By Simon Mwale
Dear Mr. President Hakainde Hichilema,
We all know what has happened in the presidential election. It’s a sad day for democracy in our country especially against a background of how the ruling party has behaved. The other day I went to town and met some people at one of the universities. Because of my name, Mwale, they started congratulating me. I asked them what they were commending me for and they said, “You have another president from eastern province.” This was before the official declaration of the final results.
I responded by thanking them for their message, but quickly pointed out that I was supporting another candidate in this election, HH. They sounded shocked and I explained to them that as Zambians,we must grow out of this perception of supporting candidates on the basis of where they come from. I told them that for me, I support HH purely on merit and and his other attributes of being a humane person. I further told them that unfortunately, although Zambians had elected someone else with no basis for comparison with HH, I can’t find it in me to support their candidate purely on the basis of the reasons from the foregoing.
Anyway, let me come to the point of this letter. Mr President, you know this race was tight and could have gone either way, though honestly speaking, it should have gone our way. But let’s forget that now and focus on the future since there is another election in 2016.
Mr President, I want to encourage you to take heart from this loss and see possibilities. This was only your fourth loss and it is nothing compared to Abraham Lincoln’s record, hereunder for your serious reflection and consideration.
Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Quit
Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further.
Born into poverty, (like you) Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.
Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
- 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818 His mother died.
- 1831 Failed in business.
- 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
- l832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
- 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
- 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
- 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
- 1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
- 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
- 1860 Elected president of the United States.
Mr President, you can see from Lincoln’s record that what has happened to you is just a passing phase. Your destiny lies in your hands and I pray to God that he blesses you with the never-say-die spirit because it is my conviction that your time to lead this country is still coming.
May the Almighty God bless you and your family and our party UPND now and forever more. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.