Sometimes life presents us with rare opportunities to experience the wickedness of mankind and the consequences of selfishness, all in one frame. Two politicians are talk of town in Lusaka today because of the strange political decisions they have made in the recent past.
It is not long ago, and in fact, the newspaper editions in which the former State House deputy minister announced his resignation from politics is still selling as latest news in the outskirts of this country. But without any ounce of shame, Mr Mulenga has already swallowed all his vomit, crawled back to the PF, just so that he can once again have access to public resources.
A brief background of Mulenga; he seriously joined politics as a PF councilor for Kabulonga ward. Using the influence of his father who was Head of State to rise through the ranks, Mulenga stood as Lusaka district chairman and went through ‘unopposed’ in January 2014 after his opposers were blocked and frustrated out of the contest. Goodson Banda can tell a better story about how that happened.
Mulenga then ascended to the position of deputy Mayor and then Mayor before the demise of his father. Incumbent President Edgar Lungu appointed him State House deputy minister, before reassigning him as Lusaka Province minister, a position from which he resigned ahead of the 2016 general elections.
It was clear that Mulenga wanted to climb higher than he was offered. He wanted to succeed his father and seeing that his chances were slim, he could not stay longer in PF. We can state with confidence that his decision to resign from the PF and join the UPND in May 2016 was not driven by any principle, late alone political ideology. He wanted more power and a much senior government position.
That is why he conveniently stood on the UPND ticket as a parliamentary candidate for Kabwata. After losing, coupled with the opposition party’s failure to form government, his political career was shuttered. ‘Thanks’ to the Mayor’s death, Mulenga has another chance to get what he desperately wants in politics – to eat and serve himself.
He is not the only political opportunist; his colleague Miles Sampa is actually a bigger waste of human resource. Who ever thought Miles would be queuing up with Brian Hapunda and the likes in a contest for a mayoral position and even stand a lesser chance of adoption?
Young Miles was a potential republican president, and had it not been for the corruption in PF, we would be writing a different story about him today. After the youth empowerment programmes he initiated in Matero Constituency, Zambians thought he was a selfless leader with the interest of the people at heart. In fact, that was the first lie he told at the beginning of his downfall.
After resigning from PF and as Commerce deputy minister, Miles told residents of Matero that the life of a minister was too luxurious for his liking and he wanted to suffer with the people who elected him as MP.
“To be deputy minister is very nice. You get two drivers, a big house, house servants and having lunch in places like Hotel Intercontinental and you have a nice big car with a flag. But I was not getting satisfaction from that because I realised that the people of Matero were not living like that. I resigned because I want to feel the poverty and suffering with you. I want to come to your houses and eat with you. It’s not enough to just speak; you have to go down there and be with the poor people,” said Miles before fooling the church congregation with a K15,000 donation.
Just like Mulenga, Miles thought it was impossible for the UPND to lose the 2016 general elections. So he formed his own party in order to gain some extra political weight before defecting to the opposition party, where he expected to land himself a powerful Cabinet position. God, however, had a lesson for Miles and that lesson is still unfolding today.
We see so many lessons that we, as citizens of Zambia can draw from the defective, selfish thinking of Mulenga Sata and his fellow opportunist Miles Sampa.
As a people, we must understand that we do not remain on earth forever and whatever we have with us is given only for a short duration. Political leaders must learn to use power for the benefit of humanity.
We as citizens, on the other hand, have the duty to examine the individuals who vie for political office and we must be decisive when electing these leaders. Look at the challenges that Lusaka is facing today and pit those challenges against the caliber and morality on the list of candidates being proposed.
Indeed, the Lusaka Mayoral elections will be a litmus test for many things. Will the UPND make another poor choice of candidate like they did in Chilanga, or is it PF’s turn to blunder? We wait to see who is more stupid between the political parties and the voters.