Hunt for Successor 30: Don’t you dare!

By Field Ruwe

                No one in the ruling Patriotic Front must get intoxicated with power, not even its president, and attempt to take us back to a one-party state. If they do, we as a nation must rise and strip them of power. Yes we can.

If President Michael Sata deviously tampers with the Constitution of Zambia to accommodate a one-party state, all members of parliament, religious leaders, and all progressive and peace-loving Zambians must condemn him in the strongest terms.

This is what is wrong with Zambia, it is full of turncoats, some mad, greedy and dangerous, others just fatuous and foolish. They selfishly shift ideals when it suits them and betray their original cause. When they are not in power they are busy inciting kaponyas to stake their lives and get killed. When they are in power they subject the same kaponyas to eternal hunger, disease, and trauma. And kaponyas, like sheep keep following them. Why do you treat us this way you heartless people! Haven’t Zambians suffered enough?

Wynter Kabimba is as reckless as they come. Controversy follows him everywhere. He has been a controversial figure for as long as I can remember and he does not shy away from it. Whenever he has an opinion on an issue, he has no problem expressing his views in public, no matter how offensive, fatal, or ridiculous, and he does so in an unapologetic erudite manner. He is not a “herd” type. He is reclusive, introverted, disdainful, and often comes off misanthropic. `

It is no surprise, therefore, that Kabimba has become the first PF executive to inject the term “one-party state” into our national discourse at this point in time. At a recent gathering to celebrate the defection of former Mpongwe MP, Gabriel Namulambe, from MMD to the PF, Kabimba, in his capacity as Secretary General of the Patriotic Front, confirmed the fears of many Zambians when he said and I quote, “It is not the PF who wants the one-party state. It is the people of Zambia,” end of quote.

This is how imprudent Kabimba can get. He speaks like a militia leader, oblivious of ramifications. He is a man who believes he can say whatever he wants, and he has said some damn things, and this one tops them. Thank god, he has provided us with a glimpse of the deception and horror that lies beneath Sata’s façade.

Kabimba and others like him in the PF, including the president think we are damn. They think we are brainless. They think because they are in power they came insult our intelligence. This rotten attitude is the failure of Zambian politics. When one becomes a political leader, cabinet minister, or Member of Parliament they truly believe they are angelic; that we don’t belong to their class. Suddenly they forget where they came from and begin to utter rubbish.

What Kabimba has ignited is an inferno. He and others with same intentions must understand that the term “one-party state” has become indistinguishable with a coup d’état. It is an illegal or unscrupulous deposition of a country by a small group of the existing state establishment. A one-party state like a coup d’état becomes successful when the usurpers establish their dominance. And often in a one-party state as in a coup d’état, chaos, even a civil war, are a likely consequence.

The PF executives must be reminded that many Zambians have lost their lives in their quest for democracy. Others have been maimed for life. In the riots of December 1986, which focused on the price of meal-mealie, 15 people were killed. In 1990, 27 people were killed in the three-day riots. They were among thousands of rioters demanding for the removal of KK and the end of one-party system.

Sata was among the agitators, inciters, and instigators. On November 2, 1990, KK fired him. He immediately joined the MMD together with the likes of Humphrey Mulemba, Ludwig Sondashi, Joshua Lumina, and Bennie Mwiinga.

A ruthless machinist and chronic politician, Sata continued to be vocal in the demand for multi-party politics and began to send young street vendors known as Kaponyas, to loot, destroy shops, and clash with armed police. Between December 1986 and October 31, 1991 when KK was finally removed, enough blood had spilled from the bodies of young boys, some who, armed only with sticks and stones, were sent to their deaths.

We can’t learn from this because greedy Zambian politicians treat Kaponyas as collateral damage. They are the sacrificial lambs. No one cares what happens to them. Up this day none of the presidents has built a monument in their honor. And yet they are the ones who made it possible for us to triumph over one-party system. Today they have made it possible for Sata to become president and for Kabimba to be appointed Justice Minister.

