Mmembe wrote this rubbish below attacking us, HH and Daily Nation today in his tissue paper and cheats people it is an editorial. Nothing really new from this queer character that needs a response. But we may consider one when we have a bit of time to waste, suffice to say we have a lot of information about his criminal activities and how he is directly benefiting from ailing dictator Michael Sata. Look out soon about his social life as well and his family.
A response to Hakainde’s attacks
Fri 14 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT
Last week Hakainde Hichilema accused us of bullying the people and said a lot of other things against us.
“Why would you like Hakainde not to exist in this country? Whether you like it or not, he is here, until God takes him away. You can’t wish UPND away. We are here. At The Post, you only have the PF as a political partyâ€¦ You cannot bully everyone into your own way of thinking, no ways. You cannot bully people to support Sata. The Post newspaper will not dictate to me, please understand that. You cannot dictate to me to worship The Post. I am not a worshipper of The Post, I will never be a worshipper of The Post. It doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t matter what you lie about UPND and Hakainde, I will not be a follower of The Post myself. Accept that millions do not respect The Post; I am one of them. Even you at The Post you fear the man (Sata) too much. What is it that you are fearing?” This was Hakainde talking about us last week.
And this is Hakainde talking about us this week in Livingstone: “The tribal issue that The Post and PF are always talking about is rubbish. It is being raised in order to divert the people’s attention. The Post is interested in PF and not the welfare of the Zambian people, and I have said it several times. They are carrying on in order to mislead the people of Zambia.”
There is no doubt Hakainde hates us, hates The Post. And he has made this very clear.
But what is the genesis of Hakainde’s hatred for us, for The Post?
A few years ago, Hakainde asked to meet the editor-in-chief of The Post. The meeting was granted and attended by Amos Malupenga and Joe Kaunda. At that meeting, Hakainde asked for our support. It was explained to him how we work and what causes and principles we support, we fight for. We told him that for us, it was not simply a question of supporting or opposing an individual. It was much more a matter of fighting for the same things, principles, ideas, values that brought us on one side or on opposite sides. We explained to him that in 1991, we opposed Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP and we were on the same side as those who championed the cause for the return to multiparty politics. This did not mean we hated Dr Kaunda and his comrades in UNIP. It was simply a matter of us being opposed to the one party system. As we have stated before, we believe that the single party state, except at rare moments in history, is a recipe for tyranny. What we have learnt from the Soviet experience and from the African experience is that the concept of the party as a vanguard which has the right to rule by virtue of calling itself something and which is entrenched in the constitution as a permanent godfather of this society, is a disaster. On the basis of this, we found ourselves on different sides, at that time, with comrade KK. Was it hatred for KK? Never! We highly value that comrade and we are highly privileged to be counted among his best friends today.
We also showed Hakainde the path that was taken by our relationship with Levy Mwanawasa. When Frederick Chiluba anointed Levy as his successor, most people, including ourselves, believed that Levy was put there as an intelligent lawyer to come and protect Chiluba and his wrongs. We were very critical of Levy. It took time for us to realise that Levy meant well and he was not part of Chiluba’s corruption and abuses. When the fight against Chiluba’s corruption intensified under Levy, we found ourselves fighting on the same side as comrades. We never hid this fact from our people. We openly called Levy a comrade and appealed to the Zambian people to support him. At this time, Michael Sata had given political refuge to Chiluba in the Patriotic Front. We denounced Michael and the Patriotic Front for this. This was done openly, not in privacy and the publications are there for all to read or re-read. Again, our denunciation of Michael was not out of hatred. The editor of this newspaper and Michael have known each other since 1982 and have a close relationship. But that never inhibited The Post from denouncing Michael and his relationship with Chiluba. But this was not hatred for Michael. And as Dr Kaunda aptly puts it, “We must learn to hate what is done and not to hate the doer. What is meant here is, if we hated the doer as such, it would mean that even if he changed for the better, we would continue to hate him simply because he was what he was. On the other hand, if we learn to hate what is done, there is always a chance that people whose activities we strongly disapproved will change, and then we would have no cause to hate themâ€¦”
Clearly, Hakainde’s hatred for us, for The Post, arises from not giving him the support he asked from us. If from today we started coming out with stories and editorial comments urging the Zambian people to vote for Hakainde in 2016, Hakainde’s hatred and contempt for us would instantly disappear.
On the issue of Hakainde and UPND’s tribal politics, it is not us but themselves who painted themselves that. It requires little memory – if a little is all one has – to remember the tribal politics that characterised Hakainde’s ascendency to the presidency of the UPND. It was made very clear in 2006 that only a Tonga, and that time Hakainde, was fit to assume the presidency of that party. And things have not changed much since then. Hakainde and UPND have remained the same in attitude, thought and political practice. UPND is still predominantly a regional party. If they are not comfortable with this, it is something within their powers to change.
We also want to remind Hakainde that in 2009, he went to the house of a comrade of ours to try and recruit her into the UPND. Realising that this comrade hails from the Western Province of our country, Hakainde told her, “We people from North Western Rhodesia should unite. If we give power to these Bembas, we’ll never get it back.” This comrade was very disgusted and shocked that a young man like Hakainde could think that way, could look at Zambian politics in that way. And after that meeting, she decided not to join UPND and instead joined the Patriotic Front. This is Hakainde’s thinking that he is not even ashamed to share with people who are well known for their patriotism, nationalism, broadmindedness and selflessness.
For Hakainde, whatever happens to him, whatever differences you have with him, the tribe comes in. His outlook begins from and ends with tribe, regionalism.
