“When I was starting off from Lusaka, they told me that when you go to Roan, don’t mention Kambwili, or even talk about him. But as we were flying on the plane, I thought, ‘how will the campaign be if I don’t talk about the person who has brought us where we are?’ They say, ‘birds of the same feathers flock together; so thieves move together and prostitutes also move together. Those who are following that man, (Kambwili), fiwelewele (they are fools). Tabakwata skopodonono, they have no brains,” President Lungu told voters in Roan Constituency last week.
Just to be clear, the plane that the President was referring to is the newly acquired K1.6 billion Gulfstream anti-missile jet, bought through a loan, which the taxpayers in Roan Constituency will pay. And the message he was meditating upon while flying on that Ferrari in the sky, was to go and tell the retrenched miners and poor residents that those following their former member of parliament are imbeciles with no brains.
Well, the people of Roan Constituency have shown Mr Lungu just how ‘foolish’ they are. Or perhaps, they have shown the President, who is actually foolish, in their eyes. This is what happens when absolute power starts to manifest in a leader, they stop considering the sanctity of life in other human beings. A President telling people that those who are following opposition leaders have no brains shows that he feels absolutely invincible.
But we feel sorry for President Lungu because something suggests that, much as he likes the Bible, he doesn’t seem to read it. If our President held regular sincere conversations with God, he would do many things differently. For example, if the President did serious introspection, he would remember that only the grace of God put him where he is today. He never sweated for the presidency; it was handed to him by God’s grace. So he must ask himself to say, ‘why is it that I am now trying to use all my efforts to remain in this position’.
In our view, Mr Lungu has forgotten that grace, and he is fighting the course of nature. That is why he has the audacity of insulting voters. When you start tinkering with the laws of the country in a manner that is against the wishes of the majority citizen, just know that you are fighting the grace of God, and you can never win.
But that said, the Roan election defeat needs to be equitably shared among other leaders in the Patriotic Front. Almost the entire Cabinet was in Luanshya. We don’t think there is anybody who did not receive a campaign gift from the Patriotic Front in Roan. But the ruling party still lost miserably. Surely, the secretary general needs to concede defeat in a deserving way. Let Mr Davies Mwila admit that the election outcome indicates that Kambwili and his NDC are more popular in Roan than PF. He can’t say NDC only won because of help from the UPND, didn’t the PF get help from the MMD and other political parties?
The Patriotic Front needs to put its house in order and realise that although Hakainde Hichilema has his own weaknesses, just like Chishimba Kambwili and other opposition leaders, once they stick to this Alliance, they can wrestle well and decisively defeat the ruling party. Yes, there are many citizens in Zambia right now who feel the country deserves a leader who is better than all the available options on the political scene, but there comes a time when people overlook all that and simply vote for change. Sadly for PF, that is where the country is headed. The scandals are just way too much.
We are surprised that Mr Mwila and some Cabinet ministers don’t see all that. Instead of toning down, they are becoming even more provocative to the citizens. In their heads, they think the 2021 general elections are already a done deal? That is why the thieves in this government are not slowing down, and the insultants are inventing new words to disparage the citizenry.
Maybe those in PF feel they can afford to remain arrogant because they feel they have mastered the art of rigging? If that is their plan, they must think twice. All Sundays are days, but not all days are Sundays. With incorruptible institutions such as the Catholic Church joining the election monitoring process ahead of 2021, we can only urge wrong doers in this regime to start preparing their confessions. Those who thrive on electoral malpractice should ask Mr Kaizer Zulu what happened in Roan!