Kabimba is a strong ally and apologist of the president. They met in the 1980s when Sata was Governor of Lusaka and Kabimba worked as Town Clerk. They both have a singleness of purpose: to be in control. That’s how they protect their desire for grandeur. They both love power. They truly believe they are chosen by Fate to be in power.

They are both masters at fanning scorn at their opponents, real and imagined. They both constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is wrong with Zambian politics. When you meet one of them, he wants to be in control. He has to speak and you have to listen because he views his utterances more laudable than yours. Often they do not speak to the educated and the politically alert.

When Kabimba boldly uses the term “the people of Zambia” he knows who he is talking about. He is talking about millions of people with low esteem; they ones with a feeling of hopelessness. They are the ones he preys on to better himself.

Who exactly are these people? They are people from all classes, the hungry, homeless, and unemployed in villages and towns throughout Zambia. They are the rewarded and gullible PF die-hards at cabinet, parliamentary, permanent secretary, envoy, and party levels enjoying regale and high-paying jobs. They are the illiterate and semi-literate fundamentalists (kaponyas) given trinkets (small rewards) at times of need. And of course, they are the desperate back-stabbers in opposition parties like Namulambe and Edith Nawakwi who abandon their ideals at the president’s hoodwink.

The hungry, homeless, and unemployed kaponyas are the most naïve and therefore the most susceptible. Knowing their feeling of desperation, Kabimba and his cohorts, including the president are sure they will receive support at any slightest false promise of wellbeing.

Poverty levels are so high the poor young men and women, in their millions, will do anything, even forget any previous abuse or deception. This is what gives Kabimba and the president confidence to think they can take us back to a single-party system.

I am including the president because mangoes do no fall far from the tree. We know where Kabimba draws his inspiration. His utterances are not accidental. They are proclaimed with the president’s blessings. It is a covert way of testing the waters. It is not Kabimba, but the president putting his toe in the water to see how cold it is.



Some people inundated by naiveté might be quick to defend the president, that he has already repudiated Kabimba’s claims in the press release of Monday, December 17, 2012, and that the president is a strong advocate of multi-party politics. It is this gullibility that makes people like Sata and Kabimba to abuse our intelligence.

Read the press release again. Note how it is crafted in the usual Pinocchio style. For those who have never read “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio is a character prone to telling lies and fabricating stories for various reasons. For each lie he tells, his nose becomes longer. We are talking about a very long nose within a period of one year.

In the release, “crafted” by George Chellah and meant for the shackled journalists in the state media, Sata does not admonish the culprit, Wynter Kabimba. Instead, he attempts to shift the blame to the opposition.

Let’s examine the following quote: “Therefore, as custodians of the Zambian people’s interests, we find this attempt to debate democracy and the already existing multi-party system of governance, time-wasting and a mischievous excuse by some politicians to taint the reputation of the PF as well as divert Government’s attention from more important issues.”

The above quote is written with a crooked pen whose ink flows with deception. This is what is wrong with the current president of Zambia; his failure at communication. Sadly, the president’s unconscious is the conscious. Like a narcissist, he does not take full responsibility of a wrongdoing. He is not known to apologize on behalf of his party or on his own behalf. Instead he uses words to control, manipulate and stimulate. He uses language that appeals to the country’s emotional state—a mind control tactic, which to him comes naturally.

The press release should have been all about Kabimba. The president should have rebuked him in the strongest terms and send a warning to other loose-tongued, power-drunk PF supporters to desist from using the term “one-party system” in vain.

He should have showed us that he is a genuine champion who is playing an essential role in fulfilling his pledge to lead our nation to higher democratic heights. But sadly and clearly he didn’t and he won’t. Under his presidency democracy faces the greatest challenge. His irrational attitude towards Nevers Mumba (MMD) and Hakainde Hichilema (UPND) and other opposition leaders points to a democracy in peril.

President Sata must bear in mind that we know him very well. We have been around him long enough to know his weaknesses and strengths. We know he is unpredictable, arbitrary, volatile, and tenacious. He may not have much education, but he is excessively preoccupied with power, prestige and vanity.

Throughout his life Sata has wanted power. He has come to believe that power is not attained through education, because knowledge is not power. When, in 2001, he supported FTJ’s bid for a third term, his motive was clear to many of us. Today, he has excelled.

