So yes President Lungu was spot on when he used the idiom, *Uubomba Mwibala, alya Mwibala lelo tabatila alye imbuto* to say to those serving in Government that they are allowed to get what they deserve (salaries, wages, etc) but must not eat the seed which is not what they deserve. Seed could mean public resources in this context.