We have made it openly clear that we detest tribalism, because we regard it as a barbaric thing, wherever it comes from. We have made it clear that tribalism pollutes the atmosphere of human relations and poisons the minds of the backward, the bigoted and the prejudiced. We have also made it clear that we must all ensure that tribe becomes only a God-given gift to each one of us and not an indelible mark or attribute that accords a special status to any. We find tribalism to be a blight on the human conscience, which we should never play host to in our country. And our voices must never be stifled if we see that one of us is engaging in tribal politics or indeed he is a victim of tribal tyranny. We have always urged our people to consciously combat and not discreetly tolerate tribalism.
Given the tribal character of Hakainde’s politics, where do we fit in, given what we stand for? How can we reasonably be expected to support such politics?
Hakainde is not ashamed to defend Rupiah Banda’s corruption. And this is a man Hakainde himself accused of being corrupt. Today, out of political expediency, Hakainde is defending Rupiah and his corruption. Again, where do we fit in with this type of politics, given our stand on corruption?
When it comes to us, Hakainde stops to reason. Not very long ago, Hakainde declared that when he comes to power, he will make sure that we pay the debt Zambian Airways, now in receivership, owes the state-owned Development Bank of Zambia. When he was saying all this, Hakainde knew very well that this matter was before our courts of law for determination. And it is still in our courts of law for determination. We have made it clear that The Post or any of us at The Post does not owe the Development Bank of Zambia any money. But if at the end of the day the courts decide otherwise, we will oblige and pay. Where is the problem? Are we not entitled to the due process of the law like everyone else? Hakainde will simply order us to pay even when the courts say otherwise? We have never sought a favour from any politician, from anyone. The Post, as it stands today, is a product of the intelligence and collective endless work by our staff and directors. We have never asked anyone for a favour. Sometimes we have even ignored to exercise our rights in situations where we might be seen to be seeking a favour from anyone. We have been seen to support people simply because of the shared aims, values, standards and principles. We supported Levy, but not even one day did we go to ask Levy for a favour. We have never asked Michael for a single favour and we will never do so. We know it is difficult for Hakainde to understand this because for him, everything is calculated on the basis of personal gain, benefit or cut. Concepts like solidarity, selflessness may have very little or no meaning in his life. We have participated in many things without seeking any reward in return.
Hakainde went on to say we claim to be rich when all we have is debts. We have never claimed to be rich. And being rich may be his ambition, but not ours. We don’t think the true worth of a person’s life is measured by how much money one has.
As Fidel Castro recently observed, “There is no present or past event I remember or heard of that has impacted world public opinion so much as the death of Nelson Mandela, and not because of his wealth, but for his human quality and the loftiness of his ideas and feelings.”
What principles is Hakainde advancing that deserve our support? Tribalism! Regionalism! Hatred and bitterness! Support and defence of the corrupt and corruption!
In the political life of our people, how should right be distinguished from wrong in one’s words and actions?
On the issue of bullying people, we have made it clear in many editorial comments that there will no longer be one single thinker. Hundreds of thousands, millions of thinkers can make up the thinker our times need. And names do not matter. We have always exhorted our people to meditate on many issues affecting our country and the world, to research, delve deeply into them without any dogmas and with broadmindedness, listening to everyone, without thinking that we are the owners of the absolute truth. If we believe something, we are interested in enriching and substantiating what we believe. We have also repeatedly stated that new ideas to prepare the peoples for the future are needed and that a new awareness is needed. We have also stated that this new awareness will be built by adding together more than just one revolutionary thought and the best ethical and humane ideas of more than one religion, of all authentic religions, the sum total of the preaching of many political thinkers, of many schools.
What we have shared with our people is born from the experiences we have lived through, from the sleepless eyes that try to see the evolution of events. We have given these views to our people as curators. However, we have never bullied anyone to agree with these ideas. All we have asked our people, our readers, is to think about them. We ourselves have to delve deeper and learn a lot more.
Moreover, Hakainde is entitled to his opinion about us. He has even the right to hate us. Every man or woman should have an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he or she pleases before the public; to forbid this is to destroy the freedom of expression; but if he or she says what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he or she must bear the consequences of his or her own temerity. Of course, appreciating the fact that the right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Although we are the biggest media institution in the country, employing over 900 people and having over 60 per cent of the total daily newspaper circulation, we have never forced anyone to support us, to buy and read our newspaper. There will be nothing lost by us if Hakainde does not buy and read The Post. Hakainde has got his own type of media and journalists he likes and respects – the Zambian Watchdog, ex-convict Richard Sakala’s newspaper, the Daily Nation, and the products of Chanda Chimba. That’s what Hakainde likes and respects. It’s fine. He has the right of choice.
Our newspaper was established many years before Hakainde joined politics. Hakainde joined politics in 2006 – at least that is the time he became known as a politician. The Post was launched as the Weekly Post in July 1991. And the Patriotic Front Hakainde is talking about was only launched in 2001. Our work is not dependent on Hakainde’s support and will never be destroyed by Hakainde’s hatred and campaign against us because it is the work of many committed people. We have survived many hostile regimes and politicians. They found us and left us. Hakainde found us and he will leave us. It may not be with the same leadership and editors. But with or without us, the ideas for which The Post was established will live for a very long time and the relevance of this newspaper will never be lost. We will keep on improving. Nobody claims that what is being done at The Post is perfect, no matter how much effort we devote to trying to make things turn out the best possible way. Only life itself will be able to tell us where the shortcomings are and which aspects or details leave something to be desired. But we will always be able to improve the instruments we have established.