By Sarah Imutowana Yeta
Hichilema is one opposition leader, in the past decade, who has gone through tough and dangerous times.
He has been arrested fifteen times, almost harmed in Ndola that he had to escape through the roof of a building, nearly assassinated when the police fired live ammunition at a meeting he was addressing in Sesheke, and targeted at the Chikwela Makumbi traditional ceremony in Chongwe.
The same Hichilema was brutally arrested on tramped up charges of treason.
He was thrown into a notorious, dirty, disease-ridden, and lethal prison for 127 days, and used a bucket as his toilet.
He has experienced false accusations, for example, of selling the Zambezi national park, supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and selling mines.
He has suffered at the hands of men of God paid to make fake and denigrating prophecies against him.
In broad daylight, his electoral victory in 2016 was stolen by Lungu.
In the face of hate, pain, unrelenting threat of imminent death, he keeps on going.
Therefore, the question is, what makes Hichilema unwavering in the face of political difficulties?
Those that have been following his political journey, this question is easy to answer.
He keeps on going because of his unique quality of fortitude.
Meaning? He has a unique emotional and mental strength in facing difficulty and adversity.
Put modestly, Hichilema has within himself a barbican of courage that many leaders today lack.
There is no doubt that Hichilema is a tough politician; a real soldier in a political combat with unmatched courage able to put up with the political freezing cold and burning heat.
He is endowed with the quality of determination, persistence, and a firmness of mind in the daily political challenges.
The tough years in the opposition camp has made him grow from strength to strength in the fund of moral energy, and admiration.
Every political pain endured has made his soul, and intentions for the country nobler and stronger than before.
He has passed through the political crucible to become the most mature opposition leader. He has developed from being dubbed ‘under five’ and ‘calculator boy’ to a political pundit seen by many people as the only hope for the country.
Even those that dishonestly bring pain to him, in their consciences know that Hichilema has a unique marshal of thought, the armour of the will, and the fort of reason that has made him come this far in his political expedition.
Therefore, his quality of persistence does not come easily. It is a value developed over time through good and bad experiences.
He is persistent in the face of political setbacks because of his goal to accomplish the national or common good.
Hichilema has a dream of a politically and economically liberated country for the betterment of all Zambians, and that is precisely what feeds into his fortitude.
Therefore, if Hichilema wins the 2021 elections, Zambia will have a president with fortitude to push himself and others to carry out any national challenges even when it is difficult.
He will be a president able to overcome ridicule, what people can think or say, and the displeasure of those around him in pursuit of the common good.
His presidency will be characterised with courage to stand up for what is right.
This is one reason, many people believe that Hichilema is more than ready for the presidency.
We, as a nation, are at crossroads therefore need an enterprise president to undertake both great and national development actions while withstanding challenges.
We need a president to develop initiatives and take on the responsibility to fearlessly carry out plans for the good of the country.
Martin Luther King Jr once said that the ultimate measure of a leader is not where he stands in times of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenges.
Though already rich, with nothing to gain from politics, Hichilema has continued to put his life at risk by standing up for the underprivileged.
Therefore, voting for Hichilema is voting for a leader who is willing to generously go beyond the call of duty, to make sacrifices, to courageously act on his beliefs to achieve development for all people.