We sympathise with the PF propagandists who earn a living trying to demystify the President’s pronouncements. We can imagine that President Lungu’s public addresses are their worst nightmares because they have to justify their pay by making the Head of State sound intelligent. These people have the toughest job in Zambia.
But President Lungu has remained a realistic man. The things he says, even out of impulse, are the things he truly believes in. So Mr Amos Chanda at State House and Mr Sunday Chanda at the PF secretariat must relax. They should let President Lungu speak his mind without worrying about how Zambians will react. Let them find comfort in the reality that Zambians are a very docile and forgetful.
The PF has been causing one scandal after another, blunder after blunder; day-by-day, week after week. They seem to be taking turns messing up in such a coordinated way that, if we are not hearing about the mischief of a minister, then it means the big boss himself is making headlines somewhere. The PF has in fact turned out to be the biggest whistleblower of its own criminal activities and bad governance.
The only problem is that Zambians have ears but they can’t hear the whistle, we have eyes but don’t see. That is why today our nation is in the international news for bad reasons; that is why acclaimed academicians out there are disparaging us as they try to describe our democratic choices. We can hate what they say about us, but the sad reality is that it is nothing but the truth. A renowned economics professor, who may not be pleased to be named, recently said this about our country.
“The danger to Zambia is not Edgar Lungu, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of a Lungu presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate, willing to have such a man for their President. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Lungu, who is a mere symptom of what ails Zambia. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Lungu who is, after all, merely a (censored word). But it is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their President.”
Indeed, if the PF has destroyed this country, we as a people are responsible for the destruction. We have nobody but ourselves to blame. President Lungu did not fall from Heaven, he was elected by the citizens of this country; not once but twice! Therefore, we painfully agree with him when he says he has the mandate from the Zambian people to govern this country in a manner that fits his wisdom. What we hear from his mouth is the wisdom we voted for.
In Ndola over the weekend, President Lungu said: “Those of you in charge of managing resources, please don’t let these people of Zambia down. There is a saying I used two days ago and I will use it again ubomba mwibala alila mwibala but tabatila ati ulye nembuto kumo.” The PF and State House can choose to interpret this Bemba idiom in whichever way they please. But the fact is that the Head of State was permitting thieves in his party and government to steal, but leave something for the rest of the people. According to the President, if they steal without leaving anything, they will be letting the people of Zambia down. That is the wisdom that he feels citizens voted for.
Like the professor rightly observed, Zambia’s problems are far much deeper than a Lungu Presidency because we can easily remove him from State House when his painful leadership becomes unbearable. But how do we instil the necessary common sense and good judgment into a depraved electorate, willing to vote in an even worse successor?
This is where we anchor our argument when we extend our scrutiny to opposition political party leaders. Just saying, “Lungu must go” is easy and it can be done, but who is the replacement? Of what better leadership quality are they? Some of the people who want to take over from the catastrophic presidency of Mr Lungu have been tested in government positions before. We heard what they said and we saw what they did when they had State power; but we are willing to take them back and elevate them to the top of our country’s leadership. That is where the real problem is.
In Lungu we have an open book; he is what he is, and what he is, is what he says and does. There is a 90 per cent likelihood that he will stand again in 2021. If he wins, we should accept him as our elected choice. Yes, we can blame it on rigging, but it is impossible to rig an election where you get zero genuine votes. Therefore, if Mr Lungu wins for the third time, we must not then turn around and start calling him foolish because if he is foolish, then the bigger fools would be those who, once again, entrusted him with the Presidency. Those are the fools who don’t hear anything but blindly dance to campaign songs; and when they are terminated from the food chain, they start wishing they could erase the parts in their brains which were dancing. How nonsensical!
It is for this reason that we urge Zambians to wake up and stop voting with their bellies. It starts now because the 2021 campaigns have taken off; the people who are complaining about the Lungu Presidency must not only listen to their rumbling stomachs because stomachs forget too easily once they are filled. Voters must pay attention and scrutinise everything that the political players are saying.
When President Lungu says akulyeni but mwilalya nembuto kumo, remind him that ba President, mwalilya kale imbuto kumo na fertilizer. That’s why the farmers are crying.