African politics, Zambia, included, have two political weaknesses; they attack people and neglect issues, and they are rooted in politics of tribe or clan or race or group synergy. This, however, has also been the weakest link to progress and real development. The result has been electing true dunderhead, riffraff and politically malnutritional idea minds. Each five years, Zambia put a “head” at the helm of the “state.” But this head is as brainless as the uncertain future it espouses. The outcomes have been obvious: More corruption, more poverty and more undemocratic tendencies. The cows become fat, and the rats rot!
In 2021, Zambia should do everything to elect HH. HH is not a saint, and I don’t believe that he is charismatic enough to move millions to elect him. But HH is critically better than Edgar Lungu. For one, Lungu is a president of convenience; you need people like Lungu in power when you run out of ideas or when an incumbent dies without properly naming or grooming a successor. Presidents like Lungu are maintainers; they keep what another has engineered, but they are bad maintainers, too. They tend to worsen the situation than they found it. Given five more years, Lungu will lead Zambia into hell – unspeakable poverty, uncontrollable corruption and blatant disregard for democratic institutions and traditions. He has no gravitas to be a dictator – but he has the wisdom to be a soft one. And that is where the problem lies; he cannot control the minions that galvanize his already confused policies, and he cannot discipline the sycophants. He is left to be a de facto figurehead and an indecisive ruler.
HH, on the other hand, will not be any different from any other presidents before him, but he will be better: He will do less damage in the first five years of his office – because in Zambia, like in Africa, first always wins. He will be fresh, and therefore, he will be more willing to help the people, at least, before he becomes corrupted like any presidents before him. Give him credit – he has endured all, failed many times but he has decided to hang in there. If not for anything, Zambia must not disregard a leader who has endurance. He is better placed to fight corruption, poverty and democratic failures – at least in comparison to President Lungu.
If Zambia gives the PF another five years (it does not make me happy to state the obvious), I will be writing again at this forum of the rampant corruption, poverty and disregard for rule of law that will follow. Lungu and the PF will be emboldened to go full throttle to damage anything and everything in their way. They will get richer (at least PF worshippers) and the people of Zambia will feed on more and more lies, while reaping more poverty and more disillusionment.
To President HH, you must win this next election – if you don’t, you will be responsible for the misery that Zambians will face post-election. Your party, has the necessary structures and peoples to win a substantive election. All you need is a strategy (remember “Don’t Kubeba” for the PF), you can defeat PF at their own game of rigging and corruption. If you fail to win, you will force people like me to leave my comfortable life in Canada and return to Zambia and lead a movement towards zero poverty, zero corruption and zero “undemocracies.”
By Charles Mwewa