What kills him though is his sadistic behavior—his callous, vicious, manipulative, and degrading behavior expressed towards us the people he rules. He has no regard for us. He takes us for granted and treats us like 14 million ignoramuses.

During Sata’s rule, there is a growing trend of undermining constitutional authority and the democratic process. It is the reason people like Kabimba can get up and say anything that comes to their mind. Kabimba must get it in his head that the people of Zambia do not want a one-party state. They do not want it discussed in any form. They do not want dictatorship. They want Sata to rule for one or two terms and exit honorably, and not be forced out like KK.

No substantial development has been made in a one-party state anywhere around the world. In Zambia, KK, who had started off very well, took us through a period of untold despotism and brutally clamped down on our freedoms. When the public could not take it anymore, it vented its outrage on him. Such was the case with Kamuzu in Malawi, Mobutu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Idi Amin in Uganda.

Today the despotic rule of Robert Mugabe has left Zimbabweans and their lovely country in a pathetic state. In other one-party states like Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt, the ending has been ugly.

Don’t forget that in all these one-party states the victims have been the innocent people who are seeking a better life. We shall not continue to lose our young men and women due to the actions of a few selfish people like Kabimba. We shall not allow a one-party in Zambia. Never! So, don’t you dare!

Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner, historian, and author. He is a PhD candidate at George Fox University and serves as an adjunct professor (lecturer) in Boston. ©Ruwe2012

Flash back: Given gives us hope for a better Zambia
Zambia's trial and error leadership

33 Responses to "Hunt for Successor 30: Don’t you dare!"

  1. Kanyika   December 25, 2012 at 17:08

    Iwe luo,who tells u there are miners in kabwe?it is the shanties compounds of lusaka that made Sata president.Look how u are wallowing in dirt and filth in your lusaka.

  2. Chivunda Samusungwa   December 25, 2012 at 16:31

    Excellent article by Field Ruwe.Michael Sata’s ruinous rule will prove to be the most disastrous since independence.Sata has no foresight;he does not realize that when he destroys the big opposition parties he is actually digging his own grave.In every democracy it’s the opposition which points out any weaknesses in the governance of a country and that enables corrective measures to be taken.But in Zambia Sata would only like to maintain puppet opposition groups and some PF-compromized NGOs.
    Michael Sata’s dream is to create a one-party state.We all have a responsibility to resist the creation of a one-party state.
    Sata’s lack of governance skills has led him to believe that Muchinga,Luapula and Northern provinces should be given priority in development efforts and the allocation of financial and material resources;he has forgotten that his policy has created resentment and suspicion in other provinces.Instead of trying to win the confidence of everyone in the country he has decided on the dangerous course of dividing people.
    As regards Wynter Kabimba’s arrogance,there is only one person in Zambia who can tame him,and that person is Michael Sata.If Sata continues to turn a blind eye to Kabimba’s(and other ministers’)abuse of office,no one else can LEGALLY correct the situation since the current constitution contains too many flaws;a president can,(and does),take advantage of loopholes to do things which are not morally right because the constitution was designed to give Chiluba(and his ministers,and Sata was one of them), a free hand to hold the country to ransom and avoid being accountable to anyone.

    From:Chivunda Samusungwa.

  3. luwingu   December 25, 2012 at 16:00

    very good article. but the problem with these kaponya they will decide not to take this advice because thats there nature. anyone to try. go and give a mere kaponya advice pa street. you wil be insulted instead. so thats them. a few likes of given lubinda opt to remain quiet. then there are accused of supporting the opposition. its a pity!

  4. Honest   December 25, 2012 at 12:22

    A well articulated article. We have plenty of turncoats,gullible people
    who can swallow anything thrown across their way.

  5. kwatu   December 24, 2012 at 21:28

    This is a good article. Field also using your research, could u kindly educate us a little about Sata’s education. Kabimba even me who is not learned know that he makes a very good dull lawyer. On his interview on our public funded but PF controlled media, he says he let a company that offered him bribe go on to complete the bidding for that tender and they lost out, am sure the co that got the tender paid offered more. And as Zambians this is our minister for overseeing justice. Please Ruwe tell us which schools our Sata attended and which certifications he obtained. Am ashemed to have supported such fellows.

