By Kasonde Mwenda C
What a golden opportunity President Hakainde Hichilema missed last weekend!
“As you go into the final, I urge you to fight for the nation in getting rid of the pain of losing your gallant colleagues who perished off the coast of Gabon in 1993. Continue with your hard work, dedication and determination to the job at hand,”, President Micheal Sata said 3 days before Zambia National team won the 2012 Afcon trophy.
The indelible 2012 AFCON victory fell on a backdrop of Late President Michael Sata’s tendon erecting encouragement to the National football team when he went to them on February 9, 2012. Three days later the Zambia national soccer team “Chipolopolo” did the impossible when they clashed with the “indomitable lions” of Ivory Coast in that unforgettable epic Africa Cup final by annihilating the spell of perpetual failure at Afcon to emerge African Soccer Champions.
Unlike Sata ceased the opportunity in 2012, President Hakainde Hichilema last weekend failed to read the times and missed a great opportunity to engrave his name on the hearts of soccer loving Zambians as the first President and Patron of the Chipolopolo to take a team to the World Cup a feat that eluded Presidents: baKK, baFTJ, baMwanawasa, baSata and baLungu.
Last weekend , Zambia and President Hakainde Hichilema could have sprayed graffiti on the Canvas of the World Cup, a feat that would have won him the hearts of Zambians. Alas, the unfortunate happened. I do not blame it on President Hakainde Hichilema although he is the Chipolopolo captain but I feel sorry for him because he missed an opportunity to Unite the country divided after the elections and also to immortalize his name in the scrolls of Zambia’s books of soccer reckonings. Although the boys played with passion, we can only imagine what would have happened if President HH being the Chipolopolo patron had met the team, gone to watch them play at the Stadium and arisen in then that unquenchable fatherly passion. Its not just the Chipolopolo boys but the Zambian Youths are expectant and keenly looking for motivation and inspiration from President Hakainde Hichilema to spur them to greatness but alas, like his Predecessor President Edgar Lungu he is nowhere to be seen.
Zambians love football! When Chipolopolo wins, joy feels the country.