How harassment draws sympathy from public as I met HH in Shoprite today.
Today, around 11:30 hours on this Christmas Day, I went to Lewanika shopping mall in woodlands where Woodlands stadium, where City of Lusaka football club is situated. I found myself in Shoprite to buy bread.
Who do I see near me on the opposite counter as I was tendering my bread to the tiller? It was UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, also tendering his grocery waiting for his turn to pay.
Then, as respect to our leaders, like I always do and like I have always done other times in the past when I have met HH, I exclaimed; “how are you Mr. President?”
And in surprise he replied back without not being sure who was greeting him. I relaxed my mask from my face so that he sees my full face, while he had his mask on, “Aah ndimwe aNgoma? Tili bwino muli bwanji aNgoma? ” he replied as he almost reached his hand in white gloves to greet me, half way he quickly withdrew his hand, because he realised he must keep social distance and no contact.
He continued, ” Onani aNgoma aba banthu bayamba kuti paya,” complained HH to me. In response I said, “limbikilani chabe vinthu siku lina vizankhala bwino, si munaone ise na President Sata vamene tina pitamo?” (I said just be resilient, one day things will be fine. Did you not see how we and late President Sata went through? I encouraged HH).
At this point one of his body guard security was hecking me with his elbow to my elbow as I also in a friendly response touched his elbow with my own elbow, and in a whisper to me he said muli bwanji aNgoma (how are you and how is your young brother Buyzed Evans?) and ended the conversation with me by thanking me for the kind advice to his President.
OBSERVATION : the atmosphere in Shoprite as shoppers saw HH today on Christmas. This is the very reason that has compelled me to write this article. The excitement that engulfed the shoppers in Shoprite was amazing, what the shoppers were whispering to each other was really amazing. Those whispering to each other were saying; “iwe, wabawona ba President?” very excitedly,
While others who opted to loudly speak and screaming, ” imwe bonani ba President abo ! (in whisper, you look at the President, and those that speak with loud voices said, people look at the President!) The atmosphere in Shoprite today was explosive from onlookers and shoppers. Then, quickly after my purchase, I quickly found my way out of the shot and left HH on a counter still tendering his grocery.
As I walked out out the building, my mind went into memory lane mode and I quickly remembered how I used to run in and out of Mr. Sata’s house on Omelo Mumba Road from 2002 up to 2011. each time I rushed there, it was to assure him that all was well. This would be after several harassment by security wings in the Levy & RB led MMD Government. I would scientifically explain to Mr. Sata that the more the police, DEC and ACC summoned him, and the more his cadres and supporters were harassed by security wings, the more the public who are the voters would greatly sympathise with him and his party.
I would encourage him that unfortunately that was the positive benefit he would earn in exchange for the harassment he was subjected by security wings. I encouraged him to remain resolute and focused in his vision to form Government as such things were part of making him strong as a leader.
I remember going to his (Sata’s ) home on Omelo Mumba one day after he (Sata) issued unprintables against Chanda Chimba III who continuously, in series of attacks broadcast on ZNBC disparaging insults against him in a program he dubbed Stand Up for Zambia, sponsored by MMD,
Mr. Sata, in anger reacting to these infamous documentaries, called chanda – “chimbwi” (he called him chanda hyena) to which i quickly rushed to his home to reprimand him in strongest terms.
I said to Mr. Sata, “Mr. President, I have come to advise you to retract your unprintables against Chanda Chiimba III.
The reason for this withdrawal of your statement is that while I appreciate that you issued the statement in anger because of the insults Chanda has been hurling towards you continuously, and as much as these unprintables against you are very annoying, they have a positive aspect as in regard to get you a sympathy vote in the coming election.
The publicity by Chimba disparaging you is not only annoying to you, but annoying to most of the voters who feel for you. The voters are also angry with the MMD who have been sponsoring Chanda Chimba with his infamous broadcast.
Mr. Sata at this point would be paying a lot of attention to me, looking at me straight in my face as he held both of his hands to his chin resting his hands on his knees as he listens to me passionately giving him wise counsel, to ensure that he does the right thing to enable him win the election ahead of him.
I continued and said to him,” I am kindly asking you to issued a statement to the media and tell the public recommending Chanda Chimba for being a good campaign manager for you and your party PF, and that you would like to encourage him to continue with the Stand Up for Zambia campaign as opposed to insulting him because it will be difficult for people to differentiate between the two of you if you are lured into insults as doing so would make Chimba’s documentaries truthful and justified’.
Because by this time Mr. Sata had developed and grown so much faith in my tested advisory role, in response to my advice, he said, “you know what, the way you look at things is very unusual. What you have told me is the right thing to do though very painful. I will do it because it is the right thing to do against how I am truly feeling.”
Story short, Mr. Sata the following day called the press, and issued the statement I advised as above and those of you who can remember will attest.
In conclusion, all Governments anywhere else in the world have a responsibility to maintain law and order. However, in maintaining that law and order and for fear of losing power by those in leadership of that Government, in trying to prevent losing power to the opposition political party, they instead become obsessed and in the end, in desperation, they would want to find cause to prevent Government take over at all costs by finding anything that can disadvantage the opposition from taking over power.
In turn, they would unfortunately be seen by the general public that they are being vindictive to the opposition leaders although it might be true that those opposition leaders might have truly committed those crimes.
It is not the same summoning a leader of the main opposition political party and a person like me or JK and General Kanene. Just summoning HH, the police must know that they have in disguise summoned over 6 million Zambian citizens.
For example, the traffic offense against a presidential motorcade which happened in Western Province a few years ago in 2016 when HH motorcade did not obey the traffic law instructions to lay off when a presidential motorcade was passing, he ended up in remand prison for 127 days.
Had I been advisor to the President at the time, I would have given advice not to take the action the police took for obvious reasons, that the public court of opinion would label Government as being vindictive, when in fact not.
The police has the duty of protecting the Head of State from any harm that was going to come from the opposition leader not obeying the traffic law to lay off the road each time a Presidential motorcade was passing. This is a common practice world over. In some countries the opposition leader’s motorcade tyres were going to be shot at by the security in the presidential motorcade.
In life, I understand that certain things are predestined and preordained to happen in an a seemingly organized manner to necessitate a particular outcome whether favourable or unfavourable to whoever.
Like it was the case, fortunately for Mr. Sata and unfortunately for RB Banda and MMD Government, the harassment of Mr. Sata was a blessing to PF but a sad outcome for the MMD Government, the loss of 2011 election.
This is unfortunately how fate and predestination work. Therefore, as a political analyst and Philosopher, my advice to our Government is that before you contemplate bringing opposition leaders of different political parties to book to account for their past sins against the state, weigh heavily on how whatever you want to do would be perceived by the public court of opinion, because not reality and truth matter to the public but how each action will be perceived by the public that matter in politics.