  6. Mwansa K   December 24, 2012 at 16:58

    Hahaha!!Ati “Pinocchio Front”..just the right term…

  7. luo   December 24, 2012 at 14:34

    This is definitely a well written and researched article summarizing the current happenings in our great nation. Very spot on regarding Kabimba and Sata’s behaviour. Sadly, if you check the number of responses to this article it tells a story of how illiterate Zambian’s are in general and truly we have no choice other than to bask in leadership that is always elected by the uneducated or kaponyas. The miners who seem to be the king makers in this country are the least educated ( and they produce the majority kaponya’s from c/belt and kabwe)and through them we had three illiterate presidents in the name of Kaunda, Chiluba and Sata out of the five Zambian presidents. The two educated ones were hated like no mans business- Levy and RB. If anything the three presidents have one thing in common, fear, dictatoship and they all show lack of respect to the majority zambians
    So let us wait for another illiterate President after Sata, I smell GBM here!!!!

  8. 098282828   December 24, 2012 at 13:35

    S misleading article,only fools can believe it,

    • anyaprawo   December 25, 2012 at 06:10

      You do not have to believe it. You have to debate , come up with counter arguments convince me that your ideas are better than his, instead of one word comment misleading and insults. Show the other bloggers you have read it and understand his reasoning. If you do not want to debate and exchange ideas you belong the great mass of ignorant uneducated who are easily exploited by unscrupulous greedy politicians.

  9. 098282828   December 24, 2012 at 13:32

    so misleading article.

  10. abyei   December 24, 2012 at 12:05

    one party state”’ no ,a big no.otherwise this will be the greatest mistake ever.

  11. fumbi   December 24, 2012 at 10:38

    Why is it not published?

  12. fumbi   December 24, 2012 at 10:36

    Do not be like the past newspapers. When smeone posts something, unless it is obscene, you need to publish it. Otherwise you will not be different from those that only want to publish what appeals to them.

  13. fumbi   December 24, 2012 at 10:34

    Do not be like the past newspapers. When smeone posts something, unless it is obscene, you need to publish it. Oterwise you will not be different from that only want to publish what appeals to them.

  14. fumbi   December 24, 2012 at 10:30

    Feild. I sincerely like and do enjoy your thought provoking articles. I believe you could reach and pursuade a wider section of the Zambian people if you kept it simple. I wonder how many people grasp your article when you use such words as misanthropic, ignoramus disdainful, fatuous just to mention a few. I had to resort to a dictionary. I wonder how many have that luxury. Just to emphasise when Obama is making a speech to the American people, I have found that I follow his speeches without resorting to checking any of the words he uses. He still, though, comes out as a very educated person. How I wish you could emulate him in this instance. Your ideas may be worthless if the wider public do not understand what you are trying to put across. All in all keep it up. We need those ideas to be flowing.

    • Django   December 24, 2012 at 16:57

      Speech and written articles are different. Let him write in this way so that some of us learn these words in a context that would otherwise make more sense than just a word in a dictionary. It is important to some of us! Also I do not think he writes in a way that you will completely be lost if you did not know the meaning of these few words. You for one sir do not even strike me as someone that doesn’t understand most of the words you referenced to in your text.

  15. Charles Zulu   December 24, 2012 at 09:59

    Thanks Field, your articles are normally less emotive and filled with a sense of satire and humour.
    But there is no humour in what seems to be befalling the political landscape, bearing in mind the continued use/misuse of our marginalised citizens (even to a point of being senselessly sacrificed as political sacrifices) is a matter that raises considerable indignation!
    I have sense of deja-vu regarding the political acrobatic engineering from ba Winter and bo Sata….this cheap crap can’t be bought for long….I know Zambians are peaceful but they are certainly not stupid!
    Rupiah learnt the hard way, all the billions poured in the 2011 campaigns failed to buy off votes.
    All the districts, football stadiums, provincial universities, infrastructure developments, (even the attempt to pay the Litunga kwa Hae) will be meaningless and of no consequence once ordinary folk see that ugly PIG (Party and It’s Government) re-emerging. Both Gadaffi and ba Robert Moogabee had made significant social developments but when it touched fundamental freedoms……basopo!!

