By Field Ruwe
The tremor in his right hand was incessant. Earlier when they had met, David had felt a little quiver in the handshake, more like an eel touch. As the interview progressed he kept sneaking a quick peek at Scott’s hand as if to ascertain. The tremor was such a distraction he had to ask the 68-year old about it.
“It’s possibly Parkinson’s,” Scott replied. “I haven’t had it diagnosed yet. In my age group, there is on average six things wrong with you at any one time.”
Scott also told him that the splotch under his eye was a possible cancer. That was two years ago, a little more than three months after Scott went viral as Zambia’s first white vice president. David Smith of The Guardian was in Lusaka to present to the world a silhouette of a person he described as “one of the most colorful men in African politics.” Little did he know that Scott’s trembling hand and the possible cancer under his eye would come back to haunt him.
Today Scott is 70 years old. If the six things he alluded to in his interview include Parkinson’s syndrome and cancer then he should be considerate enough to drop any presidential aspirations. The worst thing would be for Zambians to grapple with another ailing president.
But then power is addictive for it offers infinite possibilities. Once you taste it you want more. There is the lust for power in Scott’s eyes. There is self-love and selfishness in his soul, just like in the souls of many others who have had power bestowed on them. He has such an insatiable desire for power he wishes to “cook the Zambian rulebooks” so as to join the succession battle and trounce the tyros in his PF party—Wynter and Mulenga.
He has wanted this. It’s a moment he has craved. The minute Sata appointed him his deputy he was convinced he would become president someday because, according to him, “Zambians [including President Michael Sata] have misunderstood the parentage clause.”
Like a cheetah Scott has been stealthily tactful. Often he behaves like a dodo to the extent he has become the butt of the jokes by the media that refers to him as the “ceremonial vice president.” Each time Sata has appointed Alexander Chikwanda, Edgar Lungu, or Wynter Kabimba to act in his absence Scott has remained as cool as a cucumber, and used his time to seek legal advice on the parentage clause from people he calls “brains of the judiciary.”
Scott would have gone public and “educated” Zambians on the parentage clause the minute Sata first appointed Chikwanda to act on his first trip abroad. But it was too soon. The man was basking in the glory of rare power, and enjoying international fame. From nowhere he had become an overnight sensation, a prism of the African rainbow, much sought by European journalists.
Fergal Keane of the BBC portrayed him like a Moses. In his article, “Is there a brighter future for White Africans?” he writes: “In Zambia, the arrival of Guy Scott in the vice-president’s chair suggests to nervous whites elsewhere – further south in Zimbabwe and South Africa – the possibility of a political future that they can be part of.”
Scott was hoping to savor in such adoration for eternity but things happened pretty fast. The man credited for his fame suddenly became debilitated to the extent cadres in his own party began to position his son Mulenga for 2016. The adept and “intelligent” Scott saw an opportunity. He found Mulenga the appropriate bait; the lure with which to catch Zambians napping. With no regard for repercussions his often loose mouth opened and he spoke with a forked tongue:
“Me I’m not qualified to stand as President because I’m excluded by the same amended 1996 constitution which excluded Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, and excludes as far as I understand, me, Given Lubinda and excludes Mulenga Sata. Both your parents have to be Zambian.”
For Scott to have unflinchingly doused the president’s son in the “misunderstood parentage clause,” meant that the die was cast. He had crossed the point of no return and his true colors were prominent. It was time to show the unenlightened Sata that he was too imperceptive to fully grasp the part of the Zambian Constitution that states that a “person shall be qualified to be candidate for election as president if he is a citizen of Zambia and both his parents are Zambians by birth or descent.”
Here is Scott’s fountain of hope. After the constitutional amendment of the 1996 to include the parentage clause, Akashambatwa Lewanika, Evaristo Kambaila, Dean Mungomba, Sebastian Zulu, and Jennifer Mwaba petitioned the Court to disqualify Frederick Chiluba as candidate for presidential elections because neither he nor his parents were citizens of Zambia by birth or by decent. It had come to the attention of the nation that Chiluba’s real name was Titus Mpundu Kafupi born in a Zairean hospital to Diana Kaimba and Luka Chabala Kafupi.
In 1998, Chief Justice Matthew Ngulube, sitting with Justices Bonaventure Bweupe, Ernest Sakala, and David Lewanika dismissed the petition stating that Chiluba “was already a Zambian citizen and was not disqualified from elections as president. Whichever of the several biographies proposed to the court was adopted, before independence the respondent had been a British protected person ‘belonging’ to Northern Rhodesia, in terms of the Constitution of Northern Rhodesia 1963, having been born in Northern Rhodesia or whose parents were ordinarily resident there.” With this judgment Chiluba was allowed a second term.
According to Scott, Zambians have not understood the judgment and what it means to future presidential candidates in a similar situation. He believes he has a strong case and could, now that he has dug his own grave, sue and bury Sata in it. The words on his lips these days are “I qualify.” His campaign has already kicked off in Kaoma under the facade of stumping for Rodgers Lingweshi Lyambai in the forthcoming parliamentary by-election.
Scott is sending a message to Sata that it’s time to part ways. His recent statement that all queries on Sata’s health should be directed to State House and not to him means all is not well between the two compatriots. It is also means that he does not want to be the courier of lies and the doormat for Sata’s feet.
When he lied to Senior Chief Mukena of the Lozi people that Sata was “well and enjoying good health” he did so with a pinch of salt. Scott knows he can lie to Zambians and a good chunk will believe him. Some people may not like what I am about to say. It is still perceived in our society of a predominantly illiterate black electorate that white people are intellectually superior and are likely to be more trustworthy and reliable. It is this gullibility that might win him an election.
But Scott, like Sata, is unfit. He is also fast approaching the state of torpor. Last year the Zambian Watchdog reported he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in a British hospital. Scott denied it vehemently, and in his interview with Allan Mulenga of The Post dated September 23, 2013, he attacked the opposition for helping to spread the claim and quipped: “Do they even know what Parkinson’s disease is?”
Yes, they do; we all do, Bwana Scott. Parkinson’s is a menacing disease that has left Muhammad Ali incapacitated. It is an incurable disorder that involves the deterioration of the central nervous system as a result of the dysfunction of some cells in the brain. As we have seen in Ali, it starts with a barely noticeable uncontrollable tremor in just one hand. We have watched Ali become stiff and lose his balance. In its advanced stage, the disease can lead to dementia. If Scott has it, he will have the same problem as Ali, and we will have the same problem as the one we are having with Sata at the moment.
Let’s face it, Scott is not the same man he was two years ago when he suspected Parkinson’s disease and a cancerous growth under his eye. He looks as old as all the septuagenarians [70-79 years old] and like someone wrote “he’s waddling more.” Watch him walk or better still watch the video in which he inspects a guard of honor upon arrival in Bolivia. He is not agile enough.
As Scott continues to deny he has Parkinson’s disease and possible cancer, he must be reminded that he brought this on himself. While he may have helped Sata to conceal his illness by publicly and unashamedly lying he was fit, it will be unfair for him to hide his. It is going to three years and Sata’s legacy is still immersed in infirmity. Imagine the amount of time we have wasted. If by sheer gullibility and foolishness, we put Guy Scott in State House we will be stuck on the same bridge to nowhere playing the same broken record to our children.
Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner, historian, author, and a doctoral candidate. Learn more about him on his website www.aruwebooks.com.On it you shall access his autobiography, articles, and books. Contact him, blog, or join in the debate. ©Ruwe2012