Perils of political apathy

By Wallen Simwaka

The Patriotic Front (PF), the party in power did everything in its political schemes to oust the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) from power but not so a great job in governance and meeting its populist electoral campaign promises.

PLUTO, the Greek philosopher once remarked: “The perils of refusing to participate in politics is that you risk being governed by low-grade politicians with no vision.”

Pluto’s caution could have been as correct in his time as it is apt now in the dispensation of the Zambian politics where government is now in the hands of people with no definable political intellect.

The Patriotic Front (PF), since its victory last year has been nothing but the political equivalent of a dreaded night mare for many Zambians as they realize that what the ruling party propagated in its campaigns would never be met.

President Michael Sata and his PF government are currently too busy doing the crowd pleasing by giving more promises and politically harassing his political opponents.

In the last twelve months President Michael Sata and the PF are still a far more helter-skelter and a kamikaze type of a political outfit that has unleashed some unfamiliar style of governance with all flaws, foibles and fragilities.

President Sata’s scattergun approach in renaming institutions, creation of districts and realignment of ministries has seen the country lost in policy direction and instead Zambians have been subjected to the most wicked witch hunt masked in the fight against corruption.

The PF has spent its twelve months in government pursuing some of its known opponents, arresting them and parading them before the media as guilty people long before they could be heard by the courts.

Instead of embarking on definite economic developmental programmes, President Sata who is now known as Mr immediate effect established countless commission of inquiries that have gobbled millions of public money with little to show about their relevance.

Zambians that voted for Mr Sata and the PF have woken up to the rude shock that the more jobs and more money in their pockets were a dubious political slogan that the President and his party used to dupe the electorate into voting for them.

There is an evil political system that is being natured by the PF, which is likely to turn the Sata administration into the most brutal and ruthless regime Zambia has ever had since independency in 1964.

The political witch hunt that has been unleashed and brutality being exhibited by the PF government on the opposition MMD and the UPND leaders is meant to divert the attention of the people from demanding that the pre-elections campaign pledges should be met.

Zambia is the only country in Southern Africa, so it seems, that has natured a political culture where every political party that forms government embarks on a vengeful route of hunting down leaders of the previous government under the guise of fighting corruption.

The culture of vengeance and vindictiveness has been natured under the hypocrisy of graft fighting and perhaps it is time Zambians have to expose the propaganda for what it is because political parties should not aspire to form government to deal with perceived political foes.

The ruling party in its early days urgently placed the MMD on its apocalyptic template by attempting to obliterate the party that was in government for two decades.

Soon after getting into government, President Sata and the PF immediate agenda was to obliterate the opposition political parties by attempting to petition all the seats the MMD had won.

When this failed, the government through Clement Andeleki, the politically imbued registrar of societies had a feeble attempt to kill the MMD by deregistering the biggest opposition political party

In phony conviviality, President Sata has appointed ten MMD MPs into his government and those being appointed are readily accepting his bait under the pretence that they want to serve the nation.

Of the ten, one disgruntled Steven Masumba has been expelled from the MMD and is currently pleading with the PF to adopt him for the Mufumbwe parliamentary by-elections and signs are that he may be dumped after being used by the ruling party.  

MMD president Nervous Mumba has sent a strong message to his Members of Parliament (MPs) serving in the PF government that their appointments do not have the blessings of his party and that President Sata is bent on weakening the opposition political party.

The PF is also worried about the soaring popularity of the UPND and its leader Hakainde Hichilema and is working hard to kick out Mr Hichilema from the presidential race.

Mr Hichilema has been physically harassed, verbally abused and accused of corruption all in the vein attempt to diminish his chances of contesting the presidency in 2016.

The popular image of President Michael Sata since winning the September 20 tripartite elections is one of a vengeful, vindictive brutal leader who has seen to it that all civil servants and public workers perceived to be sympathizers of the opposition are fired and replaced by the ruling party cadres.

The UPND and the MMD are awake to the fact that for the next four years, it will be time of retribution against its leaders and only the strong and genuine members will remain as those with selfish motives have already sold their souls to the PF.

Zambian politics are such that those who associate themselves with a political party that is not in power are disingenuous and are bizarrely punished and this has seen many civil servants in foreign missions recalled while many in parastatals have been sucked.

Mr Sata and his PF government have gone as far as retiring young journalists from public median houses and President Sata has been enjoying the savage splendor of retiring of the reporters.

An environment of fear has been created and Mr Sata believes that fostering a climate of terror among the citizens would make it easy to govern.

But what he does not understand is that when citizens are under threat and are frightened by the political leadership, they always have one choice, to face their autocratic leaders and oust them in the same way they elected them. 

In the last twelve months, Mr Sata has only exhibiting what he truly is, ethically, politically and socially inept and so ever prone to poor judgment.

It has hard for some of the PF parliamentary losing candidates to stomach what they are seeing as some of the people who are benefiting from their sweat were not anywhere near the party during the hard times.

But feeling betrayed because President Sata has abandoned them is a bit like being surprised when a feral rat tries to bite you while you are petting it.

Holding a position of leadership does not necessarily equate to being a true and good leader. If the position of leadership like that of president is held by someone who actually has all the qualities of leadership, then the country has the ideal situation.

But when there is a wide gap between the position of leadership and the qualities of the person holding that position, then you better start looking for the exit sign.

And when the gap becomes so large that the monkey ends up wearing the crown, it is definitely time to move and change things.

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