  16. Julius Malema   December 24, 2012 at 08:58

    Rotten country,rotten politicians and rotten everythng.Th@ z why we pipo from Barotseland want our integrity and country bak.No women in marriege with Corrupt,uneducated,colonialist Northern Rhodisia

  17. kaps   December 24, 2012 at 08:50

    In all fairness,Field is not right in saying “No substantial development has been made in a one-party state anywhere around the world…”.

    Wait a minute, what about China, Singapore, and the middle eastern states of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qtar, Bharain, to name a few who are ruled by “dictators” for luck of a better word? Their economies are light years way from Zambia’s and other African countries. The standards of living have improved under a dictatorship, prove me wrong if you can…

    In my own opinion, it is SENSELESS greed that stunts African growth – if the leader in power has a vision for the WHOLE country (not himself or immediate friends & family or tribesmen), it matters less if that leader is a “hard nut” if he is steering EVERYONE away from poverty not just himself and the relies!!

    • Django   December 24, 2012 at 16:51

      Simple let me ask you – Is that what your dictator Sata is doing? Don’t answer me answer yourself in truth then tell me if Field shouldn’t have written this article?

      • kaps   December 25, 2012 at 00:16

        I think “dictator Sata” is doing exactly that! The problem is that he has no vision for the country. Imagine if the same energy and charisma he has can be steered to motivate everyone to work hard and improve the standard of living for everyone, with a REAL ZERO tolerance for corruption?

        If there is zero corruption and everyone knows they will be rewarded and judged based on their skills and talents rather than how close they are to the “family forest”, we will be on the road to prosperity. I wouldn’t mind a “dictator” who ruthlessly promotes a culture of REAL transparency and hard work – SATA is clearly not that leader, I am sad to say.

        Field’s article has raised some other crucial points which can not be ignored and he has done well to raise those issues.

    • human   December 24, 2012 at 18:03

      Agreed. But in our political landscape, a oneparty state is a reciepie for disaster.

  18. Suggestor   December 24, 2012 at 08:46

    I really like this article best all this quote:’The above quote is written with a crooked pen whose ink flows with deception.’

    • Warlord   December 24, 2012 at 12:02

      I see that you and I have the same taste. I relished the quote that you reference to above!

  19. shamatunga   December 24, 2012 at 07:51

    God have mercy on us.good sure the danm dictator is watchn.

  20. Shaka   December 24, 2012 at 07:31

    Kaponyas can’t see all the acrimony brought by the PF in black and white. All they ‘ll do is shout ‘donchi kubeba’ but continue complaining and whinning on empty stomachs. Ndilanga buyo.

  21. ftj   December 24, 2012 at 07:28


    • Truth Seeker   December 24, 2012 at 08:55

      Sata’s son did not die mysteriously,he died of cocaine overdose!!!
      We fought the third term and won against a more subtle and intelligent Chiluba, Sata thinks he’s untouchable ,History repeats itself, Sata will retire in shame

  22. Django   December 24, 2012 at 07:16

    Pinocchio Front(PF) for you!

  23. mk   December 24, 2012 at 07:07

    This truly describes what the PF president stands for. He has no regard for zambians having attained what he always wanted. Kabimba’s constituency is sata so you sort out sata, you would have sorted out these current problems. There are a number PF supporters who are dumb-founded at what is happening but because their association with PF is the only way they can survive, they keep quiet and pretend they heard no evil and saw no evil.

  24. simska   December 24, 2012 at 07:02

    so you mean that this is a pinocchio front government, “people with long nose because they lie”

    • Kanyika   December 25, 2012 at 16:55

      Pinochio front indeed.They lied there way to power.Now they are rubbing their long noses in our faces.Look at kabimba’s arrongance.

  25. John   December 24, 2012 at 06:35

    This should tell you why Kabimba and Mmembe are best of friends. They where breast fed from the same breast of arrogance and are birds of the same furthers.